Tuesday, November 1, 2016

URSP Student Rachel Eddowes Researches Humans and the Use of Tinder

My name is Rachel Eddowes, an undergraduate studying Interpersonal Communication and Interpersonal Conflict Analysis and Resolution. When I took COMM 400: Research Methods in Communication I was part of a research project that focused on the mobile dating application Tinder. Components of the study sought to understand why individuals use Tinder, the gratifications users gain from using Tinder, what happens when a user meets another user face-to-face after matching on the app, and why individuals do not use Tinder at all. At the end of the course my professor asked that I continue the research through OSCAR.

The opportunity to work on this research project with the support of OSCAR has been pretty neat. My mentor and I have revisited the study from COMM 400 and have been working to make improvements and adjustments, as well as adding scales and variables to gain a more holistic understanding of the Tinder phenomenon. Most of my work so far has been looking up the original articles of different communication theories, reviewing other studies on Tinder to see what they measured, and learning how to adapt existing scales in order to use them in this study in order to collect a larger data set.

This has certainly been a valuable and educational experience. About a year ago I could not tell you much about how to formally conduct research, but this opportunity to work on this project has increased my understanding and appreciation for academic research. The process no longer seems daunting, and instead has become somewhat exciting (at times I feel like a detective!). The skills gained have been numerous; each that I am sure will come in handy when I enter graduate school.