e-Harmony Study


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e-Harmony Study

  1. 1. Me, My Spouse and the Internet: Reconfiguring Partners and Relationships <br />Bill Dutton & Nai Li<br />
  2. 2. eHarmony and the OII<br />Los Angeles British Consul<br />Model for Dating<br />Business Opportunities<br />Growing into UK Market<br />Matching with OII<br />eHarmony<br />Local, cultural sensitivity<br />Branding<br />Data Protection Issues<br />OII <br />Online Dating? <br />Reconfiguring Access<br />Interesting Case<br />Capacity Building<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>Supported by eHarmony (2008—2013)
  4. 4. Phase I (Feb 2008—Feb 2009): Project design and pre-testing
  5. 5. Phase II (Feb 2009—Mar 2011): Main fieldwork
  6. 6. Phase III (Mar 2011 – Feb 2013): Worldwide
  7. 7. 36 country, Pan-European survey</li></ul>Me, My Spouse and the Internet Study<br />
  8. 8. <ul><li>Questionnaire development:</li></ul> cognitive interview & focus group interviews -- qualitative study<br /><ul><li>Online survey : sample recruited by SSI & Toluna
  9. 9. Fieldwork: two phases
  10. 10. Phase I: Australia, Spain, UK and USA -- SSI
  11. 11. Phase II: three waves -- Toluna</li></ul>Wave 1: Mar - May 2010 (16 countries, 9 Languages) <br />Wave 2: June - July 2010 ( Brazil and Japan )<br />Wave 3: Nov 2010 - Feb 2011 ( Eastern Europe and Asia)<br />Research Design and Method<br />
  12. 12. <ul><li> Online survey development and issues
  13. 13. Survey software
  14. 14. DatStatIlume toLimesurvey
  15. 15. The questionnaire
  16. 16. 45 minutes for individuals / 90 minutes for couples
  17. 17. Only couple completions is treated as a complete
  18. 18. Multiple language options for most European countries</li></ul>Research Design and Method<br />
  19. 19. <ul><li>Role of the Internet in romantic relationships
  20. 20. Attraction and selection
  21. 21. Maintaining relationships
  22. 22. Netiquette</li></ul>Research Questions <br />
  23. 23. <ul><li>Attraction and selection
  24. 24. Where do ‘we’ meet?
  25. 25. Do ‘we’ meet different people online?
  26. 26. Maintaining relationships
  27. 27. Which tools do ‘we’ use to communicate?
  28. 28. What do ‘we’ communicate about on the Internet?
  29. 29. Netiquette:
  30. 30. Which expectations do ‘we ‘have about online behaviour (of our partners)
  31. 31. What do ‘we’ consider acceptable online behaviour?</li></ul>Research Questions<br />
  32. 32. Reconfiguring access<br /><ul><li>Do couples who met offline differ from those who met online? Does the Internet shape selection?
  33. 33. Expectation – Hypothesis?</li></li></ul><li>Reconfiguring access<br />
  34. 34. Sample and Design (Case study: UK & Australia)<br />
  35. 35. Sample Composition<br />
  36. 36. Attraction and Selection<br />Question: Did you first meet your current partner online or offline?<br />
  37. 37. Age groups of couples who met online<br />Question: Did you first meet your current partner online or offline? In what year were you born?<br />
  38. 38. Where did online couples meet<br />Question: Did you first meet your current partner online or offline? Where online did you meet?<br />
  39. 39. Couples who met online by Age Difference<br />Question: In what year were you born?<br />
  40. 40. Couples who met online by Education Difference<br />Question: What is the highest level of education that you have attained?<br />
  41. 41. Importance of Partner’s Attributes<br />Question: When you think about your marriage, how important are the following attributes?<br />
  42. 42. Couples who met online by Differences in Interests<br />Question: Please use the scale (1-5) below to rate your interest in the following things.<br />
  43. 43. Commercial Meets Academic Research<br />Degrees?<br />Time horizons?<br />Deadlines<br />Predictability: unanticipated changes<br />Branding<br />And more …<br />Opportunities for Academic Research?<br />
  44. 44. Maintaining relationships<br /><ul><li>Online relationships: Debilitating or liberating?
  45. 45. Truth/Lies paradox
  46. 46. Social Scripts for relationships</li></li></ul><li>Maintaining relationships<br />
  47. 47. Managing relationships<br />What explains which media people use to discuss problems<br />People with more digital skills are more likely to use technologies to discuss problems in the relationship (independent of how long they’ve used the Internet)<br />Younger people discuss problems more frequently face to face than older people, but there is no difference in their use of email or instant messaging (IM) for communicating about problems<br />Couples with higher marital satisfaction are more likely to discuss problems when they can get instant feedback (face to face or through IM, but not through email)<br />Increases in marital conflict and avoidance behaviour increases communication through email and instant messaging but not face to face communication<br />Discussing problems face to face is linked to less frequent discussion of problems through email and IM<br />A tendency to discuss problems through one ICT (Phone, SMS) is linked to discussing problems through other ICTs as well and is related to less frequent discussion of problems face to face.<br />
  48. 48. Netiquette: General use<br />Do you ever spend too much time online?<br /><ul><li>The majority couples have similar perceptions of the time they spent online
  49. 49. 43% of couples has dissimilar time use patterns – Cause for conflict?
  50. 50. Does it matter whether husband or wife is evaluated?</li></ul>Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />
  51. 51. Netiquette: Differences in use<br />Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />It seems that women are more worried about the time they and their husbands spend online<br />Do you ever feel that you spend too much time on the Internet?<br />Do you feel that your partner spends too much time on the Internet?<br />
  52. 52. Netiquette: Different activities (OxIS)<br />Activities in the last year. Internet Users: OxIS 2007 N=1,578<br />
  53. 53. Netiquette: Acceptability infidelity<br />How would you feel if your partner engaged in the following activities on the Internet?<br />(Unhappy/Don’t care/Happy)<br /><ul><li> emotional infidelity
  54. 54. physical infidelity</li></li></ul><li>Netiquette: Acceptability Infidelity<br />How would you feel if your partner engaged in the following activities on the Internet?<br />Physical infidelity<br />Emotional infidelity<br />Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />
  55. 55. Netiquette: Specific activities - differences<br />When partners in a couple disagree it is more likely that the husband finds a certain behaviour acceptable in his wife than that the wife finds it acceptable in her husband <br />This is especially true for viewing of ‘adult’ sites<br />Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />
  56. 56. Netiquette: Monitoring<br />Have you ever checked up on your partner’s activities without them knowing, by doing the following?<br />‘Reading their emails’ (20%), ‘Reading their SMS’(20%), ‘Checking their browser history’ (13%), ‘Reading their IM logs’(5%), ‘Using monitoring software’(2%), and ‘By pretending to be another person’(1%)<br />
  57. 57. Monitoring: Similarities<br /><ul><li>In 73% of couples there is similar surveillance behaviour between partners
  58. 58. In 44% of couples at least one of the partners monitors the other partner’s behaviour</li></ul>Husband only monitor<br />Wife only monitor<br />No surveillance<br />Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />Both monitor<br />
  59. 59. Monitoring: Differences<br />The wife is for all these behaviours more likely to monitor her husbands behaviour than her husband is to monitor hers.<br />Base. All couples who completed more than 90% of survey (N=929)<br />
  60. 60. Explaining surveillance<br />
  61. 61. Conclusions <br /><ul><li>Gender hugely important in relation to surveillance and netiquette – women are more (have more reason to be) concerned than men about online behaviour
  62. 62. Age is related to decrease in monitoring (directly and through higher satisfaction with relationship) – This cannot be explained by experience with the internet
  63. 63. Both personality and relationship characteristics are important</li></li></ul><li>Points of Summary and Conclusion <br /><ul><li>Commercially-led research might offer academic opportunities
  64. 64. Online dating could offer opportunities for exploring theoretical perspectives on the Internet’s role
  65. 65. OII has been able to extend its capabilities:
  66. 66. Web-based surveys
  67. 67. Multi-National
  68. 68. EC Study of Media Literacy
  69. 69. Comscore, INSEAD, WEF Collaboration</li>