Everyone who uses a dating app makes quick judgments about others. Not only is it human nature, but all of the dating apps are designed to make it fun and easy to make snap judgments about people.
A quick look
The snap judgment
Then a swipe
And you feel good. You've made a decision and moved forward. It's one reason why you enjoy using your dating app, but these quick, snap judgments are one of the reasons you are stuck in the endless cycle of swiping.
Have you heard of the Fundamental Attribution Error. It's something that all humans do (even me) and something we can easily change. In this blog post, I'll explain what it means and how being aware of this bias can help you make better choices when it comes to dating.
So, what is the Fundamental Attribution Error?
The Fundamental Attribution Error happens when we judge someone's character without considering the circumstances they are in. It means we quickly decide what a person is like without considering external things that may influence their behavior. For example, if someone is late, we might assume they are always unreliable, without considering things they can't control, like traffic. We do this for others more than we do for ourselves.
When it comes to dating apps, we often judge someone's character based solely on their pictures. We make assumptions without thinking about the reasons behind their choices. Dating apps encourage us to make these quick judgments.
For instance, if we see someone with sexy pictures, like a guy showing off his six-pack or a gal in a bikini, we might assume they are shallow or obsessed with their looks. But in reality, those pictures only tell us what the person looks like. We don't know if they are loving, kind, generous, or mean and cruel. It's a mistake to assume we can know someone's true character from just their outward appearance.
Another example is when we come across a profile of someone who loves adventure sports. We might assume they are reckless and only interested in short-term thrills. However, behind that adventurous image could be a person who values deep connections and meaningful conversations.
Understanding that pictures and profiles only show us a fraction of who someone is, allows us to approach potential matches with a more open mind.
It's important to remember that dating profiles exist within a dating app environment that encourages snap judgments and quick swiping. However, to overcome these biases, we need to stay aware of the Fundamental Attribution Error and be open-minded about profiles.
When you match with someone, engage in genuine conversations that go beyond surface-level interactions. Explore shared interests, values, and life experiences. By taking the time to get to know someone beyond their profile, you can gain a better understanding of whether they are a good match for you.
Instead of relying solely on first impressions, approach profiles with curiosity and an open mind. Ask yourself if you can really make accurate judgments based solely on a picture. Consider what might be the reasons behind someone's choices in their profile. Consider all the possibilities why did they choose those pictures or describe themselves that way? By questioning assumptions, you create space for understanding and empathy.
Before and after you meet for the first time, engage in genuine conversations with potential matches. Move beyond superficial interactions and delve into shared interests, values, and life experiences. By actively listening and seeking to understand, you can uncover the layers beneath the profile and gain a deeper appreciation for who the person truly is.
We all have biases, including the Fundamental Attribution Error. Take a moment while swiping to think about your assumptions and judgments. Are you making snap judgments based on limited information? By being aware of your own biases, you can approach profiles with a more balanced and understanding mindset.
By understanding the impact of snap judgments and the Fundamental Attribution Error, we can make better choices on dating apps. True connections are about shared values and compatibility, which can't be accurately judged from a single picture or even a full profile. Approach profiles with curiosity, a willingness to get to know others, empathy, and the understanding that there is always more to someone than meets the eye. By avoiding the trap of snap judgments, you open yourself up to the possibility of forming genuine connections in the digital realm of dating.