The team measure the strength of marriages by measuring the average distance between partners before and after the introduction of online dating. Social Integration via Online Dating. And the arrival of Tinder changed dating even further. Loose ties have traditionally played a key role in meeting partners. If marriages were random, this should increase the number of interracial marriages, but not by the observed amount. That has significant implications. The question that Ortega and Hergovich investigate is how this changes the racial diversity of society. The Strength of Absent Ties: In this model, everyone wants to marry a person of the opposite sex but can only marry someone with whom a connection exists. The increase became steeper in the s, when online dating became even more popular. Indeed, this has long been reflected in surveys of the way people meet their partners: A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early s. These changes are set to continue, and to benefit society as result. Today, online dating is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet.
These loose connections turn out to be extremely important. And there is another surprising effect. But it is consistent with the hypothesis that it does. The team measure the strength of marriages by measuring the average distance between partners before and after the introduction of online dating. That has the potential to significantly benefit society. Today, online dating is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet. Their network consists of men and women from different races who are randomly distributed. These changes are set to continue, and to benefit society as result. But if the researchers add random links between people from different ethnic groups, the level of interracial marriage changes dramatically. While most people were unlikely to date one of their best friends, they were highly likely to date people who were linked with their group of friends; a friend of a friend, for example. Loose ties have traditionally played a key role in meeting partners. Then, in , the proportion of interracial marriages jumped again. Next, the researchers compare the results of their models to the observed rates of interracial marriage in the U. That leaves online dating as the main driver of this change. A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early s. The Strength of Absent Ties: The researchers start by simulating what happens when extra links are introduced into a social network. But now the first evidence is emerging that their effect is much more profound. Of course, there are other factors that could contribute to the increase in interracial marriage. But the rate of increase changed at about the time that online dating become popular. Instead, people are strongly connected to a relatively small group of neighbors and loosely connected to much more distant people. Meanwhile, research into the strength of marriage has found some evidence that married couples who meet online have lower rates of marital breakup than those who meet traditionally. Indeed, this has long been reflected in surveys of the way people meet their partners: One obvious type of network links each node with its nearest neighbors, in a pattern like a chess board or chicken wire. But real social networks are not like either of these.
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