They gathered their data using a number of standardized questionnaires and psychological measures.
There’s a particular psychological profile that researchers have discovered of users of Internet dating services.
Ages ranged from 19 to 89 with a mean of 48 years old.
After all, there are few places in society where social rules are as crucially important and deeply entrenched as in the sphere of courtship, and being mildly autistic — or having Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), if you use the label as it was before the APA revised its diagnostic criteria last year — impairs your ability to comprehend nonverbal communication.
There is more of a connection between these two things than you might think.
Less confident individuals may not want their negative self-views publicized or viewed by others.
To reduce such negative feelings and protect their self-worth, those with low self-esteem will adopt avoidance strategies and distance themselves from Internet dating services. High self-esteem folks feel like they have little to lose by trying Internet dating.
Low self-esteem folks have more to lose, since more of their own self-value is tied up in the process — unless they say, “Ah, yeah, it’s nice to have a partner, but whatever.
I’m also just fine without one.”The upshot is that Internet dating is no longer the domain of the desperate nor those with low self-esteem (if it ever was).
If we learn it at all, it’s because we’ve had others bluntly explain to us the “rules” regarding these and other related matters.
Similarly, many of the practices that are generally regarded as “obvious” parts of dating feel like intimidatingly strange concepts to us, such as “flirting” and “bantering,” creating an intangible “chemistry,” or spacing out how often you call, text, e-mail, and/or suggest hanging out with a dating prospect.
This could be compared to speaking a different language, although that analogy would imply that individuals with AS could at least “speak” to others with the condition, when in fact AS manifests itself so differently from person to person that we are generally as unable to relate to each other as we are with the non-AS population.