Dr. Brian Drwecki
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
In the world of online dating, there is a major issue of men not respecting clear no-signals from their matches. A no-signal is simply when a woman removes her consent to continue in the conversation. In terms of consent, there has been plenty of research into how men misinterpret ambiguous consent for approval to engage in a sexual act, but there has been very little research examining why men persist through non-ambiguous no-signals. There needs to be more research into this area because these behaviors of disregarding no-signals may lead to more serious behaviors such as rape and sexual assault. This current study examines how dark personality traits of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy and/or empathy can impact men’s likelihood to respect no-signals. In a controlled laboratory experiment, participants used a mock dating app to select and converse with one fictitious match. Eventually, this match presented a sign of no interest, what I refer to as a no-signal, and participants had the choice to disrespect this request of unambiguous lack of consent and continue or respectfully end the conversation. If participants persisted, another, more extreme no-signal was presented; participants stop level is the number of no-signals they ignored and disrespected. Results indicated that 71% of participants persisted through the fist no-signal. Furthermore, those who were the highest in psychopathy were also the most persistent. A perspective-taking intervention did not persistence significantly alter persistence to no-signals in general; however, the empathy intervention did interact with psychopathy to reduce persistence for those who are the highest in psychopathy. The results are discussed in terms of real-world implications, such as adding empathy interventions and personality measures to apps such as Tinder and Grinder.
Date of Award
© Samantha Holland
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Holland, Samantha, "Everyone Has A Dark Side: How Personality and Empathy Impact Men’s Sexual Aggressive Persistence on Dating Apps" (2019). Student Publications. 938.