First Advisor

Dr. Brian Drwecki


Rona McCall


Regis College

Degree Name


Department (optional)


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

60 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

Fall 2019

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.