Jack MacHugh 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am an Applied Psychology student with a keen interest in the interaction between psychology and technology, which is why I chose the technology and psychology path in second year. I am starting a master's in Health and Social Psychology in Maastricht University in September. Outside of college, I enjoy playing basketball and travelling the world with friends.

Thesis Title

Investigating the relationship between self-esteem, self-presentation and time spent on online dating.


Project Description

Online dating, once stigmatised and looked down upon, is now a widely used and accepted way to find love and relationships. Usage of dating apps such as Tinder, has grown even more with COVID-19 and the implementation of lockdowns across the world. Previous research has investigated self-esteem and self-presentation among online dating users. However, there is a gap in the literature with regards to factors that impact the time spent on online dating. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-esteem, self-presentation and time spent on online dating applications. A cross sectional between-groups design was distribution in an online survey. Rosenberg’s Self-esteem scale and two subscales of the Presentation of Online Self Scale, ideal self (an idealised version of the self) and consistent self (consistent presentation of the self across different platforms), were employed. Data from 131 participants (41% male, 57% female, 2% non-binary), aged 18 to 48 (M=24.87) were used for multiple regression analyses.


Project Findings

The results revealed that there was a negative relationship between ideal self-presentation and self-esteem, where participants with higher self-esteem used less ideal self-presentation. Neither time spent online dating or consistent self-presentation were significantly related to self-esteem scores. Other factors such as the participants’ perception of the importance of romantic relationships may have affected the results of this study as it has been shown that a person’s self-esteem level and how important they deem the relationship affects how long they spend online dating.