Predictors of social anxiety among online dating users

Shani Pitcho-Prelorentzos, Christian Heckel, Lia Ring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extensive research has focused on social anxiety in various contexts of human relationships. However, only a small number of studies have aimed to understand social anxiety in the context of online dating. Therefore, the current study examined factors related to social anxiety among online daters and used Janoff-Bulman's Shattered Assumptions theory (1992) as a theoretical framework. A total of 494 users of online dating sites and applications completed a questionnaire that assessed social anxiety, socio-demographic characteristics, and three general assumptions regarding: the world (world appraisals); the self (self-efficacy); and, others (recognition concerns). Multiple regression analysis was applied in order to identify predictors of social anxiety. Findings revealed that social anxiety among online daters was predicted by negative world appraisals, low self-efficacy and high recognition concerns. The current study underscores the importance of cognitive structures in a vague and vulnerable situation such as online dating. Specifically, taking into account basic appraisals of the world, the self, and others, emerge as important factors when trying to explain social anxiety in the online-dating context. Our findings may assist health care professionals treat individuals searching to find a partner, specifically in directing the therapeutic sessions to rebuild shattered assumptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106381
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Cognitive appraisals
  • Online dating
  • Recognition concerns
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social anxiety
  • World appraisals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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