It is obvious that public perceptions regarding such services have changed. This research must analyze the reasons that led to these changes. Online dating is wider accepted now than it was before. Something has determined this change, and this research must find out the elements that have influenced this situation.
Another issues hat this research proposal must take into consideration refers to the types of online daters that are most frequent in this industry. Determining the main types of online daters would be very helpful in determining and analyzing the behavior of such consumers. Based on these findings, companies in this industry can make forecast and can develop and implement strategies.
Scope of the Research
The research proposal in case intends to identify the causes that determined the significant growth of the online dating industry and to analyze the behavior of online dating users.
Objectives of the Research
The objectives that the research proposal intends to address include:
Determining the causes of the online dating industry growth
Determining the factors of influence of this market
Identifying the types of online daters
Identifying the behavior of online daters
Determining the most important niches in this market
Identifying the public perception of online dating
Identifying the reasons for which people use online dating
Identifying the reasons for which people are reluctant to using online dating
Hypotheses of the Research
The hypotheses that will be addressed by the research are:
1. The growth of the online dating sector is due to the fact that it is cheaper than traditional dating.
2. More people currently find the online dating environment safer than they did previously.
3. Most people find it more convenient to find potential partners online.
4. Online dating reduces the time for finding a match.
5. People's specific interests determine them to use online dating.
6. People use online dating because the risk of rejection is reduced.
7. Online daters prefer niche websites.
8. There are several types of online daters that must be treated in accordance with their characteristics.
9. The number of online dating websites is likely to increase.
10. Online dating websites are the most important source of potential partners in large metropolitan areas.
In order to obtain the most specific and complete results, the research proposal addresses both primary and secondary information. Each of these types of information is complementary to the other in this case.
The most important sources of information for this research project consist in primary sources. The advantages of these sources of information are numerous. For example, they are relevant in relation with the researched subject. The primary information will be collected directly from the source, from people who use online dating services, or from people who do not use such services in order to determine the reasons for which they choose or refuse to use these services.
Also, this information is fresh, being collected in order to study the current conditions of the situation that is researched in this case.
The objectivity of the information is another advantage of this type of information. In this case, the researcher cannot influence the participants in the research, or cannot collect biased information.
In order to reach accurate results with this research project, the research will address both qualitative and quantitative information.
Qualitative research is designed to obtain general information on the subject in case.
Objective of the research -- exploring the phenomenon of online dating in general, and more specifically determining factors that caused the increase of this industry, determining the typology and behavior of online daters, and identifying the motivations of the studied population.
Dimension of study group -- small number of subjects.
Data collection -- not structured.
Data collection instruments -- camera.
Information volume -- increased.
Information type -- verbal, non-numeric.
Data analysis -- content analysis, subjective, interpretative.
Research result -- understand the online dating phenomenon.
Research type -- exploratory.
The advantages for which qualitative research was selected in this case are:
The respondent is approached in a certain environment and for a certain duration that allow for obtaining complex responses
The increased flexibility of data collection instruments increases the exploratory character of the research, allowing for obtaining new and interesting ideas
The results address a longer period of time
The duration and cost of the research are reduced
In this case, data will be collected through in-depth interview and group interview.
In this case, the in-depth interview is an individual discussion that should last approximately half an hour, and it should be recorded in order for the information to be extracted and analyzed at a later time.
This interview should address a group of 45 individuals. The sociological and demographical structure of the group should represent the studied population. As mentioned above, there are several niche websites that address each category of online darters. As a consequence, the in-depth interview group should represent each of these categories.
In other words, in the group there should be individual representing each race, sexual preference, age group, gender, and other categories of preferences.
In order for the interview to be successful, there are certain rules that must be followed. These rules include:
The respondents must not be aware of the subject of the discussion prior ti the interview. Otherwise, they might prepare for this discussion, which would lead to responses that do not represent the reality entirely
The problem in case should not be directly targeted. The discussion is a free one, the questionnaire used in the interview should not be a structured one, and the questions' formulation and order should be able to be easily modified.
It is recommended to use a conversation guide
The interviewer must determine the respondent to argue his options with real life facts.
The investigator must be neutral and must not influence the opinion of the respondent
One of the most important aspects related to the in-depth interview is represented by the location in which the interview will take place. The location must comfortable for the respondent, in order for him to be at ease with the interview and to provide useful information.
The interview can take place online, through a webcam, which would be more comfortable and easier for both the respondent and the interviewer. Also, the interview can take place at the respondent's home, or in a location selected with the agreement of both parties.
The interview should start with questions regarding general issues on online dating. The interviewer should try to find out what is the opinion of the respondent regarding online dating.
Furthermore, the interviewer should focus on more specific questions that can provide answers to the issues researched in this case.
General questions addressed to the interviewer include:
How do you feel towards online dating?
Do you often use online dating services?
How do you feel about people who use online dating services?
Are you satisfied with the services offered by such providers?
Do you prefer online dating to traditional dating?
Do you think it is easier to find a partner online?
Why do you prefer online dating?
Do you expect to use such services often in the following period of time?
Did you have a serious relationship with someone you met online?
Do you ever feel any insecurity regarding this environment?
Do you prefer free dating websites?
Do your friends use online dating services?
Are you embarrassed about admitting you use online dating?
Do you use niche or mainstream websites?
Are you more interested in casual dating websites or in serious relationships ones?
Would you recommend online dating to other people?
The interview is not limited to these questions. Other questions can be added, depending on how the interview is developing.
Also, the respondents must be paid for their effort.
The group interview is a free discussion that the interviewer is having with a group of people invited for this purpose. The discussion can last for approximately 2-5 hours and is recorded in order to identify the person speaking at a certain point and to follow the reactions of different persons when certain opinions are expressed.
Due to the fact that the participants have the opportunity of discussing with each other it is easier to obtain a wider image on the issues approached by the discussion in case. Also, the reactions are spontaneous and there is the possibility of discovering new ideas, by confronting opposite opinions.
However, in this case, issues are treated more superficially.
The advantages of the group discussion include:
Spontaneity -- comments are made, experiences are shared
Subjectivity -- people share their own experiences in their own words
Motivation -- participants are encouraged to share their opinions
Speed -- the total duration is reduced in comparison with the in-depth interview and quantitative research
Simplicity -- the results are verbal and qualitative, and are easy to understand by beneficiaries
Structure -- the conversation is focused on the issues of interest