Being on Facebook and Dating Foreigners (SURVEY)

One of my students is working on her thesis related with personality variables and intentions to get married with people from different races. As we are also conducting several social media related projects, this time we just combined the questionnaires and the results were quite interesting.

We asked participants about their potential choice if they had to choose between an average looking foreigner (White) and average looking Japanese for a date. It turns out Japanese FB users are significantly more likely to choose a Foreign partner compared with FB light users and non users (28% versus 21%, the difference is statistically significant).

The same pattern emerged when we asked about marriage. Even though the majority of the respondents preferred Japanese to get married, still, the percentage who chose foreigners to get married was way higher among FB users compared with light users and non users (22% versus 15%, statistically significant).

Of course it is difficult to know which causes which (people who are interested in foreigners sign up for Facebook or people who start using Facebook develop more interest in foreigners) but it’s interesting to see that clear differences emerge between the adopters of foreign sns and nonusers, here in Japan.

Question1: You go to Gokon (Japanese version of speed dating) and get introduced to 2 people who seem to have good characteristics. They both have a stable job at a Japanese company and they both can speak Japanese. One of them is an average looking foreigner (White) and the other one is average looking Japanese. Which one would you choose? a) Definitely Japanese b) Probably Japanese c) Probably foreigner d) Definitely foreigner. We combined a,b (Japanese) and c,d (Foreigner) for the analysis.
Question2: You end up dating with both and realize that they both are nice. However you have to choose one of them to get married. Which one would you choose? the same answers

Methodology: This was an online questionnaire. The participants were 170 college students majoring in English who participated in the study in exchange for class credit. We combined FB non users and light users (a) uses once in a great while b) uses a few times a month) because we recently discovered that many users who are dissatisfied with FB do not cancel their accounts, just rarely use the service instead.

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