Recently, researchers have begun examining how patterns within romantic relationships are affected by communication technologies that give instantaneous access to limitless romantic choices. Previous research suggests that individuals who engage in social comparison of such romantic choices will then experience a decreased interest in commitment. The current study combines these two aspects by examining social media use effects on one’s tendency to engage in social comparison for alternative romantic partners, and whether or not this relationship will then influence interest in commitment. The study included 110 participants (29 men, 80 women, 2 non-binary) who are all college students recruited from The College of Wooster. Participants took a 74-question survey evaluating the study’s primary variables. Results indicated that there was a significant effect between social comparison for alternatives and commitment, supporting the study’s second hypothesis. Additionally, a positive correlation was found between social media use and commitment for women, revealing a new potential approach for future research within this subject matter. Since research shows that social media use may present several consequences to romantic relationships (e.g. sexual infidelity, divorce, breakups), social media presents an issue to modern daters that previous generations did not have. With extended research and experimental replication, a solution to this “modern romance” conundrum could be exposed and put into effect for future generations.


Stuart, Jillian




Social Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Emily S. Neill