Abstract

Purpose - Online dating facilitates both dater interactions and rejections. Given the vast offer of potential mates and daters' limited time, several rejections may occur. On online dating platforms, most of these rejections are simply the absence of a reply (ignoring). The purpose of this paper is to compare the impact of implicit rejection (ignoring) vs explicit rejection (declining) on the behavioral intentions of daters, considering self-esteem as a moderator.Design/methodology/approach - Experiment 1 investigated the effect of the extent of rejection (implicit vs explicit vs control) on the behavioral intentions of online daters. Experiment 2 assessed observers' recommended actions to a male (vs female) online dater following rejection (implicit vs explicit vs control).Findings - Implicit rejections generate greater behavioral intentions than explicit rejections. Both daters (study 1) and observers of the dating scenario (study 2) indicated greater intent to revise their profiles (study 1) or recommend a profile revision (study 2) when implicitly (vs explicitly) rejected by interaction partners. Self-esteem moderated the effect of the extent of rejection. Higher levels of self-esteem eliminate and lower levels of self-esteem intensify the effect of the extent of rejection on behavioral intentions. Additionally, observers' recommendations based on the extent of rejection depend on the rejected dater's gender.Originality/value - Ignoring is a frequent practice among dating platform users, and this paper provides an original contribution to better understand the differences stemming from implicit or explicit rejection of online daters.Peer review - The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR06-2020-0207


Authors

Alba, George

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  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter
    2021/01/17

    17-Jan-2021

    Dear Alba, George

    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript OIR-06-2020-0207.R1, entitled "The effect of implicit (vs. explicit) rejection on the behavioral intentions of online daters" in its current form for publication in Online Information Review. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

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    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report
    2021/01/15

    Good work and the paper is got better now.

    Reviewed by
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    Reviewer report
    2020/12/08

    The study is a bit dated in terms of references and concepts. Although it is not a particularly striking research piece, it is relatively well-written and is a good sound research article. It see he cited an OIR article on the same subject published in 2005. So, the topic is not new, but is worthy of publication.

    Reviewed by
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    Author Response
    2020/11/26

    Response to Reviewer 1
    Comments:
    In my opinion, the entire manuscript should be rewritten from the first person ("I") to third person. The term "I" was used many times and is not appropriate for a scientific research article. I believe that the author presented a a robust and coherent argument and used the theoretical concepts in a well-articulated and appropriate way. The conclusions were well-tied to the other elements of the manuscript. The implications section could be expanded to help the reader integrate and translate the results.

    Thank you for all comments. Based on these important comments, the manuscript has been revised and all changes have been highlighted on the updated version. The use of the “first person” has now been fully removed from the paper, elevating the quality of the scientific writing. The implications section was greatly improved and includes the addition of certain highlights from the research that should help the reader to integrate and translate the results.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The topic has been researched for years with very mixed results. As suggested, the author found that ignoring is a frequent practice among dating platform users and the differences stemming from implicit or explicit rejection of online daters may add to the existing literature.
    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The literature review could be updated and several references added. I published an article on online dating years ago in Online Information Review and others in the Journal were not cited as well.

    Six references were added, specifically two from OIR (Smith (2005) and Wang (2019)). This proved to be an important update to the first section of the paper and to integrate the results. I believe that citing OIR papers also fosters greater adherence to the journal.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The theoretical development could be strengthen by adding a conceptual model and citing behavioral theories, especially the. psychological experience of rejection. The author suggested that that the function of the self-esteem system is to monitor the degree to which an individual is being socially rejected or excluded, but it was not adequately developed. A model illustrating these concepts would be useful.

    The advice is greatly appreciated. A conceptual model with the operationalization of the variables was included and explained in the paper. The model is useful in distinguishing the work in the literature and in showing explicitly which variables were tested and measured and how this was achieved.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: The results are clearly presented and appropriately analyzed. Of course, one might suggest that more sophisticated multivariate statistical analysis would be warranted here, but I am fine with the analysis.
    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: I believe that the author presented a a robust and coherent argument and used the theoretical concepts in a well-articulated and appropriate way. The conclusions were well-tied to the other elements of the manuscript. The implications section could be expanded to help the reader integrate and translate the results.

    Several paragraphs were added to the implications section to help readers integrate and translate the results.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The implications of the research, managerial practice, and society was the weak link in the manuscript. The author really does not detail what the motivational and moderating factors that could be manipulated in the online dating process to correct the ignoring experience and make the entire online experience a more positive impact on its customers. Perhaps, the author needs to take each statistical result and tie it to the literature for better intervention strategies.
    Conclusions and implications have been better tied to the literature, especially regarding the effects of the psychological experience of rejection on daters. An additional suggestion is that companies could establish a dating environment with a higher likelihood of better relationship outcomes among daters, fostering transparency and communication.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: In my opinion, the entire manuscript should be rewritten from the first person ("I") to third person. The term "I" was used many times and is not appropriate for a scientific research article.

    The use of “first person” has been fully removed from the paper and the manuscript was copy-edited, improving the quality of the scientific writing.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?: The author spent considerable time and documentation outlining the limitations of this study. Although the exact results of the ex post facto experiments would be impossible to duplicate, the process of data experimentation and collection certainly can be. Perhaps, doing a replication study could verify the results. That should be listed in a section for future research.

    Information about replication, external validity and verifiability was added to the first paragraph on limitations. All the suggestions offered have been extremely useful in improving the quality of the article and are greatly appreciated.

    Response to Reviewer: 2
    Comments:
    In general, I think that the contribution of the manuscript regarding the previous literature is good but hardly explained. The methodology section in overall is quite good. However, it quite noted that there a very poor literature review and theoretical framework. Finally, I am really concerned about the serious overall lack of theoretical and managerial implications of the study.

    Thank you for all comments. Based on these important comments, the manuscript has been revised and all changes have been highlighted on the updated version. Several improvements were made to the introduction and literature review to better fit the theoretical framework to the research and its practical contributions.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The paper has a good side in term of the originality of the contribution. The introduction of self-esteem as moderator factor to explain explicit and implicit rejection behaviours in online dating applications has added a value to the research area. However, the authors did not take enough advantage of it, so the paper contribution appears unclear defended in the manuscript.

    Several sentences and references were added in the introduction and self-esteem sections of the paper regarding the contributions of self-esteem and its value to the research area. In the introduction, the contributions were better connected and defended, as well as in the conclusions and implications.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The authors provide a very weak literature review related to the research topic. This chapter should downsize and highlight the novel argumentation of the manuscript. Additionally, there is a lack of development in noting the previous literature and relating it to the objectives of the study. There is no defined thread in the section about explicit and implicit effects, and it is not properly concluded. Furthermore, the authors should include some theoretical framework to strengthen the arguments. In general, there is no solid and strong conception of arguments and very weak previous works to support or decline the research paper outcomes.

    The theoretical background has been updated. Based on the reviewer’s suggestions, we reduced the implicit/explicit rejection section, cutting the second paragraph. Also, a paragraph related to the damage caused by implicit rejection was added to strengthen the arguments about the hypothesized effects. Finally, a conceptual model with the operationalization of the variables was included and explained in the paper. The model helps distinguish the work in the literature and explicitly shows which variables were tested and measured and how this was achieved.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The objective and flow of the manuscript are clear and the methodology is well structured. The analyses appear well-conducted. The use of spotlight and floodlight analyses are appropriate. Nevertheless, the focus on Tinder App should definitely have been clarified and discussed. Additionally, there is not information about the Tinder App; concerning how did the App work? Which functions were allowed? Which information could be provided?

    The first study description has been updated with a paragraph containing relevant information on the Tinder application.

    In the other hand, authors do not mention anything about the scales that they have used in self-esteem variable, neither in the main manuscript nor at the end. In addition, we do not know how they have measured the different items, so this should be included in future versions. furthermore, there is a lack of explanations of the different scenarios applied in the three conditions of the study (maybe should provide it as annex). In general, this section should be rewritten to show all these aspects, doing so will give greater transparency and robustness to the process, which is currently lacking.

    Participants answered the 10-item Rosenberg Self-esteem scale, prior to the conditions being assigned. This information has been updated in the article. Additionally, the scenarios were rewritten and updated in both studies to improve procedure communication and transparency.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: I think that the manuscript would benefit from explaining the results more straightforward. In addition, this section of results includes some aspects of procedure and stimuli, so that this section should be rewritten in order to separate the information of each section.

    The results have been revised and only procedures concerning analysis (regressions and ANOVAS) were presented in this section.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The discussion section of the manuscript is rather short and poo, and might benefit from long explanations of the substantial findings. The discussion at the current stage appears uninspiring. What is the key take-home for researchers and managers? authors have not made an effort to compare their results with previous literature.

    An opening paragraph was added in the implications section, discussing the theoretical gap that the research fills. Furthermore, the practical implications were revised, exploring the potential benefits of online dating transparency and communication. A paragraph has also been added to the conclusions section, comparing the results with previous literature on explicit rejection, regarding favorability associated with clear rejections and why they may fill the need to belong.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: There is a lack and absence of theoretical implications of this research and very poor practical and managerial implication. Authors should improve the managerial implications to a greater extent, focusing just on their own results.
    Amplify more the provided practical implications. For example in the follow sentence, it is no explaine the "how": "in contrast, the authors advocate that online dating companies should encourage reciprocal interactions among daters, because they do not carry any negative implications"
    In general, a restructuring and enriching these sections would enhance the understanding of the potential reader.

    From conclusions to implications and limitations, several improvements have been made to the paper. Overall, the effects and contributions were tied to previous literature and the implications were restructured. The inclusion of a conceptual framework, as suggested by the reviewers, was also important to clearly state the value of the research to the literature.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: the manuscript contains very long sentenses to explain a very short idea especially in Procedure and Stimuli section. Sometimes, some informal and personal language was used as well. For instance: "I did not investigate daters' real behavior". So that, it is highly recommended that authors send the manuscript to a copy-editing service

    The use of “first person” has been fully removed from the paper and the manuscript was copy-edited, improving the quality of the scientific writing.

    Author response by


    Cite this author response
  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter
    2020/10/12

    &PHPSESSID12-Oct-2020;

    Dear Dr. Alba,

    Manuscript ID OIR-06-2020-0207 entitled "The effect of implicit (vs. explicit) rejection on the behavioral intentions of online daters" which you submitted to Online Information Review has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewers have recommended that you make major revisions to your manuscript prior to it being considered for publication.

    Please read their suggestions and if you choose to prepare a revised manuscript ensure that any changes that you make to your manuscript are highlighted, as well as described in your response to reviewers.

    Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=oir=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

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    Yours sincerely,

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera
    eugenia.siapera@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    Comments:
    In my opinion, the entire manuscript should be rewritten from the first person ("I") to third person. The term "I" was used many times and is not appropriate for a scientific research article. I believe that the author presented a a robust and coherent argument and used the theoretical concepts in a well-articulated and appropriate way. The conclusions were well-tied to the other elements of the manuscript. The implications section could be expanded to help the reader integrate and translate the results.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The topic has been researched for years with very mixed results. As suggested, the author found that ignoring is a frequent practice among dating platform users and the differences stemming from implicit or explicit
    rejection of online daters may add to the existing literature.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The literature review could be updated and several references added. I published an article on online dating years ago in Online Information Review and others in the Journal were not cited as well.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The theoretical development could be strengthen by adding a conceptual model and citing behavioral theories, especially the. psychological experience of rejection. The author suggested that that the function of
    the self-esteem system is to monitor the degree to which an individual is being socially rejected or
    excluded, but it was not adequately developed. A model illustrating these concepts would be useful.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: The results are clearly presented and appropriately analyzed. Of course, one might suggest that more sophisticated multivariate statistical analysis would be warranted here, but I am fine with the analysis.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: I believe that the author presented a a robust and coherent argument and used the theoretical concepts in a well-articulated and appropriate way. The conclusions were well-tied to the other elements of the manuscript. The implications section could be expanded to help the reader integrate and translate the results.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The implications of the research, managerial practice, and society was the weak link in the manuscript. The author really does not detail what the motivational and moderating factors that could be manipulated in the online dating process to correct the ignoring experience and make the entire online experience a more positive impact on its customers. Perhaps, the author needs to take each statistical result and tie it to the literature for better intervention strategies.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: In my opinion, the entire manuscript should be rewritten from the first person ("I") to third person. The term "I" was used many times and is not appropriate for a scientific research article.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?: The author spent considerable time and documentation outlining the limitations of this study. Although the exact results of the ex post facto experiments would be impossible to duplicate, the process of data experimentation and collection certainly can be. Perhaps, doing a replication study could verify the results. That should be listed in a section for future research.

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Major Revision

    Comments:
    In general, I think that the contribution of the manuscript regarding the previous literature is good but hardly explained. The methodology section in overall is quite good. However, it quite noted that there a very poor literature review and theoretical framework. Finally, I am really concerned about the serious overall lack of theoretical and managerial implications of the study.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The paper has a good side in term of the originality of the contribution. The introduction of self-esteem as moderator factor to explain explicit and implicit rejection behaviours in online dating applications has added a value to the research area. However, the authors did not take enough advantage of it, so the paper contribution appears unclear defended in the manuscript.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The authors provide a very weak literature review related to the research topic. This chapter should downsize and highlight the novel argumentation of the manuscript. Additionally, there is a lack of development in noting the previous literature and relating it to the objectives of the study. There is no defined thread in the section about explicit and implicit effects, and it is not properly concluded. Furthermore, the authors should include some theoretical framework to strengthen the arguments. In general, there is no solid and strong conception of arguments and very weak previous works to support or decline the research paper outcomes.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The objective and flow of the manuscript are clear and the methodology is well structured. The analyses appear well-conducted. The use of spotlight and floodlight analyses are appropriate. Nevertheless, the focus on Tinder App should definitely have been clarified and discussed. Additionally, there is not information about the Tinder App; concerning how did the App work? Which functions were allowed? Which information could be provided?
    In the other hand, authors do not mention anything about the scales that they have used in self-esteem variable, neither in the main manuscript nor at the end. In addition, we do not know how they have measured the different items, so this should be included in future versions. furthermore, there is a lack of explanations of the different scenarios applied in the three conditions of the study (maybe should provide it as annex).
    In general, this section should be rewritten to show all these aspects, doing so will give greater transparency and robustness to the process, which is currently lacking.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: I think that the manuscript would benefit from explaining the results more straightforward. In addition, this section of results includes some aspects of procedure and stimuli, so that this section should be rewritten in order to separate the information of each section.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The discussion section of the manuscript is rather short and poo, and might benefit from long explanations of the substantial findings. The discussion at the current stage appears uninspiring. What is the key take-home for researchers and managers? authors have not made an effort to compare their results with previous literature.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: There is a lack and absence of theoretical implications of this research and very poor practical and managerial implication. Authors should improve the managerial implications to a greater extent, focusing just on their own results.
    Amplify more the provided practical implications. For example in the follow sentence, it is no explaine the "how": "in contrast, the authors advocate that online dating companies should encourage reciprocal interactions among daters, because they do not carry any negative implications"
    In general, a restructuring and enriching these sections would enhance the understanding of the potential reader.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: the manuscript contains very long sentenses to explain a very short idea especially in Procedure and Stimuli section. Sometimes, some informal and personal language was used as well. For instance: "I did not investigate daters' real behavior". So that, it is highly recommended that authors send the manuscript to a copy-editing service

    Decision letter by
    Cite this decision letter
    Reviewer report
    2020/10/10

    In general, I think that the contribution of the manuscript regarding the previous literature is good but hardly explained. The methodology section in overall is quite good. However, it quite noted that there a very poor literature review and theoretical framework. Finally, I am really concerned about the serious overall lack of theoretical and managerial implications of the study.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
    Reviewer report
    2020/07/24

    In my opinion, the entire manuscript should be rewritten from the first person ("I") to third person. The term "I" was used many times and is not appropriate for a scientific research article. I believe that the author presented a a robust and coherent argument and used the theoretical concepts in a well-articulated and appropriate way. The conclusions were well-tied to the other elements of the manuscript. The implications section could be expanded to help the reader integrate and translate the results.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
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