Why does Tinder work? A biological anthropologist explains

Users of the dating app assess potential partners in much the same way as neanderthals did, according to anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University.

“Tinder is nothing new,” says Fisher.

“It’s just a new interface for doing things the way we did them millions of years ago.

Tinder works well because it mimics the first thing you have to do in a real-life encounter — you have to look at the person,” Fisher said.

And you can tell a lot about a person from just looking.

Calling apps like Tinder and websites like OkCupid “dating sites” is somewhat of a misnomer, according to Fisher.

“The bottom line is these are not dating sites,” she said. “They’re introducing sites.”

“You can swipe all you want, but eventually you’ll have to meet someone in person.”

“And when you get into the bar or into the coffeehouse or whatever [to meet a Tinder date], and you sit down, the ancient human brain works the way it always has and you court the way you did a million years ago.”