If you're looking for love on social media dating sites your success may rest with the person one swipe before you.

Researchers from University of Sydney's School of Psychology have discovered users of Tinder and online dating apps are more likely to rate a face as attractive if they think the preceding face is attractive.

The study, published in today's Nature journal's Scientific Reports, used 60 male profiles from the Hot or Not dating app and gave study participants a choice between attractive or not attractive options.

The study's lead author Dr Jessica Taubert said offering participants a simple question reflected the system used by dating sites such as Tinder.


"Love or lust at first sight is a cliche that has been around for years. Our research gives weight to a new theory: people are more likely to find love at second swipe," she said.

Each participant was shown a profile picture on screen, which was then replaced with a white cross until they rated the picture as attractive or unattractive.

Dr Taubert said to best reflect popular apps such as Tinder, participants were given just two options rather than rating a person on a scale.

Researchers investigated the visual science behind attractiveness judgments by applying a concept called "serial dependence".

Dr Taubert said the study found evidence of serial dependence in Tinder users' judgments, and that a face would look more attractive when the previous face was attractive.

The report comes as Waiuku is crowned the home of New Zealand's funniest singles.

Single people in South Auckland township rated top in the country for their ability to make others laugh according to a survey of 40,000 people registered with dating site Elite Singles.