Online dating profiles: a deceptive image of an individual or true representation?

When it comes to online dating profiles, many of us wonder how accurate are they? How is the picture in the profile picked? How our internal processes work when choosing a potential date and what does make us click on a certain profile? These are some legitimate questions about adult dating. The question of how deceptive a dating profile is, hunts us until the last moment. However, some researchers had the same questions and interviewed more users of online dating websites. They found out that in the process of creating a dating profile, although the user deviates from their physical attributes in a small measure, the differences don’t have a large magnitude. But let’s analyze deeper the differences between the profile’s content and reality, the picture chosen for the profile and reality and what makes us click on a specific profile and not another one.

The differences in profile descriptions are gender-orientated
Let’s take a look first at the dating profile’s descriptions. When researchers asked eighty subjects to rate how accurate their descriptions on online dating profiles are they rated the accuracy levels quite high. After analyzing the differences found in the body features of the subjects, and the profile, they found some differences, but not significant ones. However, the interesting part was that the differences appeared in gender-orientated attributes. For instance, males put a few extra inches in their height, while females cut several pounds from their weights. This shows how both genders are struggling to respond to certain societal expectations. However, when asked if they would be bothered if a potential partner would adopt the same strategy in their profiles, the responses were preponderantly “No”. This means that although people in general are struggling to fit a certain image and that they are willing to slightly deform it for this purpose, they know to adjust their expectations quite easily.

The differences in profile pictures are unnoticeable
Yes, people using free dating sites might be tempted to pick profile pictures in which their complexion appears to be smoother, and females choose pictures in which their make-up is flawless. However, a common line seemed to be the poses. All respondents had pictures with them smiling, which is known to be a highly attractive feature. However, were they in real life happy people? As a matter a fact yes, they were. When analyzing their social media platforms, the researchers found out that their attitude on life is generally a positive one.

What makes us pick a certain dating profile?
When people do not deliberately shade their true preferences in potential romantic partners, things are easier. We choose the exact profiles that respond to our necessities and wishes. Take the profiles of people having a picture in which they smile as a profile picture, for instance. A mix of physical and psychological attributes seems to be the answer to this question. They all depend from individual to individual, making it difficult to centralize the answers. However, online dating profiles seem to be more accurate than many might be tempted to think.

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About Jennifer Garrett

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