Here’s The Message Your Online Dating Profile Is Sending, According To Scientists

Photo:© Dmitry/Dollar Photo Club

Creating a perfect profile is one of the initial and most important challenges of online dating. Some people want to come off mysterious, some want to “sound” serious, while others want to leave an easy-going personality impression.

The way you describe your personality, your hobbies, your likes and dislikes can have a huge impact on what message your online profile sends to other people. The actual language you use to express the important things about you may be just as important as the information you’re actually giving about yourself.

New research published in the journal Personal Relationships suggests that things like the length of your profile, the number of positive and negative words you use, and whether or not you use swear words, are all sending subtle signals and influencing how other online daters assess your personality.

If you want your profile to be more popular and noticed by many new people, researchers suggest some simple tweaks you can use:

“Online daters who wish to be perceived as more consistent with the ideal romantic partner personality profile should write fairly lengthy ads that use an abundance of positive emotion words, and refrain from any negative emotionality or cursing,” the researchers say.

When you’re on the receiving end, and you’re looking at someone’s profile, you might think about this: most of what you pick up on about people from their online profiles doesn’t actually match up with them in real life, according to this study.

The researchers have recruited volunteers for the study. Half of them were genuinely interested in finding a partner and the other half were neutral judges to assess the personalities of 100 people based on their dating ads.

“Judges’ impressions of extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability — 3 traits that are strongly desired in a romantic partner — were influenced by particular lexical cues, such as word count, emotionality, and profanity,” the researchers say.

Photo:© AILA_IMAGES/Dollar Photo Club
Photo:© AILA_IMAGES/Dollar Photo Club

Judges rated the people who wrote long ads as more extraverted and agreeable, likely because the long profile made these people seem more outgoing and talkative — as if they had more exciting social lives and more hobbies and interests than those who wrote shorter profiles. Judges rated people as “more neurotic if they used more negative emotion words, fewer positive emotion words, and more swear words” in their profiles, according to the study.

Word choice influences the way we perceive someone’s personality, but the researchers decided to also test the accuracy of those perceptions.

The people who wrote the dating ads that were used for the study have agreed to fill out a personality test. The researchers then compared the judges’ personality assessment to the results from each person’s personality tests.

The results have shown that the only thing the judges were able to perceive accurately is whether someone was an introvert or an extrovert. They’ve apparently failed on everything else.

“Like most individuals seeking romantic relationships, online daters may be motivated to present their ideal, as opposed to actual, self,” they write in the paper.

When we present ourselves on our dating profiles, of course we are going to do it in the most flattering way we see fit. It is important, however, that we truly describe ourselves for what we are, rather than for what we would like to become. While this upgraded, superb version of ourselves might attract more potential matches, it could turn out to be a really bad strategy for people who are looking for long-term relationships. When an individual gets attracted by our online dating profile, they expect to meet the person who’s presented, not a wanna-be.

The research has also shown that if a first impression doesn’t hold up, people are less likely to pursue that person as a partner.


Via Tech Insider