Researchers have figured out the one thing not to do in your online dating profile

Posted on August 19, 2016

The other day I was sitting on a train with a friend as she flicked through profiles on Bumble, an online dating service in which women have to reach out to men first. I watched her swipe left to reject a professional football team's worth of New York-area hipsters, jocks and nerds. Some were disqualified for being basic-looking bros with too-big arm muscles, and some for trying too hard to be hip, whether emphasizing their DJ gigs or having super hipster photos.

To set yourself apart from the herd, you might be tempted to highlight or exaggerate your accomplishments. But paradoxically, new research suggests that is not the way to go.

A recently published study from researchers at the University of Iowa looked at how specific kinds of content in online dating profiles changed people's perceptions of the profile's owner. They found that trying too hard to impress someone was one common downfall.

Selective self-enhancement is very common online. (How often have you detagged unflattering photos on Facebook?) And the reasons people engage in selective self-enhancement when creating their online dating profiles is clear: They want to highlight their best qualities for any potential suitor.

But the study suggests that, when it comes to online dating, this approach may backfire. The researchers found that people with high selective self-presentation were seen as bragging about their looks and their accomplishments -- and were in turn seen as less socially attractive and less trustworthy. And that translated into fewer contacts and fewer dates.

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Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Washington Post


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