Online dating behaviors studied

by Dating Goddess on August 7, 2010

A recent article shared conclusions from researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Information. The paper “Self-presentation and Deception in Online Dating” found pretty much what we’ve known all along. For example:

  • Men are more likely to make the first move, sending that first “wink” or email. They’re quicker to respond to women’s queries.
  • Women responded to only 16 percent of messages, and they take longer to respond.
  • Both genders seek partners similar to themselves in age, education, height, religion, politics and views about smoking.
  • Women are less open-minded, at least regarding ethnicity. They’re twice as likely as men to specify that they’re seeking someone of their own ethnicity.
  • Both sexes tell white lies. Men say they are a half-inch taller. Women shave five pounds off their weight.
  • Women’s profiles related more to home, sex and emotions; men’s profiles talked about work.
  • A photograph is the dominant predictor of whether men will connect. Women value narratives in profiles in addition to pictures.

Some of this information was garnered by content analysis of people’s actual online behavior. They tracked people’s actions (who initiated contact, how long it took to respond, words in profiles). But they must have interviewed daters to get the info on what was attractive in a profile, their true height and how much they really weighed.

In another study reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by a team from Harvard Business School, Boston University and MIT, the conclusion was that less is more in how much is shared in a profile. Their reasoning: when a lot of information is exchanged, more differences are exposed and there is less attraction.

Now this conclusion I found interesting. I am not drawn to men who say nearly nothing in their profiles. I want to know what’s important to them.It is true that some of them disclose things that prompt an immediate delete but I think that is good that I don’t waste time on people who share something I find repelling. I share a lot in my profile, even though I know most men don’t read much of a woman’s profile. I want those who do to know as much about me as can be shared in a written essay.

What do you think of these two studies? Anything here but common sense?

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