Online dating behavior psychology
Research does show that a little exaggeration in online dating profiles is common.As I detailed in an earlier post, the most common lies told by online daters concern age and physical appearance. There is, surprisingly, still some stigma attached to online dating, despite its general popularity.Gross misrepresentations about education or relationship status are rare, in part because people realize that once they meet someone in person and begin to develop a relationship, serious lies are highly likely to be revealed. Many people continue to see it as a last refuge for desperate people who can’t get a date “in real life." Many couples that meet online are aware of this stigma and, if they enter into a serious relationship, may create false cover stories about how they met. A common belief is that love found online can't last.As far as the demographic characteristics of online daters, a large survey using a nationally representative sample of recently married adults found that compared to those who met their spouses offline, those who met online were more likely to be working, Hispanic, or of a higher socioeconomic status—not exactly a demographic portrait of desperate losers. Because online dating hasn’t been around that long, it’s hard to fully assess the long-term success of relationships that began on the Internet, but two surveys have attempted to do so.Humans are remarkably adept at navigating complex social worlds and instinctively picking up on familiar signs that might indicate compatibility.As a species we’ve been doing this for millions of years; as individuals all our lives.
Let’s examine four common myths, and why they're wrong: 1. There is a widespread belief that dating sites are filled with dishonest people trying to take advantage of earnest, unsuspecting singles.It is slow, deliberative and analytical, a product of our (relatively) recently evolved prefrontal cortex; it enables us to make complex computations, and to direct our attention at particular tasks.System 1, by contrast, is fast, automatic and emotion-led, driven by far older neural circuits; it operates automatically and with little sense of agency. Effective decision-making requires both systems – but sometimes it is better to use one over the other. In the real (offline) world, sussing out a potential partner is – at least in the beginning – indisputably a system 1 activity.We hope to learn, among other things, what kind of pictures give the best insights, what content users most readily connect with, and what someone’s choice of pictures says about them.We’d also like to know if users, when given the opportunity to delve more deeply into people’s lives (rather than just swiping through a series of head shots), spend more time considering individual profiles, and are more satisfied and ultimately more successful if they have fewer profiles to browse (as predicted by numerous studies).
Of those who were still married, the couples that met online reported marital satisfaction than those who met offline.