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Online Dating Behavior Similar to Real Life

A researcher has found that people who lie on online dating services are people-pleasers who want to present themselves in the most favorable light to get someone to like them.

Interestingly, the behavior would be the same if the individuals were dating in the traditional, face-to-face manner.

Jeffrey Hall, a University of Kansas researcher and assistant professor of communication studies, surveyed more than 5,000 participants in a national Internet matchmaking service to determine what kinds of people are most likely to lie during the online dating process.

He asked them how likely they were to lie about topics such as assets, relationship goals, personal interests, personal attributes, past relationships, age and weight.

“What people lie about depends on what kind of people they are,” Hall said.

“For example, if you’re an extrovert, you might downplay the number of past relationships you’ve had because chances are you’ve had more relationships than an introvert.”

Those most likely to lie during online dating experiences are “high self-monitors” — people who have an acute sense of what people like and control their behavior to achieve social ends. Their actions are not necessarily manipulative, Hall said, but rather reflect a desire to be liked and to fit in.

Hall’s research was published in the February issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

The journal also produced a podcast with Hall, which can be found here.

In the study, men admitted to lying more overall, but women were most likely to lie about their weight. Because online daters hope to meet face-to-face eventually, the amount of lying is quite small, Hall said.

“Online daters shouldn’t be concerned that most people are presenting a false impression of themselves,” Hall said.

“What influences face-to-face dating influences the online world, too.”

Source: Kansas University

Online Dating Behavior Similar to Real Life

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Online Dating Behavior Similar to Real Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/03/04/online-dating-behavior-similar-to-real-life/11868.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.