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Deception in online dating profiles

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 · A deceptive on-line profile may attract a partner but once the deception is discovered, trust, disappointment, and betrayal become the centerpiece of the relationship Deception in online dating profiles, Not surprisingly, deception to get dates has been a widespread practice for a long time, (Rowatt et al., ). McCornack and Levine ()  · Abstract. This article investigates whether deceptions in online dating profiles correlate with changes in the way daters write about themselves in the free-text portion of the  · This article investigates whether deceptions in online dating profiles correlate with changes in the way daters write about themselves in the free-text portion of the  · In the study, 69 currently active online daters were invited to come into a lab. They were given their online dating profile and asked to rate the level of deception of specific ... read more

Or what if you have to pick an answer from a predetermined select of labels or phrases? How do you manage that online? Finally, a third dynamic involves ideas about what others are doing. People in the online dating sphere tend to think that most folks distort their profile to some degree. And this perspective can give them a sense of permission to do a little fabricating of their own. Another person from the same online dating research I've been quoting aptly expressed this mindset:.

So if I say I am 44, people think that I am But do a lot of individuals fib in their profile? Fibs are also more likely to occur in some topics than in others, with the most common being weight, height, and age, in that order; other instances of deception in profiles include hobbies, financial means, and personal qualities. And in spite of the pretty significant fictions that can appear, in most cases any untruths are on the smaller side.

But the science is a bit mixed when it comes to these lesser lies in profiles. Some research tells us that people are inclined to view them as okay, whereas other results indicate that they tend to look down on dishonesty in a profile. And even though confessions of profile dishonesty can and do happen once people start interacting with each other online, misstatements in the profile viewing stage arguably lay the groundwork for those distortions to continue later in the private online communication stage.

Although the aim of lying in this context is usually to spark a romantic connection, research reveals that it can have the opposite impact. According to the results, if people become suspicious that their date has been dishonest in their emails, this is connected to dwindling attraction and less interest in going out on another date.

But why would such a backlash happen? So what does all of this imply? Should people spotlight all their flaws or post an unflattering photo? Not at all. To say that dating can be a lively adventure is to acknowledge only half of the journey. It can also feel like an unnerving uphill struggle at times. In the end, the willingness to be both positive and genuine may provide the best self- advertising of all.

Ellison, N. Profile as promiseL A framework for conceptualizing veracity in online dating self-presentations. New Media and Society, 14 , Managing impressions online: Self-presentation processes in the online dating environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 , Feldman, R. Self-presentation and verbal deception: Do self-presenters lie more? Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 24 , Leary, M. Oxford Academic is home to a wide variety of products.

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Abstract This article investigates whether deceptions in online dating profiles correlate with changes in the way daters write about themselves in the free-text portion of the profile, and whether these changes are detectable by both computerized linguistic analyses and human judges.

Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all slides. Sign in Get help with access. They paint a picture of busy-ness or tragedy that keeps them away even while they continue to emotionally feed the relationship with an other. Catfish avoid detection by positioning themselves in a position of perceived referential power. They build relationships of confidence and trust, which are aided by the medium of social networks where users are encouraged to share information.

This discussion is relevant because as online dating sites grow in popularity, the act of entering into a relationship online is also gaining acceptance.

Social networking sites provide a rich research venue for people who are interested in getting to know someone romantically—and the information may be more honestly presented here than in online dating sites as we try to capture our lives through personal photos, shares, and Likes.

As our culture encourages us to widen our online networks, it may be time to begin to emphasize quality over quantity. Have you been catfished? How did you find out? What do you think the trigger signs are that not all is as it seems? Creeping Connectivity: Work and Life in a Hyper-Connected World. Don't read the comments! Why do we read the comments when we know they'll be bad?

What does it mean when we need to take a break from Facebook? Oracles Past and Present: Our Means of Managing Information. Online deception: prevalence, motivation, and emotion.

Ellison, N. Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 2 , DOI: Hancock, Jeffrey T. DOI: The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow Krystal D'Costa on Twitter. Already a subscriber?

Sign in. Thanks for reading Scientific American. Create your free account or Sign in to continue. See Subscription Options. The growing popularity of online dating The dating scene has been changing over the last decade. And more importantly, could we spot a catfish if one swam into our network? Casting a hook The term catfish was made popular by the documentary film by the same name which has also morphed into a series on MTV.

Pleasing to the eye Catfish are successful because their actions mirror offline behaviors. Don't tell fish stories where the people know you But there are places online where the possibility of that offline meeting is minimized. The sea grows wider This discussion is relevant because as online dating sites grow in popularity, the act of entering into a relationship online is also gaining acceptance. x Hancock, Jeffrey T. Follow Krystal D'Costa on Twitter Recent Articles by Krystal D'Costa The Rise of Pumpkin Spice How Do Leaders Impact Our Definition of Responsibility?

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The dating scene has been changing over the last decade. This data represents a significant shift in the perception of online dating, suggesting that the stigma associated with the practice is dropping:. Despite these signs of growing acceptance, an undercurrent of hesitation and uncertainty persists when it comes to online relationships:.

While some of us may Friend more discriminately than others, we live in a time where it's common to build online networks that include secondary and tertiary connections. So don't look so sheepish if you've ever added your friend's aunt's step-brother's son or a random bartender or significant other of a friend you haven't spoken to since high school to one of your online networks—you aren't alone!

We've actually been taught that this makes us good networkers—even thought it overlooks quality in favor of quantity—because the objective is to cast as wide a net as possible when building a network. But in this social strategy, how do we know that anyone is who they claim to be? The term catfish was made popular by the documentary film by the same name which has also morphed into a series on MTV.

It refers to a person who is intentionally deceptive when creating a social media profile, often with the goal of making a romantic connection. This deception can be elaborate, and may involve the use of fake photos, fake biographies, and sometimes fictitious supporting networks as well. The documentary followed the online relationship between photographer Yanev "Nev" Shulman and a young woman named Megan, whom Nev "met" after receiving a painting of one his photographs from her younger sister Abby.

Nev connected with Abby, and subsequently her family, over email, phone, and eventually Facebook. His relationship with Megan grew until discrepancies in the information she shared were revealed.

When questioned, she was evasive, prompting more questions and leading to additional disappointments as Nev discovered that not everything was as it seemed. He traveled to her home where he learned that Abby's mother was actually playing the part of Megan.

She fabricated an entire life on Facebook using strangers' pictures and their information. She even went so far as to have her fictitious characters interact with each other on Facebook to make it appear on though they were members of a real network.

In the television series, Nev documents the stories of people who have been in online relationships for lengthy periods of time without meeting the other person. They contact Nev because they are ready to take the next step or because something feels off and they want answers.

He travels with one of the couple for the meeting, helping to highlight skeptical elements of the story along the way, asking them to question why the relationship has unfolded as it has.

Sometimes things are what they appear to be and distance or time has kept the couple from formally meeting, but often there's an element of deception; for example, people may look nothing like their photographs or may be pretending to be of another gender or are in another relationship. The web has had a reputation as a place where anonymity is permitted. However, social networking sites tend to encourage greater degrees of transparency.

Users are required to create a profile, which helps to establish an online identity. Over time a user's sum total of online activities paint a picture of who that user may be but we don't always question this information.

We tend to forget that we see what others want us to see when it comes to crafting an identity. A catfish banks on this shortsightedness and shapes his or her profile s to serve us exactly what we want. They're emphatic, they're sympathetic, and they're like-minded. The manipulation is so subtle that we don't realize the ways in which the "click" that is the hallmark of a relationship is being orchestrated. Catfish are successful because their actions mirror offline behaviors. We choose what we believe to be the best of ourselves to share with others.

We highlight knowledge, skills, and tendencies that help establish our connection to particular social groups—and hopefully the person in front of us well. Sociologist Erving Goffman believed that this sort of editing of the self to shape the impression we make on others sits at the core of social interaction. We want to appear as similar as possible to the object of our interaction; acceptance secures our place within our networks. This plays out online as well. Think about your Facebook profile photo, for example.

How much time and thought did you invest in its selection? Did you think about how that photo represented you? You probably didn't pick a photo where you thought you looked badly. And if it was a particularly good picture, when was the last time you changed it? Do you still look like that person or are you choosing to represent yourself as the person you were in that moment?

I know I'm firing off a lot of questions, but the point is that these are exercises of representation. And within these exercises deception might actually help us create an image of ourselves that has mass appeal. This type of deception can be somewhat contained offline.

After all, when you're face-to-face with someone, they have to support the image they're presenting. This isn't quite as true online—or rather, there's some flexibility that arises from the disjuncture between a user's profile and interaction with that user.

Because it's not instantaneous, users have the opportunity to craft a specific image and adjust that image over time. We can plan and edit ourselves in this medium. This becomes slightly more nuanced with online dating. Online dating profiles are designed to emphasize relatively personal data, including things like height, weight, age, and preferences.

Users may feel pressured to alter this information to present what they perceive is their ideal self and maximize their attractiveness. Men are more likely to alter their height, perhaps because it is a reflection of status, while women are more likely to provide lower estimates on weight, likely because we place a high premium of desirability on the notion of "skinniness. Online presentation in dating applications and social networks is guided by the possibility of a future offline meeting.

This means users eventually have to come to terms with the image they craft online. In this regard, it's easy to explain discrepancies in weight and height as both can fluctuate. But age? Not quite as easy to get away with. But before that offline meeting, users have to judge the information they see.

Profiles in these settings are highly scrutinized against the measures by which users believe they will be judged themselves. For example , rampant misspellings or language misuse might be interpreted as a lack of interest or a lack of education.

These types of deceptions allow online daters to create an ideal self. And that's no different from the selves we create on other social networking sites, or the selves we try to generate when we meet people in offline settings.

However, we're kept honest to certain degree by the real-time interactions. This expectation of honesty helps us trust in the online networks that we build, particularly when it comes to secondary and tertiary contacts.

But there are places online where the possibility of that offline meeting is minimized. For example, in MUDs where people are actively creating characters outside of themselves, there is little expectation of a real life meeting with the character you might interact with online. That character is free from any trait of its originator. It is free to hold any occupation, be any age, switch gender, and be an expert in anything.

These spaces are greatly different from social networks where you also have the expectation of interacting with an actual person. This expectation generates the trust that allows a catfish to infiltrate the network and survive.

The degree of scrutiny of profiles and the effort of validation of identity are less on social networking sites than dating sites because the end goal is not necessarily an offline meeting. The assumption is that behaviors on the social networking site are uniform, so if the catfish adopts the social norms of the network e.

Why do they do it? The reasons are complex, but may be rooted in the "online disinhibition effect," where the potential for anonymity in online spaces reduces people's responsiveness to social and moral codes.

Catfish lean heavily on avoiding offline meetings. They paint a picture of busy-ness or tragedy that keeps them away even while they continue to emotionally feed the relationship with an other. Catfish avoid detection by positioning themselves in a position of perceived referential power. They build relationships of confidence and trust, which are aided by the medium of social networks where users are encouraged to share information.

This discussion is relevant because as online dating sites grow in popularity, the act of entering into a relationship online is also gaining acceptance. Social networking sites provide a rich research venue for people who are interested in getting to know someone romantically—and the information may be more honestly presented here than in online dating sites as we try to capture our lives through personal photos, shares, and Likes.

As our culture encourages us to widen our online networks, it may be time to begin to emphasize quality over quantity. Have you been catfished? How did you find out? What do you think the trigger signs are that not all is as it seems? Creeping Connectivity: Work and Life in a Hyper-Connected World. Don't read the comments! Why do we read the comments when we know they'll be bad?

What does it mean when we need to take a break from Facebook? Oracles Past and Present: Our Means of Managing Information. Online deception: prevalence, motivation, and emotion. Ellison, N. Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 2 , DOI: Hancock, Jeffrey T. DOI: The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow Krystal D'Costa on Twitter. Already a subscriber?

What Lies Beneath: The Linguistic Traces of Deception in Online Dating Profiles,About the Author

Deception in online dating profiles, Not surprisingly, deception to get dates has been a widespread practice for a long time, (Rowatt et al., ). McCornack and Levine ()  · In the study, 69 currently active online daters were invited to come into a lab. They were given their online dating profile and asked to rate the level of deception of specific  · A deceptive on-line profile may attract a partner but once the deception is discovered, trust, disappointment, and betrayal become the centerpiece of the relationship  · Abstract. This article investigates whether deceptions in online dating profiles correlate with changes in the way daters write about themselves in the free-text portion of the  · This article investigates whether deceptions in online dating profiles correlate with changes in the way daters write about themselves in the free-text portion of the ... read more

Sign in Get help with access. As our culture encourages us to widen our online networks, it may be time to begin to emphasize quality over quantity. According to the results, if people become suspicious that their date has been dishonest in their emails, this is connected to dwindling attraction and less interest in going out on another date. Online: Dr. Access to content on Oxford Academic is often provided through institutional subscriptions and purchases.

Deception in online dating: Significance and implications for the first offline date. Posted March 27, Share. Some research tells us that people are inclined to view them as okay, whereas other results indicate that they tend to look down on dishonesty in a profile. enw EndNote, deception in online dating profiles. The web has had a reputation as a place where anonymity is permitted. Sign in through your institution Choose this option to get remote access when outside your institution.

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