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But, with a particularly compatible partner, more information led to more liking.
For online daters, this means that a very detailed profile might attract fewer, but more compatible suitors (Norton et al., 2007).
In light of these findings, the researchers presented some advice to potential online daters: “Choose wisely and, if possible, be female” (Fiore et al., 2010).
This study also leads to some intriguing design ideas for online dating sites’ automatic matching systems, which present users with sets of likely partners.
More popular users are contacted more and, therefore, are less likely to respond to any one user.
Taking this into account, dating sites may want to steer users toward slightly less popular potential dates who are more likely to respond, “a trade-off many users may willingly accept” (Fiore et al., 2010).
In general, women really are pickier than men — listing smaller ranges in their preferences for age and ethnicity.
Fiore has also found that women responded more frequently to men whose popularity on the site (a measure based on the average number of people contacting the user per day) was similar to their own (Fiore, 2010).
Take Your Pick For millions of years, humans have been selecting mates using the wealth of information gleaned in face-to-face interactions — not just appearance, but characteristics such as tone of voice, body language, and scent, as well as immediate feedback to their own communications. Or are words the key to someone’s heart (or at least their inbox)?
Does mate selection differ when those looking are presented with an almost overwhelming number of potential partners, but limited to a few photos, statistics, and an introductory paragraph about each one? In one survey of Australian online daters, 85% said they would not contact someone without a posted photo, so physical appearance is indeed important (Fiore et al., 2008).
Online dating service users tend to contact people who are about as attractive as they are, but does your own attractiveness level influence how attractive you believe others to be?
One research team put this question to the test on the website HOTor