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Men And Women Have Opposite Reactions To Enhanced Profile Pictures, Study Finds

Lonely souls seeking love on the Internet put a lot of time and thought into selecting the best profile picture of themselves for online dating websites. While they may think that doing so will place them in the best possible position to land their soul mate, new research suggests they’re actually doing the opposite, as new research indicates that enhancing profile pictures actually diminishes the chances of landing a new date.

In the study, which was conducted by the University of Connecticut, researchers found edited DPs and filter-full profile pictures – no matter how attractive they make love seekers look – are perceived in a different light by the viewers.

The study analyzed feedback from 671 straight participants in regards to photos of the opposite sex. The pictures served to them were a mix of raw and altered, and both sets evoked varying responses among those participating in the study.

It was observed that men found ‘edited’ or ‘enhanced’ photos of women enticing but they wouldn’t trust them as much as they would a female with an unedited photograph. The study’s lead researcher Rory McGloin further explained that men found enhanced pictures much more attractive, but the level of trust and faith in them for the person behind that profile plummeted drastically. He thinks that this lack of trust could lead to problems later on in the relationship.

Meanwhile, the findings on women’s perception of glossy and altered images of men were completely the opposite. They too are lured in by heavily edited profile pictures, but instead of trusting the person less, they do so even more. This is so because women equate good looks with positive personality too.

Explaining the study, McGloin said:

Trust is an important part of any relationship and it certainly plays an important role in the forging of new social bonds in the dating context. Yet, we found an interesting relationship between attractiveness and trust for males who were viewing female profile pictures. Specifically, men typically found the more beautified and therefore more attractive profile to also be less trustworthy. This finding provides an empirical highlight to the concept of cat- fishing and the larger phenomena surrounding online dating, in which it is both normal and acceptable for individuals’ to mislead or deceive their potential suitors.”

Our research also found that males found the beautified profile as more attractive and had a higher desire to date the person in the picture despite the lower degree of trustworthiness they reported. This finding suggests that even when men suspect that a woman may not look exactly like she does in her profile picture, they are willing to take the risk and pursue a date with her. In our sample, attraction seems to be more important than trust.

What are your thoughts on this recent study’s findings regarding altered profile pictures on online dating sites and their impact on the opposite sex?

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