Bragging is a strict no-no if you wish to attract possible romantic partners through online dating. Rather, present yourself as humble and “real,” suggests new research. Braggers are often seen as arrogant or immodest and highlighting your most favourable physical characteristics and personality traits while minimising negative information in the online profile can reduce the viewer’s intention to contact and date you, the study said.
“Daters should strive to present themselves as humble, ‘real’ people,” explained the authors, especially if their goal is to establish a long-term relationship based on trust.
In the study, the researchers ask how specific types of content in online dating profiles affect viewers’ impressions of the profile owner and their intentions to act on what they have seen by contacting the profile owner for a date. Crystal Wotipka and Andrew High of the University of Iowa asked 316 online daters what they thought of particular profiles.
Participants were presented with one of four sample online dating profiles that exhibited different types of content development by the profile owner. The researchers looked specifically at the effects of two concepts - selective-self presentation and warranting.
Selective self-presentation is people’s ability to highlight the most flattering information to others.
In the context of online dating, where the goal is to attract a partner, people are motivated to present a lot of positive information about themselves while minimising negative information - or in other words, to brag a little.
People can “warrant” their online dating profiles by providing access to corroborating sites - for example, a link to a professional biography page or the name of a blog to which they regularly contribute, the authors explained.
The authors found that viewers judged people who were perceived as overly bragging about themselves, their looks or their accomplishments as less trustworthy and less socially attractive, thereby lessening viewer’s intentions to date or contact those profile owners. The findings were published in the journal ‘Communication Monographs’.