Big lies people tell online dating
To understand how often people lied to their partners and what they falsified, we evaluated hundreds of text messages exchanged after daters swiped right, but before they met – a period we call “the discovery phase.” We recruited an online sample of over 200 participants who provided us with their messages from a recent dating conversation and identified the lies, with some participants explaining why these messages were deceptive and not jokes.
We found that lies could be categorized into two main types.
Past research focused largely on the dating profile.
Studies have found, for example, that men tend to overstate their height and lie about their occupation, while women understate their weight and tend to have less accurate photos than their counterparts.
In our studies, the number of lies told by a participant was positively associated with the number of lies they believed their partner told.
So if you’re honest and tell few lies, you think that others are being honest as well.
One too many big lies can be problematic for finding “the one.” There was another interesting result that speaks to the nature of deception during the discovery phase.
But in the world of online dating sites, it is very difficult for the browser that is casual inform truth from just what could possibly be fiction.
With this behind-the-scenes perspective, we’re able to shed some light on some typical claims as well as the likely realities to their rear. The male levels on Ok Cupid very nearly proceed with the expected normal distribution — except the whole lot is shifted to the right of where it must be.
The Conversation is funded by the National Research Foundation, eight universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and South Africa.
It is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Western Cape, the African Population and Health Research Centre and the Nigerian Academy of Science.In a 2018 paper, my colleague Jeff Hancock and I wondered: How often do people who use dating apps lie? Our studies are some of the first to address these questions, but others have also examined deception in online dating.