Here's what people really think about your 'free-spirited' dating profile

It should come as no surprise that people draw deep personal conclusions based on dating profiles.

Marketing researchers created a “traditional/uptight” and an “open/free-spirited” fake dating profile for two people in Boston and then asked 65 undergraduates at a US university to rate them on categories like trustworthiness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.

Here are the profiles (uptight on the left, free-spirited on the right):

The uptight profiles — you know, the ones where the person has a shirt on — outperformed the free-spirited profiles on two key tests: trustworthiness and interpersonal attraction.

The two profiles scored differently on the “Big Five” personality traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Which of those traits are good is largely a matter of preference.

The study, “A Match Made…Online?” was produced by Seunga Venus Jin, PhD and Cassie Martin, BA and published in Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.

As a caveat, remember that the study was small, and it was based on college students. Perhaps non-college students have more respect for wild and crazy dating profiles … but we wouldn’t count on it.

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