Virtual lies and real insights into (online) dating

In a new study published in the
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, researchers uncover the truth behind the white lies that permeate online dating profiles.

On March 8, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, launched a new feature to their online section, Relationship Matters, a podcast series that interviews researchers about their published studies. The podcast opened with Jeffrey A. Hall, PhD, assistant professor at University of Kansas and lead researcher on the study that surveyed online daters to gain insight into gender differences, self-monitoring and misrepresentation.

Hall explained that the survey used detailed questions to highlight individual personality traits with respect to openness, extroversion, education and income. "We also asked a series of questions on an important trait that we call self monitoring," Hall continued "self monitoring is about how we try to present ourselves in a favorable light to others, to make people like us. Someone who scores as 'low' on self monitoring is extremely authentic when describing themselves in all circumstances, and those who score 'high' are more prone to so-called white lies."

The researchers also found a subtle gender gap, women tend to lie more about their weight and men were more apt to lie about their interest in a long-term relationship and misrepresent past relationships. However, Hall and his team concluded that men and women behave that same as they would if introduced face-to-face; dispelling the myths about gender and online dating site are filled with only lies. Basically if a person (irrespective of gender) is going to lie, it doesn't matter if they are online or not.

The study's key findings for those actively online dating is that extroversion will make a person more likely to lie and openness brings out the truth. "What people lie about really depends on the type of people they are," said Hall. "Someone who is really open to new experiences, likes going hiking in the mountains, likes to go travel to foreign countries - they are very unlikely to misrepresent themselves based upon their interests because they are very interesting people. A more open person would be very unlikely to lie about what they are interested in because they are interested in many things."

However extroverts, people that are more outgoing "meet new people, well actually they are more likely to misrepresent themselves based upon their past relationships because they tend to have a lot of past relationships," Hall said.  Extroverts have more relationships and "as a consequence have more opportunity to misrepresent themselves."

Research concluded that "for the most part men and women are quite similar" and "lying is not a prevalent behavior" amongst a diverse 5000-subject pool that included a range of ethnicity, class, education, ages 18-96 that were single, divorced and separated.

Later this year, Hall along with some of the colleagues from this study, will publish a new study "Individual differences in the communication of romantic interest: Development of the flirting styles inventory" in Communications Quarterly, an academic journal, about the five factors in the way people communicate their interest.

The study, "Strategic misrepresentation in online dating: The effects of gender, self-monitoring, and personality traits":
Relationships Matter podcast with Dr. Hall:


peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

    £16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

    £100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits