Most people are presenting a false impression of themselves online, according to a recent CNN.com article, Online dating liars: Why they do it, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.
According to Jason Hanna, it’s probably because they’re people pleasers — the type of people who’d try to put themselves in the best light even if you’d found them offline first, according to a University of Kansas researcher.
In professor Jeffrey Hall’s survey of 5,020 men and women who belonged to an undisclosed Internet dating site, most respondents indicated they wouldn’t lie. But those saying they were most likely to lie generally gave answers to other questions indicating they were people pleasers, or “high self-monitors.”
Such people have an acute sense of what others like and control their own behavior accordingly for social ends. Because they want to be liked and fit in, these people, whether online or off, may lie about weight, age, income and interests, Hall said.
“The type of people who misrepresented themselves online is the same type of people who do so face-to-face,”
The study explored the likelihood that respondents (who belonged to an online dating site) would misrepresent their education, income, relationship goals, personal interests, weight and age to a potential date online. The good news is that on average, most people indicated that they were less likely to do so, and the results were pretty even between men and women.
The other good news is that chances are good that they’re telling the truth if the dating site is geared toward long-term relationships.
“Online daters shouldn’t be concerned that most people are presenting a false impression of themselves,” Hall said in a news release. “What influences face-to-face dating influences the online world, too.”