Love me, love my dating foibles


Tess van der Zanden and colleagues at Tilburg University in the Netherlands asked 1,234 users of online dating sites to evaluate the originality of text in several authentic dating profiles and rate the profile owners’ personalities and attractiveness.

The sites included in the study serve users mostly over 50. Profiles used for the study were altered to preserve owners’ anonymity.

Being more original tended to score higher on perceived intelligence, sense of humour, attractiveness, and likelihood of participants wanting to date them.

In general, participants showed high agreement on which profile texts they perceived as original and which they perceived as odd; odd profiles were generally not considered original.

In a second analysis, the researchers analysed the 308 anonymised dating profiles to investigate text features that contribute to perceptions of originality.

They found that text perceived as being more original used original stylistic features, such as metaphors, and these profiles also disclosed personal information.  

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