Impression formation on online dating sites: Effects of language errors in profile texts on perceptions of profile owners’ attractiveness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This article presents two experimental studies investigating the impact of language errors in online dating profiles on impression formation. A first study examined whether language errors have a negative effect on perceptions of attraction and dating intention and whether this effect is moderated by the presence of visual information, that is, the profile picture. This 2 (Language Errors/No Language Errors) x 2 (Visible/Blurred Picture) experiment revealed that language errors negatively affect perceptions of social and romantic attraction and that a visible picture on a profile positively affects perceptions of physical attraction. Study 2 focused on mechanical, rule-based, and informal language errors, which can each be attributed to different personality traits. Mechanical and rule-based errors lead to lower scores on, respectively, perceived attentiveness and intelligence, which in turn lead to lower attraction and dating intention scores. These results highlight the importance of error-free language use as a cue for attractiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0265407519878787
Pages (from-to)758-778
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • dating profiles
  • impression formation
  • language errors
  • language use
  • online dating
  • profile picture
  • SELF-DISCLOSURE
  • REAL ME
  • STRATEGIES
  • IMPACTS

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