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

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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) × 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
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019

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attitude formation
social attraction
Language
language
Cues
personality traits
intelligence
experiment

Keywords

  • dating profiles
  • impression formation
  • language errors
  • language use
  • online dating
  • profile picture

Cite this

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title = "Impression formation on online dating sites: Effects of language errors in profile texts on perceptions of profile owners’ attractiveness",
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) × 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.",
keywords = "dating profiles, impression formation, language errors, language use, online dating, profile picture",
author = "{van der Zanden}, Tess and Alexander Schouten and Maria Mos and Emiel Krahmer",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.1177/0265407519878787",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships",
issn = "0265-4075",
publisher = "Sage Publications Ltd",

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T2 - Effects of language errors in profile texts on perceptions of profile owners’ attractiveness

AU - van der Zanden, Tess

AU - Schouten, Alexander

AU - Mos, Maria

AU - Krahmer, Emiel

PY - 2019/10/3

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AB - 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) × 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.

KW - dating profiles

KW - impression formation

KW - language errors

KW - language use

KW - online dating

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