what does your online dating profile say about you?
According to research by scientists at facebook, of all places, dating sites are invaluable resources for gathering ‘true to life’ data, which is otherwise undocumented.
The researchers have used a selection of the larger dating sites to collate information to study aspects of our personalities that relate to the triggers that fire us up for romance. Other than census information, there are few other places such motivators can be assessed, so almost 600 million dating site hits in one month is a huge pool of data from which to draw specimens to examine.
From the answers provided by the analysis of the matchmaking sites involved, the National Science Foundation funded survey are looking to find the answer to the question that has confounded scientists, romantics and philosophers for centuries: why do we fall in love?
There were several key areas examined to determine what makes online daters tick. The categories were chosen specifically to provide insight into what motivators encourage an initial response, positive or negative, and how relationships either blossomed or fizzled out thereafter.
Amongst many of the other results that the number-crunches have uncovered were traits indicating preferences shown by large sectors of the dating site community towards ‘like’ sectors. It seems that, if the same question is asked by one single to another of similar political or race backgrounds, their answer will be much more positive than to others on the dating site from opposing sectors.
One of the more humorous discoveries, although the individual dating site members may not see the funny side, is that a lot of people would rather admit to being fat than admitting their political preference.
It is unlikely that the members will ever know that they have contributed to the research. This is not so much an invasion of privacy as that statement suggests.
Of the 1,000,000 profiles used for dissecting, which is why the grant from the N.S.F. was so necessary, some of them were dating site members who volunteered their information, but many were incognito profiles donated by the matchmaking and singles sites who agreed to take part in the information-gathering part of the program.
In tomorrow’s part two of this report, we will look at truths, lies and deceit and how the scientists learned to decide between the two. Also interesting are the figures relating to sexual preference and the percentages of each category who meet via an online dating facility.
And there is also a lot more bigotry unveiled than you would perhaps expect in these more enlightened times.
So, I’m just off to politically-correct my profile, before Big Brother frog-marches me off to the lab for further diagnosis…