"We found people want to contact a person who appears to be accurate in what they are saying about themselves online," said Andy High, assistant professor in the University of Iowa's Department of Communication Studies and corresponding author of the study.
"It is tough when it comes to dating profiles because we want someone who seems like an amazing person, but we also hopefully will have a relationship with this individual, so we want them to exist," High said.
High and Crystal Wotipka, lead author of the study and graduate teaching assistant in the UI's Department of Communication Studies, wanted to know how people who use online dating sites respond to different ways people present themselves online.
Researchers found most people were drawn to individuals whose profiles were positive but not over-the-top glowing.
Study participants preferred people whose online persona could be clearly traced to a real person.
That means people want details, not broad generalities, especially about where a prospective love interest works and what he or she does for a living, researchers said.
Researchers found the more specific information a profile contained that could be traced to a real person, the more the viewer trusted the profile.

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