Online dating might be convenient, but you also don’t know whether or not you’re talking to some old lady in Michigan—and you’ve got to think that the women you’re trying to hit on have the exact same problem.
Turns out, the more ‘enhanced’—that is, airbrushed, well-lit, lots of makeup, and whatnot—a picture is, the ‘hotter’ men rate it, but the less they trust it. That isn’t true of women, though—they trust the enhanced images more. At least, according to researchers Rory McGloin, Amanda Denes, and Olivia Kamisher in research presented at the 65th annual Conference of the International Communication Association.
Researchers had 300 volunteers, men and women, look at dating profile images. The people who supplied the dating profile images did two images each, one normal and one enhanced. Volunteers received an assortment of both types of images, but they didn’t compare two images of the same person.
Volunteers then had to rate each images attractiveness and trustworthiness of a scale of one to ten, and also had to say whether they’d try and date the person.
Everyone really liked the enhanced images; men and women rated these higher than the not enhanced images. However, men always rated the enhanced images as less trustworthy. Women did the opposite—they rated the enhanced images as more attractive and trustworthy. The really interesting thing, though, is that men still said they’d date the women they found less trustworthy.
Men seem to be more aware than women that everyone dating online is a big fat liar. Still, you can make that work for you. Plan your dating profile picture out. Wear a nice shirt, maybe get a photographer buddy to take it, think about digitally cleaning it up. After all, not only will she think you’re more attractive, she’ll think you’re more trustworthy, for some damn reason. And that ain’t bad.