What do people lie about in online dating?
This study examines factors (including gender, self-monitoring, the big five personality traits, and demographic characteristics) that influence online dating service users’ strategic misrepresentation (i.e., the conscious and intentional misrepresentation of personal characteristics). Using data from a survey of online dating service users (N = 5,020), seven categories of misrepresentation — personal assets, relationship goals, personal interests, personal attributes, past relationships, weight, and age — were examined. The study found that men are more likely to misrepresent personal assets, relationship goals, personal interests, and personal attributes, whereas women are more likely to misrepresent weight. The study further discovered that self-monitoring (specifically other-directedness) was the strongest and most consistent predictor of misrepresentation in online dating. Agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness also showed consistent relationships with misrepresentation.
Source: “Strategic misrepresentation in online dating: The effects of gender, self-monitoring, and personality traits” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships