Is Research Worth it When it Comes to Finding a Relationship?


Google’s doodle video on Valentine’s Day (found here)  made a lot of people question Internet research and whether it’s beneficial when it comes to finding a relationship.  In the video, a boy searches Google for ways to impress a girl, but after trying all of the search engine’s suggestions, he still fails to get her attention.


Catalina Toma, from the University of Wisconsin, and Jeffrey Hancock, from Cornell University, put together a little communication research study involving people who partake in online dating.  With an online dating profile, your personality is defined by whatever you want to print about yourself.  Because your personality is pretty much a piece of paper, it’s hard to tell whether someone is telling the truth or not.

Toma and Hancock found that about 80% of online daters lie about themselves on their profile – mainly about their height, weight, or age.  When they looked into it further, they found that there are actually signs in text (much like there are when you’re talking to someone face-to-face) that can point to a liar:

A lack of “I” – “I” attaches a dater to his or her lies, which they don’t like.
Negative forms of an asset (like “not fat” instead of “skinny”).
Not saying much: the shorter the description, the fewer the lies to keep track of.

So after knowing that research can be false or misleading, is it worth it when you’re looking for romance?  What are your thoughts?

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