Online dating liars – strange new research

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CNN ran a weird article recently, about people who lie on online dating sites. The article details research done by a professor in the University of Kansas, looking into people’s lying habits on one “big long-term relationship dating site” (unnamed, but I have my suspicions).
The researcher spoke to over 5000 people and asked them whether they would lie on a dating site and why.

The results seem to imply that those people who said they would lie are the type of people who want to please people and tell them what they want to hear. They don’t lie out of malice, but because they want people to like them.

Both the article and the research seem to blatantly ignore things such as scammers, married people passing themselves off as single and players passing themselves off as serious.
All of these are, sadly, a big part of the online dating industry, which people should be told about and taught how to spot and avoid. Unfortunately, I doubt any of those types of online dating liars would take the time to answer the good professor’s survey and share with us the reasons why they choose to lie and cheat.

On the other hand, we’ve learned that people who are lonely, looking for a serious relationship and willing to take a (most likely lengthy) survey for no personal gain are apparently keen to please. Who’d have thought?

And… get this!

“Online daters shouldn’t be concerned that most people are presenting a false impression of themselves,” Hall said in a news release before Thursday’s phone interview. “What influences face-to-face dating influences the online world, too.”

The fact that the professors conducting this survey tell people that they don’t have to worry about people lying to them online just shows me how out of touch they are with what’s going on out there. The only worthwhile conclusion of this so called “research” is what everyone in the online dating industry knows already and has done for years:

the people who would lie to you online are the same people who’d lie to you in the real world, be they scammers, compulsive liars, cheats or just “self-monitors”, to use a term from the article itself.

Did someone actually pay for this research? If I were paying taxes in America I’d be well pissed off.

You can read the full text of this, frankly rather lame, article here.

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