According to a new study conducted at the University of Connecticut enhancing photos on dating sites does not only fail to give you the expected reaction, but it also has different outcomes depending on the gender.
It seems that when men look at enhanced photos of women they feel an increased level of attractiveness, but at the same time such photos lower their trust in that particular woman. On the other hand when women see enhanced photos of men the level of attractiveness increases along with the level of trustworthiness.
Trust is a very important element in any type of relationship and it is natural that it should play an important role in making new bonds in the context of dating. The lead author of the study, Rory McGloin said that the relationship between trust and attractiveness for men who see profile pictures of women is an interesting one.
Men considered women with enhanced photos less trustworthy. However they prefer to take the risk and date them although they may not prove to look the same in real life. McGloin pointed out that in their study attraction proved to be more important than trust.
The research was conducted on 305 heterosexual participants with ages between 17 and 36. The participants were asked to look at one of four profile pictures of the same female or male. The set of photos contained two types of pictures: some were enhanced though makeup and lighting and others were normal with no special lighting, makeup or hair treatment. Afterwards the participants were asked some questions to determine the level of attractiveness, similarity, trustworthiness and the desire to date.
Previous research has proved that persons who use dating sites do their best to display their best face. So both females and males have been beautifying themselves in order to enhance they physical appearance. This study has an evolutionary approach to this topic, taking into account theories of attraction in order to explain why the perceived attractiveness of a photo is so important. The authors of the study remarked:
“This finding provides an empirical highlight to the concept of cat-fishing and the larger phenomena surrounding online dating in which it is both normal and acceptable for individuals to mislead or deceive their potential suitors.”
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