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Abstract

A novel method was used to investigate the different ways men and women are perceived as misrepresenting themselves in online dating profiles. A sample of 115, mostly Caucasian college students were presented with mock online dating profiles depicting either a male or a female. These students were asked to assess whether exaggerations and inaccuracies were portrayed in the profile information. Questionnaires assessed perceived areas of deception, reasons for the deceptions, and attitudes toward lying and body image. Results did not show gender differences in perceived exaggerations of dating profiles. However, men and women perceived that the male character lied about his height. Additionally women and men perceived the opposite-sex characters' bodies as larger than described. Results of this study suggest that dishonesty is not as prevalent in dating profiles as once thought and maybe useful for potential customers and website owners.

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