Online Dating and Lying: Why People Do It

A recent news article featured on cnn.com outlined the possible reasons why people lie on internet dating sites.

In a study conducted by Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor in communication studies at the University of Kansas, examined 5,020 men and women who belonged to an undisclosed dating site. When asked if they would lie, most of the participants stated that they wouldn’t.

Of course, this wasn’t true for everyone.

Hall suggests that those individuals who said they would lie are “people pleasers”- the type of person “who’d try to put himself in the best light even if you’d found him offline first”, according to Hall. He states that these types of individuals who misrepresent themselves online are also those who misrepresent themselves in face-to-face interaction, suggesting that they lie all the time, regardless of if in front of a computer or not.

Another study by Hall was published in the February issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

In the article called “Strategic misrepresentation in online dating: The effects of gender, self-monitoring, and personality traits”, Hall’s findings suggest that men are more likely than women to lie in every category, except weight. Men were more likely to lie about personal assets, relationship goals, personal interests, and personal attributes.

Hall’s findings suggest that those who lie in face-to-face interaction are also willing to lie online, but that this number is relatively small.

So, proceed with caution when entering the online dating world, but don’t assume that every fact that someone states is untrue.

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