While looks aren’t everything, your profile photo is the first thing a potential partner notices when checking you out on a dating app. It’s tempting to upload a perfectly posed pic where you look immaculate, but a new study reveals that’s not the way to success.
It’s all about being real. NYU Stern School of Business Professor Alixandra Barasch and Professor Jonah Berger from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania teamed up for new research published in Social Psychological & Personality Science. The report, entitled “A Candid Advantage? The Social Advantage of Candid Photos” found that candid photos—you know, those imperfect ones you probably wouldn’t even think about uploading—gave dating app users an advantage.
Candid photos are a clear winner. The study revealed that dating app users respond better to profiles that featured natural, unposed photos. It’s not hard to understand why. After all, if you’re dressed to the nines in your profile photo, that may be how you look on a fancy night out, but your long-term partner wants to see the real you as soon as possible to know if there’s potential.
No one wants to be with someone who’s fake. Not only can posed photos come off as disingenuous, they can also be a little intimidating. After all, if you’re someone who likes to keep it casual with the occasional night of dressing up, seeing someone whose photos are all them in formalwear with perfect hair, perfect makeup, and filtered to the gods, that’s likely to be pretty off-putting. How could anyone keep up with that? Who would want to?
People ultimately value authenticity but trying too hard can backfire. As Barasch explains, “In some cases, viewers prefer an unvarnished picture because it seems more genuine. People value authenticity because it feels more accurate.” However, if you think you can fake it by taking a candid photo that’s actually totally planned, it’s definitely going to backfire. The researchers discovered that people who did this were perceived as less genuine and were less likely to get interest from fellow users.
[H/T Elite Daily]
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