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What to say on online dating websites

Participants gave much lower ratings to potential dates and also perceived less similarity with them when they were shown greater, rather than fewer, numbers of traits.The results are detailed in the January issue of the .

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The opposite was found if the first trait got a positive score.“Because people so much want to find somebody, we find that they read into the profile.They kind of see that person as a good match for them, and that they have a lot in common,” Norton told .Women put more stock in the virtual dating world because they seek a soul mate, he said, whereas men are typically after a more casual relationship.It's not that familiarity always breeds contempt, the researchers say.After seeing each trait, subjects would indicate whether that trait also described them.

The first trait had a negative amplifying effect, the scientists found.

The scores given to pre-dates were much higher than those for post-dates.

And the perceived degree of similarity between participants and dates also took a dive after face-to-face encounters. Online profiles inherently provide limited pictures of people, a level of vagueness that is fuel, Norton said, for love-seeking imaginations.

The other subjects answered questions about a past date.

These results also showed that getting to know a person is a real downer for romance.

But on average, as you learn more about any lover, the less likely it is that you will click and get along with them, Norton explained.