Ellison, N.B. & Hancock, J.T. (2013). Profile as promise: Honest and deceptive signals in online dating. IEEE Security & Privacy Economics, 11, 84-88. DOI: 10.1109/MSP.2013.120
Online dating is a popular way to meet new romantic partners, but many people fear that others are lying in their profiles. Research suggests that “fudging” (or small deceptions) are common but that big lies are relatively rare. Drawing from their Profile as Promise framework and signaling theory, the authors discuss why this happens and how it fits into broader patterns of human behavior, both online and offline, and offer ideas about how these insights might be applied to other contexts.