Toma, C. L., & Hancock, J. T. (2011). A new twist on love’s labor: Self-presentation in online dating profiles. In K. B. Wright & L. M. Webb (Eds.) Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships (pp 41-55), Hampton Press.
Perhaps nowhere are first impressions as important as in romantic encounters. Romance can thrive if first impressions are positive, or may not even take off if they are negative. An important question, then, is what kind of information people rely on to form these first impressions. In traditional forms of dating, such as being introduced by a mutual friend or simply sharing a glance across the room, first impressions are typically based on the other’s physical appearance, dress, and conversational style. This limited amount of information allows people to gauge romantic “chemistry,” but it tends to lack breadth (i.e., information about exact age, occupation, family) and depth (i.e., information about personality and core beliefs).