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  • Years old:
  • 35
  • What is my ethnicity:
  • Mexican
  • Who do I prefer:
  • I like man
  • My gender:
  • Lady
  • Color of my hair:
  • Blond
  • My body type:
  • My figure features is slim
  • I like:
  • Riding a horse
  • Stud:
  • None
  • Smoker:
  • No

About

Online dating as the standard way to meet someone isn't even news anymore. Nowadays, " We met on Hinge " is far more plausible than "We met at a bar. Still, looking for love online comes with nervousness, catfish paranoia, and doubtful looks from nosy family members. To that, we ask: Is waiting around to stumble upon your soulmate in public really more promising?

Description

For them, meeting a dating partner or gaining dating experience can already be indicative of success Gibbs et al. But adaptation can also be strategic Gallois et al. Based on the attributes that are considered important for a particular relationship goal, online daters can choose what information to cover and disclose about themselves, by strategically mentioning or avoiding certain topics in profiles Whitty, ; Toma and Hancock, In this way, profile owners can highlight their own relationship goals, but can also increase the chances of getting replies from other site users with similar intentions.

This language adaptation can improve communication, for instance, when a teacher or parent uses language in such a way that the addressee pupil or child is more likely to understand the message. As such, online daters' textual self-presentations may differ depending on profile owners' motives and intended relationship goals Ranzini and Lutz, The profiles goal of this study is therefore to examine to what extent dating intentions affect linguistic behavior in online dating profile texts, and what particular linguistic elements are free when trying to distinguish between profile texts written by people with different relationship goals.

Perhaps, differences in language use between the two relationship seeking groups manifest themselves not so much in the words captured by the broader LIWCbut rather in the use of particular Boston features, where profile owners may use particular words or word combinations that are considered to be important in a profile text. Online daters looking for a long-term relationship use more positive emotion words than online daters looking for a casual relationship.

This linguistic behavior could be especially apparent in the online dating domain where most people adapt to the minimal cue environment by developing strategies—consciously and unconsciously—about how to present themselves. Casual relationship seekers have a higher focus on external characteristics, such dating sexual desirability and physical attractiveness, that are considered important to find in a lower involved relationship partner e.

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It thereby captures the content-specific features that are specifically relevant within the online dating domain. As LIWC provides a large of mostly thematic linguistic on which texts are analyzed, below specific hypotheses are formulated regarding the expected differences in language use of long-term and casual relationship seekers on the most relevant of those. In addition to being mentioned explicitly as a basic characteristic, a dater's relationship goal can also be reflected in other aspects of the dating profile. Others seek casual, potentially sexual, dates which may involve personal contact without the intention to become high-involved, intimate relationship partners Peter and Valkenburg, ; Clemens et al.

This usually ties in with other existing research in a variety of writing domains including collected work of writers e. For instance, online daters looking for a long-term or short-term relationship differ in both the presence as well as the content of the picture s on their profiles.

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While Gallant et al. Online daters with a desire of high relationship involvement and high intimacy are more likely to adopt a listening role McAdams et al.

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In this way, the theoretically postulated linguistic differences between the two groups of profile texts we investigate can then hopefully be confirmed, as well as explore whether there are additional linguistic differences not captured by the first approach.

Studies show that linguistic behavior and the use of particular linguistic characteristics are not only affected by a writer's personality, gender, and other stable traits, but may also be affected by more dynamic characteristics of the writer. It has earlier been shown that positive text messages affect romantic satisfaction positively Luo and Tuney, Consequently, we hypothesize that long-term relationship seekers use more positive emotion words, including words that express emotional closeness e.

Long-term relationship seekers are overall more likely to display a profile picture, while casual relationship seekers tend to wear less clothes on the pictures they post Gallant et al.

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While producing language, people are known to adapt their style and register to their intended audience e. Moreover, a volatile factor like a writer's goals Russell and Schober, and intentions Toma and Hancock, may also guide how people linguistically behave. To do so, the language use in existing dating profiles of online daters who aim to find a long-term relationship partner is compared with that of daters who search for a casual, less-involved relationship.

In addition, LIWC can be rather broad, with some containing over a thousand words e. In order to investigate whether linguistic behavior is affected by online daters' relationship goals, two different computer-based text analysis methods are employed in the present study. Online daters looking for a casual relationship use more I-references than online daters looking for a long-term relationship. In addition, we use a data-driven approach to further extract content-specific features that can be used to classify texts of the two relationship seeking groups.

Dating profiles typically consist of pictures, basic demographic information, and an open-ended component in which online daters can create a textual self-description Rosen et al. Furthermore, using first-person plural pronouns e.

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of both methods suggest there are reliable differences in the linguistic behavior long-term and casual relationship seekers employ in their dating profiles: long-term relationship seekers mention more topics that are relevant when looking for a long- term relationship, such as internal personality traits and qualities. As a result, words that are characteristic of a particular phenomenon under investigation like a dating profile text may be missed.

A writer's emotions may be one profiles factor that influences language use: positive and joyful writers may behave linguistically different from negative and angry writers, for instance, with respect to affective language use, negations and punctuation use Hancock et al. It is likely that people's relationship desires influence how they behave and express themselves, because relationships are fundamental in our lives. Moreover, the study demonstrates that using a multi-method approach, with LIWC and a data-driven word-based classifier, provides a deeper understanding of linguistic differences between the two relationship seeking groups.

It is conceivable that dating intentions are also reflected in the linguistic behavior that online daters employ in their profile texts Toma and D'Angelo, Fairly stable characteristics of profile owners affect linguistic behavior consciously and unconsciously at the same time: whereas men and younger adults are more likely to consciously and strategically write words related to income or dating, women use more words related to sexuality and physical appearance.

The higher the level of relationship involvement, the more individuals become attentive to internal qualities that become more important over the long-term, such as particular personality traits and resource acquisition Buunk et al. Online daters looking for a long-term relationship use more words related to status than online daters looking for a casual relationship. It may be the case that LIWC does not cover the content-specific features online are specifically relevant and common among online dating profile texts. Such function words are often produced without the writer being aware, but can reveal information about a writer's social and psychological processes, for example, about the focus of attention, emotional state, Boston status, and dis honesty Tausczik and Pennebaker, ; Pennebaker, free Toma, In short, relationship goals may both consciously and unconsciously affect linguistic behavior of online daters when constructing their profile texts.

We hypothesize that online daters who look for a casual, lower-involved relationship are more self-focused than long-term relationship seekers, and consequently use more first-person singular pronouns that refer to the self e.

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Dating profiles can be Boston noisy; they are of informal nature and written by a very diverse population, who do not necessarily adhere to standard language conventions Van der Zanden et al. In addition, serious-minded daters posted more profile pictures that were deemed realistic by others than daters looking for casual relationships as for the first group future interactions are more likely to occur Toma and Hancock, Both relationship seeking groups emphasize specific attributes and free such convey information about their intentions: whereas long-term relationship seekers self-disclose more by being more inclined to provide a realistic profile picture, short-term relationship seekers emphasize physical attractiveness and sexuality.

How often automatically produced personal pronouns are used can give away information about an individual's attitudes, goals, and roles within relationships Pennebaker, online, as well as about immediacy and involvement Walther, It has been argued that people who engage in self-relevant goals tend to refer more to the self than those who are high online in other people's lives Slatcher et al. Although language adaptation may thus be a strategic and conscious choice, having a specific relationship goal in mind dating writing the profile text may also unconsciously affect what linguistic features are used in the text.

The text analysis program LIWC has been widely used for the study of consciously and unconsciously produced linguistic features free all sorts of texts Tausczik and Pennebaker,and was also used for the aforementioned analyses of age, gender, dating dis honesty in dating profiles e. The words in the profile texts presumably also carry information that reveals more about intentions and goals of daters, as is investigated here. Most studies on the textual component in dating profiles focused on deceptive behavior and the profiles' accuracy e.

The word and category validations by human judgments make LIWC appealing for hypothesis-testing research Tausczik and Pennebaker, At the same time, these validated are also sometimes perceived as one of the method's limitations e. These people start dating someone with the intention, but not certainty, of a high-involved relationship Buunk et al. Moreover, online daters aiming for long-term Boston goals are more inclined to put effort in creating a profile that is deemed positive by others Gibbs et al. Despite the importance of profiles during the online dating process, little attention has been paid to the textual component of dating profiles.

Research on how these more dynamic characteristics affect linguistic behavior is scarce, though, and no research has investigated how people's goals in terms of their desired romantic relationship may affect language use. People's online dating intentions and relationship goals may differ: some aim for a traditional life-lasting relationship, profiles intended intimacy goals may eventually develop into long-term commitment Sternberg, ; Eastwick et al. Online daters looking for a casual relationship use more words related to the body and sexuality than online daters looking for a long-term relationship.

The use of pronouns that refer to others e. LIWC works with a closed-vocabulary approach and hence not all words in a text necessarily occur on this profiles word list. Emotional and psychological processes unconsciously affect the use of particular emotion words Pennebaker and King, Long-term relationship seekers are more ready to emotionally involve, to commit, and to bond with a romantic partner, whereas casual relationship seekers look more often for contact with a lower focus on intimacy and emotional involvement Gibbs et al.

Profile texts of casual relationship seekers are more diffuse and harder to classify. The expectation is that long-term relationship seekers unconsciously use more you-references to explicitly acknowledge the importance of the other's presence.

Using both methods may be effective for obtaining a finer-grained and more comprehensive picture of linguistic differences between profile texts written by people with long-term and casual relationship goals.

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Furthermore, LIWC can provide a wide perspective on structure, tone and the extent to which psychological processes of intentions are reflected in dating profiles, but reveals little about which content-specific features are particularly distinctive for profile texts of long-term and casual relationship seekers.

Online daters looking for a long-term relationship use more you-references than online daters looking for a casual relationship. The relationship goal is then mentioned explicitly as a basic characteristic on a dating profile, together with self-reported information about a profile owner's age, level of education, place of residence, etc. On many dating sites, users can indicate their own relationship goal and can see the relationship goals of others while searching or scrolling through profiles.

This study uses two methods to examine whether online daters looking for a long-term relationship behave linguistically different in their profile texts compared to daters seeking casual relationships.

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Since long-term relationship seekers have a stronger focus on committing in long-term intimate relationships, they are expected to emphasize connection and interdependence without being aware, by using more we-references. On the other hand, in their dating profiles, men and older adults tend to use more first-person plural pronouns e. Online daters looking for a long-term relationship use more we-references than online daters looking for a casual relationship. In this description, profile owners can express their interests and hobbies, characteristics sought in a potential partner, and relay their intentions and goals to others.

This unconscious effect on linguistic behavior can, for instance, be reflected in the use of certain function words; those are used to al grammatical relationships among words in a sentence, but have themselves little lexical meaning e. While profile owners' language use is structurally affected by these stable characteristics, it is well-established that language use may also vary according to the specific setting or the goal that a writer has in mind when writing the text. Although studies focusing on language use in dating profile texts have used LIWC e.

According to some studies, online dating has now surpassed more traditionally popular ways of meeting partners Ross, In online dating, a person's dating profile is the key element; it is the gatekeeper to further interaction and ultimately even to the establishment of the intended relationship goal Ellison et al.

Original research article

Following the assumption that casual relationship seekers focus more on external characteristics e. For example, positive emotion expressers used approximately six times more the of exclamation marks and five times less negative affect words than negative emotion expressers Hancock et al. Accordingly, the second goal of our study is to determine to what extent a data-driven word-based classifier adds to a method like LIWC when textually analyzing online dating profile texts.

To investigate these linguistic differences, 12, existing Dutch dating profiles were analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count LIWC program and a word-based classifier. Such open-vocabulary methods offer finer-grained methods for profile text analysis, yielding additional insights and more information that leverages findings of closed-vocabulary LIWC analyses Schwartz et al.

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Moreover, some studies have investigated the extent to which personality Weidman et al. In particular, it seems likely that online daters use specific words and phrases to illustrate or clarify their interpersonal relationship goals, in an attempt to find a partner online with comparable romantic relationship intentions. Additionally, long-term relationship seekers seem to self-disclose more in their profile texts by providing more personal information and using more I-references.

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First, by using a theoretical motivated approach, we identify linguistic characteristics that may differ among profile owners looking for a long-term or casual relationship. In contrast to LIWC, word-based machine learning methods do not rely on a priori word or category judgments but use the texts as linguistic input. As such, differences between groups of texts on the use of words from these broader provide information about underlying psychological constructs of writers, but lack information about the specific words within these that discriminate the two text groups, which may complicate interpretation of observed differences by LIWC.

LIWC is based on the assumption that while writing, the use of particular words provides insights into writers' linguistic and psychological processes as well as their mental states. To test the hypotheses, we use the program LIWC, perhaps the most commonly used automated text analysis program in the field of language and social psychology Tausczik and Pennebaker, The program counts occurrences of specific words in a text, which are taken from list of words that are ased to different predefined related to thought processes, emotional states, and intentions Pennebaker et al.

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