Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Do Preferred Characteristics Mirror Personal Characteristics in Online Dating Website Profiles?

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Elizabeth Morgan


Personal advertisements are a tool utilized by millions of individuals looking to connect with others for friendships, romantic relationships, and sexual relationships. In addition to information about themselves, many of these websites allow users to include a narrative or list of the characteristics of their preferred partner. The purpose of this project is to explore themes within the listed preferred partner characteristics that online dating website users provide. A content analysis will identify emergent themes in the narratives of preferred partner characteristics. Comparisons will be made between users of differing demographics. For example, past research has identified that heterosexual men are more likely to express interest in a physically attractive partner while heterosexual women are more likely to express interest in a partner with a good sense of humor (De Backer, Braekman & Fairinpour, 2008). It is anticipated that preferred characteristics will mirror personal characteristics as described by advertiser. This analysis will indicate that preferred partner characteristics differ based on the age, gender, sexual orientation, and desired relationship-type of the person who posted the profile. The results from the present study have implications regarding our understanding of the types of romantic and sexual partners individuals seek out and the underlying cultural values represented in these characteristics.