Language error in online dating profiles: turn-off or no problem?

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With the rise of online dating, it is of increasing relevance to study behaviour in the romantic online environment. This study set out to measure the effect of language error on perceived author intelligence and attractiveness. The focus of this perception is based on the effect of language error in a dating profile and the educational background of the reviewer. The findings were compared between participants with a relatively higher or lower education. The participants completed a questionnaire, evaluating multiple dating profiles. For part of the participants, the profiles contained language errors, the other participants saw profiles without language errors. The results show no effect for perceived attractiveness based on language errors. However, the results do indicate that language errors negatively affect the perceived intelligence of the writer. In conclusion, readers tend to perceive the writer of an online dating profile to be more intelligent when the profile has no errors in comparison to the writer of a profile with language errors. However, this might not be linked to the perceived attractiveness of the writer. The implications of these findings are considered in the discussion. Keywords: Online Dating, Language Errors, Level of Education, Perceived Attractiveness, Perceived Intelligence
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