It’s a norm these days for women to edit their photos on dating sites and enhance their beauty, but research has found that inasmuch as men find them attractive, they don’t find them trustworthy.
A study of 305 participants found that men who viewed enhanced photos of women judged them to be more attractive but less trustworthy, compared to a natural photo of the same woman. Enhanced photos of men both increased attractiveness and increased trustworthiness among women.
PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Rory McGloin of the University of Connecticut, and McGloin was asked a number of questions. One of which was: What should the average person take away from your study?
McGloin responded: I think there are a number of key take-aways for people who might be using online dating websites or apps. The most important might be to consider “what” you believe your profile picture is communicating about your trustworthiness. In our results, we found that the women’s profile picture that had been beautified led to lower levels of trustworthiness. On the other hand, women found the more beatified male profile picture as also being more trustworthy. Therefore, the process seems to be different for men and women and as a result, different considerations should be made when selecting a profile picture.
If you want to attract people based on your looks, then our results show that a beatified picture can certainly help increase your attractiveness and other individual’s desire to date you. On the other hand, if you want people to perceive you as being trustworthy, then for women, selecting what might be a slightly more authentic or natural photo could help increase your perceived trustworthiness.