Number of men vs women using online dating sites
Online dating offers a solution, because you can see who first contacts whom, and whether the recipient responds to that initial message.
Did these users simply think they were more desirable than they actually were?
Women consistently sent more positively worded messages to men when the “desirability gap” was greater, the scientists said – a sign that they were putting in more effort for a more desirable man.
Men, however, did the opposite: They sent less positively worded messages to more desirable women.“My coauthor and I used to joke that the men are playing it cool,” Bruch said.
Another common tactic men and women employed was to send desirable prospects longer messages – but it didn’t really seem to result in a higher response rate, she said.
There was one exception: Seattle men had the “most pronounced” rise in message length for desirable partners, and the strategy actually seemed to work, resulting in a higher response rate.
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“That behavior resonated with pickup artist strategies” such as negging, a kind of emotional manipulation where someone makes a backhanded compliment to another person in order to erode their confidence and increase their need for approval.