Online Dating: Your Profile Photo's Secrets

Online Dating: Your Profile Photo's Secrets

Chloe Seaman
April 25, 2017

Did you put a lot of thought into choosing that online dating profile photo of yours?

Because everyone is making assumptions about you because of it.

Assumptions that may be true, or may be way off. At the very least, you should know what you’re projecting.

Based on our understanding of psychology, these are the things everyone is thinking when they see your dating site profile photo:

How your good looks must mean you’re a good person

If you’re good-looking, you’re perceived as being a good person. Whether that’s really true or not.

Social psychologists call this the “halo effect.”

It means that our bias is painting a picture of a person based on our own impression. Researchers found that the more physically attractive someone is, the more others will view that person as having positive qualities aside from their looks.

On a side note: The next time you find yourself being attracted to someone’s profile photo, remember that you’re subconsciously making this assumption, too.

And more importantly, remember that some of the most infamous murderers and serial killers in history were perceived as “attractive.” Let that sink in for a minute before opening that dating app.

How you must be so confident (or shy)

Looks aren’t always deceiving.

It turns out we’re quite good at predicting certain aspects of a person’s personality, just by looking at physical appearance.

For example, most people can accurately predict if you consider yourself an extrovert in just 50 milliseconds of looking at you.

Other personality traits that others can accurately (for the most part) predict about you include how religious, likeable, self-assured and narcissistic you are.

Or maybe your resemblance to a criminal

If you lead people to perceive you as unfamiliar or untrustworthy, these feelings can quickly associate you with criminality.

The ability to evaluate other humans is, from an evolutionary standpoint, an important biological function that indicates whether someone should be approached or avoided. Just like choosing to swipe right, or swipe left, on Tinder.

It’s unclear what makes some people look untrustworthy, but we do know that looking this way causes others to connect that unfamiliarity with criminality.

It may be obvious that if you’re making an angry face in your profile photo, others will probably steer clear of you. But did you know that even an emotionally neutral face was perceived as criminal?

Different perspectives

Surely by now you’re looking at your profile photo from a different perspective. Maybe the impression you thought you were conveying isn’t accurately being expressed.

As this research shows, appearance plays a huge role in creating perspectives and attitudes. Sometimes our impressions are wrong and sometimes they’re right. Either way, we all assume.

If you’re now considering changing your profile photo, check out our post, Online Dating Photos That Get Dates. (You’ll get the right kind of attention with these tactics).

And remember to confirm the assumptions you have about other people by doing more research about them. BeenVerified can show you criminal records and other eye-opening information about someone.

It may be human tendency to judge appearances, but never take someone at face value.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.