For so many online daters, getting busy with Photoshop prior to uploading your profile picture is all part of the ritual. Interestingly however, a new study into the practice suggests that if and when a woman gets a wee bit carried away with perfecting her online dating profile pics, she may lose a fair few trust points in the eyes of her potential suitors.
Roughly translated, it appears that may indeed be such a thing as being ‘too hot to trust’.
In order to investigate things a little more closely, a University of Connecticut research team roped in a group of 700 people and presented each of them with a natural or doctored dating profile image. The doctored images featured men or women that had been digitally enhanced and were taken using carefully chosen angles and lighting, while the natural shots were more your bog-standard selfie types.
When a clearly polished and embellished picture of a woman was presented to a man, the results of the study showed that he instinctively perceived her as being more difficult to trust. In addition, wearing too much makeup also detrimentally affected trust in the eyes of the male participants.
Of course, exactly what matters to men when it comes to dating was also made wholly obvious by the study – even when trust was lacking, the men taking part generally said they’d still be happy to date the women in question regardless.
“They thought she was more attractive, they wanted to go on a date with her … but they didn’t trust her,” wrote author Rory McGloin, the study’s lead author.
On the other side of the study, it was interesting to note that women didn’t seem to be affected by enhanced images in the same way. In fact, their perceived level of trust in the man picture actually increased when the picture was determined to be of higher quality and attractiveness.
“Attractiveness of the male served as a halo,” McGloin added.
“Once they found him to be attractive, they assumed all of the other traits were good as well.”