A study looking at user behaviour on dating websites has revealed that women tend to be more self-conscious and men more aggressive when online dating.
The study, called “Reciprocal Recommendation System for Online Dating”, was carried out by researchers from Binghampton University, Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts Lowell.
For the report, the researchers looked into user behaviour on Baihe, one of the largest dating sites in China.
Using a reciprocal recommendation system, the study looked at how 139,482 male and 60,518 female users of the dating site acted and communicated online, taking information from profiles and messages on the site.
The researchers only took data from new users who had sent/replied to one user more than five times.
Explaining how the system works, the team said: “The success of a reciprocal recommendation system lies in its ability to recommend users with whom the service user has mutual interest and thus they are likely to communicate with each other.
“The interaction records between a pair of users are a good indicator of actual interest and attractiveness between the sender and receiver.
“If a recommended user matches the service user’s interest, the service user will be more likely to approach the recommended user.
“Based on both user-based and graph-based features, we use the reciprocal score to measure the mutual interest and attractiveness between a pair of potential dates.”
Using basic information about the online daters, including their name, age, bio, photographs, predicted height & weight and the messages that they sent, the system was able to identify some key differences in how men and women act on dating sites.
Speaking about their findings, Binghampton University PhD candidate and co-author of the paper, Shuangfei Zhai, said: “We found that males like to send a lot of messages to attractive female users, but they don’t get a lot of responses.
“For females, they’re self-conscious because they tend to evaluate the likelihood of getting a response to the user that they’re sending messages to. In terms of the data, it shows that women have a much larger chance of getting responses from users that they send messages to.”
Women therefore tend to take their own attractiveness into consideration more often, whereas men tend to be oblivious to the impression that they are giving off online.
To see the full research report, please click here.