Open Body Language Makes Online Daters More Successful


Having confident, open body language can improve an individual’s success when dating both online and offline, according to the findings of a new US study.

Published earlier this week, the new research by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, tested whether individuals are more attracted to people who use expansive body language when dating – a behaviour the researchers describe as expressing dominance and openness.

The study was led by human behaviour researcher Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk, alongside a wider team including Emily Reit, Poruz Khambatta, Paul W. Eastwick, Eli J. Finkel, and Dana R. Carney.

In an effort to understand just how much body language and posture impacts the decisions of daters, the team of researchers conducted two experiments, one speed-dating event and a controlled experiment through a popular dating app.

The first experiment saw them analyse the nonverbal body language which occurred throughout 144 speed dates between men and women, with each date lasting four minutes.

After each date, participants were required to rate how it went, and were asked to confirm whether or not they were interested in meeting the person again.

From this, researchers found that having an open and expansive nonverbal posture throughout the date made it more likely for a person to want to see them again.

In the second experiment, Vacharkulksemsuk and her colleagues investigated whether or not this offline response to open body language translated into the users of online dating platforms.

To do so, the researchers created 12 new profiles on a popular dating app, six men and six women, showing a pool of 3,000 participants each profile posed in both an expansive and contractive stance.

Speaking about the findings of this experiment, the authors said: “Mate-seekers rapidly flipped through photographs of potential sexual/date partners, selecting those they desired to meet for a date.

“Mate-seekers were significantly more likely to select partners displaying an expansive (vs. contractive) nonverbal posture.

“Mediation analyses demonstrate one plausible mechanism through which expansiveness is appealing: Expansiveness makes the dating candidate appear more dominant.”

These new findings, if proven true on a larger global scale, could prove extremely valuable to online daters when deciding which pictures to use of their dating profiles, and how they should present themselves when going on a date.

To check out the full study, go here.

Danielle White

Danielle is a Junior Reporter at Global Dating Insights. Originally from Reading, she has studied Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University and has a passion for writing and reporting. She enjoys travelling and likes to spend her free time socialising with friends and attending music events.

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