Uploading ‘Beautified’ Images Can Affect How Trustworthy You Appear Online


A study has revealed that uploading “beautified” images of yourself online can impact how trustworthy you appear to others.

The research, entitled “Too Hot to Trust: Examining the Relationship Between Attractiveness, Trustworthiness, and Desire to Date in Online Dating”, found that men and women can view enhanced images online very differently.

Researchers Rory McGloin, Amanda Denes and Olivia Kamisher from the University of Connecticut asked 305 heterosexual participants aged 17-36 to view one of four possible pictures of someone of the opposite sex.

Each of these images differed in attractiveness, with two “beautified” and two not.

They were then asked to answer a number of questions designed to determine how they perceived their physical attractiveness, trustworthiness, desire to date and similarity based on the photograph they had seen.

Interestingly, men and women responded very differently to the enhanced images.

Although both sexes said the images increased how attractive they found the person, men reported reduced trustworthiness.

Women didn’t seem put off, however, saying attractiveness and trustworthiness were both increased.

Interestingly, men did report a high desire to date the woman after seeing the “beautified” photograph, despite the lack of trust.

McGloin said: “Trust is an important part of any relationship and it certainly plays an important role in the forging of new social bonds in the dating context.

“Yet, we found an interesting relationship between attractiveness and trust for males who were viewing female profile pictures.

“Specifically, men typically found the more beautified and therefore more attractive profile to also be less trustworthy.

“This finding provides an empirical highlight to the concept of cat- fishing and the larger phenomena surrounding online dating, in which it is both normal and acceptable for individuals’ to mislead or deceive their potential suitors.”

To read more about this study please click here.