Values in Online Dating
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This study investigated whether basic human values influenced dating interest (Self- transcendence or Self-enhancement values), controlling for physical attractiveness and examined the potential moderator sociosexual orientation. Participants were single heterosexual women between 18 and 30 years old. In online experiment, they were presented with a dating profile with self-transcendence life quote or self-enhancement life quote. In addition, their socio-sexual orientation was measured. As expected, we founded a direct effect physical attractiveness on dating interest, indicating that a high level of perceived attractiveness predicted more dating interest. Promising new results revealed that self-transcendence values, expressed in a life quote, predicted a higher dating interest than self-enhancement values, expressed in a life quote. For the moderating factor sociosexual orientation no significant effect was found. Additionally, exploratory analysis showed that physical attractiveness moderates the effect of values on dating interest, such that a higher perceived level of attractiveness increases the importance of values. Together, these findings showed a continued effect of self-transcendence values on dating interest, even when controlling for physical attractiveness, indicating the importance of expressing self-transcendence values. Concluding that not only physical attractiveness is an important factor in online dating but the content of the description on the profile is also influential factor for the level of dating interest. Further research is needed to examine the effect of values when they are displayed is a more subtle way and to examine the potential effect of other values such as openness to change and conservation.