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‘Deception’ on Online Dating Sites: Interview with Jeff Hancock

With Dr Nicole Ellison, and Dr Jeff Hancock
10 Dec 2011
With Dr Nicole Ellison, and Dr Jeff Hancock

Jeff Hancock talks with co-author Nicole Ellison about their work (with others) on the issue of ‘deception’ on online dating sites. Professor Hancock introduces the idea of ‘profiles as promise’ – psychological contracts that we implicitly enter into with others about the accuracy of certain aspects of our self-depictions – as a solution to the lack of granularity in academic discussions of what online deception substantively means. Promises about important matters allow users to ‘optimise self presentation’ (in favour of a past or future idealised self) in other areas. Through this process, Professor Hancock believes individuals negotiate the complex distinction between honesty and deception when constructing static dating profiles designed to be read by those they will meet in the future.