Online dating profiles, first-date interactions, and the enhancement of communication satisfaction and desires for future interaction
This study uses an experimental design to examine the uncertainty-reducing effect of online dating profiles on initial first-date interactions. Zero-history dyads (N = 108) participated in a brief first meeting in the lab, where they were randomly assigned to either a dating profile (experimental) condition or a no-profile control group. Results indicated that profile viewing had an amplification effect on initial interactions. Profiles strengthened the actor effects of eagerness to communicate before the interaction, disclosure during the interaction, and uncertainty and similarity after the interaction on an individual’s own communication satisfaction with the first date. Profiles also intensified the partner effect of nonverbal affiliation during the interaction on communication satisfaction. Implications for uncertainty reduction theory and profile design are discussed.