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Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Thank you, I am familiar with that post. Their explanation is:

Suppose you're a man who's really into someone. If you suspect other men are uninterested, it means less competition. You therefore have an added incentive to send a message. You might start thinking: maybe she's lonely. . . maybe she's just waiting to find a guy who appreciates her. . . at least I won't get lost in the crowd. . . maybe these small thoughts, plus the fact that you really think she's hot, prod you to action. You send her the perfectly crafted opening message.

On Tinder/bumble/etc. it's just as costly to swipe left as it is to swipe right. I don't think people are as likely to factor in likelihood of success when swiping as they are when deciding to invest the time to send a message. (One exception is super likes, but I'm skeptical that one should optimize their profile for super likes.)

Also, to the extent that one thinks this theory is valid, I don't think the resulting advice is to "play up unique ways you are attractive" – instead, it's to signal in your profile that you are attracted to people who are conventionally unattractive (e.g. "thicc thighs save lives") and still be conventionally attractive yourself. 

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

I actually don't think these things are that unsustainable. Even if you don't know anything about fashion now, if you spend a couple hours watching YouTube videos to learn what makes clothes fit well, I genuinely think you could spend the rest of your life only buying shirts where the shoulder seam is at your shoulder etc.

I agree though that portraying yourself as a vastly different person than you actually are is dangerous.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Thanks!

I have no idea what to do with                "If you are the sort of person who is always upbeat and positive, try to signal this through your expression, posture, and clothes."

That's fair. When I think of upbeat expression, posture, and clothes, I think of things like:

  1. Wacky expressions
  2. Silly costumes, often with friends
  3. Huge grins
  4. Arms and legs out, taking up lots of space

My hunch says that signaling that you host social gatherings / plan parties is not much more beneficial than signaling that you attend them. If there is literature that suggests otherwise, I'm very interested in hearing about how and why.


My intuition is just that you need more social capital to host a party of N people than to attend a party of N people. It's easier to get an invite to a party than it is to convince people to attend your party, and also you only need to know one person to get a party invite whereas you need to (perhaps indirectly) know N people to organize a party of N people.

I'd guess that tact (or perhaps whatever the opposite of desperation is? confidence? nonchalance? ) probably also has an effect on female evaluations of male profiles - perhaps this is through a perceived difference in social ability? 

I agree that tact is a key difficulty. I warned against including shirtless pictures largely for this reason; I think it's a fair point that wealth and social capital can also be displayed in a tactless way.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

To try to make your claim precise: given two profiles:

  1. Ugly guy in a dilapidated frat house with stains all over his clothes but making a lot of interesting expressions
  2. Basic generic guy smiling in standard locations

I predict the second one to do better.

Maybe you are saying that, in addition to being average in the domains I list, you should also make interesting facial expressions? That doesn't seem crazy to me, though I don't know a lot of evidence about it either way.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

The comparison is kind of dubious because I moved cities, but my first six boosts (the number of boosts I did before I moved, when I less understood what I was doing) averaged 7.17 likes, and my most recent six averaged 13.6 (p = 0.02 using an unpaired t-test).

So I guess it doubled my number of likes, if you take the numbers at face value, but you probably shouldn't. 

(I moved to a city that had a worse gender ratio but was larger; I'm not sure how those factors shake out, but would guess that at least some of the improvement was due to the city rather than my bio being better.)

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Oh yeah, I agree that's a bit weird but I would guess it's just noise.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Look how for medium-high and medium the percentages go down.

I'm not sure I understand what you're pointing at here. Can you explain more? Every category of female sender is monotonically less likely to send messages to less attractive males, as you would expect, without any consideration of spam.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Here is a table of who women message on a dating app, organized by attractiveness quintile:

From Kreager, Derek A.; Cavanagh, Shannon E.; Yen, John; Yu, Mo (2014). “Where Have All the Good Men Gone?” Gendered Interactions in Online Dating. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(2), 387–410. doi:10.1111/jomf.12072 

Men in the bottom quintile clearly get substantially fewer messages, but they don't get zero messages. 3% of messages from top quintile women go to bottom quintile men!
 

I don't feel qualified to give advice about your personal life though. Whether or how you should be dating depends on a bunch of factors like what your goals are, how costly it is for you to date, etc.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

Can you give an example of how the emotional experience would be separated from signaling qualities? E.g. I think having a funny profile is good, but that's pretty tied up in signaling a sense of humor.

Dating profiles from first principles: heterosexual male profile design

I saw a talk from one of their engineers which implied that their "deep learning" algorithm was more marketing than a core redesign.

I also agree with Lincoln that, regardless of whether there is literally a field in their database called "elo", more attractive profiles are shown more frequently. One easy example of this is the "top picks" feature, which has one section for people with similar interests to you, but another is just people who are generically hot.

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