After all, we don't always want to admit the truth about ourselves to ourselves.
To supplement the self-ratings, the researchers also calculated an objective deception index comparing what participants said about their physical attributes (height, weight, age) with their measured attributes. A group of undergraduates compared the online photos to photos taken in the lab to determine how accurate they were.
They conducted in-person interviews of 80 online dating service users who previously completed online profiles.
Participants rated the accuracy of their own self-descriptions, a process that could be prone not so much to outright lying, but at the least, to self-deception or exaggeration.
Pathological lying is in fact one of the common traits of those suffering from Antisocial (also referred to as sociopathy or psychopathy) or Narcissistic personality disorders.
I’ve been in relationships with two pathological liars, so I know first hand how difficult it is to admit that your lover is a liar.
There’s a huge possibility that they use that photo because it’s the only nice photo they have.
Sometimes, they lie about their appearances to hide their identity as well.
Others lie when they don’t want to be discovered because they’re planning something sketchy.
Once you understand the language of the online liar, you may actually prefer the cues you can read on the screen rather than the cues you read on someone's face.
Communication professors Catalina Toma (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Jeffrey Hancock (Cornell University) decided to use their analytic tools to detect the language patterns shown by online liars (Tona & Hancock, in press).