Economists Soohyung Lee and Muriel Niederle tried to help users be more credible in how much they were interested in a person on a Korean dating site.
The site ran a special event over a nine-day period that was sort of a cross between online dating and speed dating. Over a five-day proposal period, they could show up to 10 people on the site that they were interested in a date with them.
Online dating site OKCupid has found an inexplicable number of men happen to be exactly six feet tall and there are four times as many people who claim to earn 0,000 per year as there should be.
False advertising, or misrepresentation, is standard in any marketplace; the dating market is no different.
First, many online daters have unrealistic expectations.
They won’t pay for the right to send a virtual rose to a “good” potential date—they want to shoot for a date with a supermodel.
This showed the recipient that the sender’s interest was sincere.
The experiment worked, in that invitations sent with virtual roses were more likely to turn into a date. I’ve heard people in both the online dating industry and the online job board industries give two answers to this.
Second, Jiayuan may have implemented their verification system simply due to the bad luck of a few scandals attached to their site.
An American site would have to either pay high American wages to the people who verify users’ information or they would have to expend a great deal of resources setting up an offshore operation which, though cheaper, would create concerns regarding security and identity theft.
Without extensive documentation, it’s still possible to incentivize online daters to be more honest.
I’ve seen little evidence of American users demanding verification, on the other hand, though I have heard a few anecdotal accounts of Americans giving up on online dating because of dishonesty.
The third explanation, which I think is probably most important, is driven by the economics of the online dating business.