We collected 4,000 dating profiles from two popular websites to examine age differences in self-presentations.
As such, online profiles provide a unique opportunity to examine similarities and differences in younger and older adults’ self-presentations when seeking a dating partner.
Self-presentation plays a central role in finding dating partners; potential partners use this information to decide whether to start a relationship (Derlega, Winstead, Wong, & Greenspan, 1987).
Few studies have examined age differences in dating self-presentations (e.g., Alterovitz & Mendelsohn, 2009; 2013; Mc Williams & Barrett, 2014) and have relied on content analysis and qualitative analysis.
We identified 12 themes in the profiles using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007).
Regression analyses revealed that older adults were more likely to use first-person plural pronouns (e.g., we, our) and words associated with health and positive emotions.