If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture zoomed in too close to your face is worth a thousand missed opportunities. According to researchers at Cal Tech, online daters are actually less likely to want to contact other daters who have a profile picture taken too close to their face (in other words, one of those obviously self-taken portraits where the user poses cutely and snaps a photo courtesy of their smartphone).
Why? Cal Tech scientists say these close-up photos give other users the feeling that the person in the picture can’t be trusted. Their research also shows users think the person in the photo is typically less attractive and less competent.
“We found that photographs of faces taken from within personal space elicit lower investments in an economic trust game, and lower ratings of social traits (such as trustworthiness, competence, and attractiveness), compared to photographs taken from a greater distance,” researchers wrote in the study’s abstract.
The study asked people to compare several photos of 18 different people. The 18 people were each shown in two photos, one was a close-up the person has obviously taken themselves and the other was taken from a farther distance by someone else. The findings show a person was consistently judged as less attractive and more untrustworthy in their close-up.
If you think about it, these photos do scream a bit of neediness (and potentially extreme vanity). If all the photos you use on your online dating profile are self-portraits taken in front of your bathroom mirror, it could lead the person checking you out online to wonder if you’re a friendless, self-absorbed person who has nothing else to do, but take pictures of yourself? And who wants to date someone like that?
To ensure you never make this mistake on your online dating profile, follow my three simple rules to picking the best profile pics possible!