Online dating survey reveals women read profiles more closely than men

A recent eye-tracking study reveals major differences between how men and women review online dating profiles.

In this obligatory, social media-related Valentine's Day post, a new survey about online dating reveals that women pay more attention to profiles by reading while men are more interested in the pictures.

Specifically, the survey reveals that women spend 50 percent more time than men reading online dating profiles while men spend 65 percent more time reviewing the photos associated with profile pages.

However, the way the study went about might be more interesting that the findings. The research was conducted in partnership by Tobii, which specializes in eye tracking and eye control technology, and user experience research firm AnswerLab.

AnswerLab research director Sal Becerra explained in the report that the team used the Tobii X1 Light Eye Tracker on a laptop while observing people on two of the most well-known online dating sites, and eHarmony, at a cafe in San Francisco.

Within eight hours, researchers tracked the gaze patterns of 39 participants, 18 female and 21 male, who each were interviewed before and after viewing the dating profiles on both sites.

Here are some of the key and surprising findings from the report:

  • Women spent an average of 84 seconds evaluating a profile, while men spent an average of 58 seconds.
  • A profile that displayed personality at the top of the page was perceived as more personal, while A profile that primarily showed a list of traits was perceived as more businesslike.

Researchers also had some advice for people who subscribe to online dating sites, mainly to pay more attention to the information you're posting as well as the photos.

As for the developers behind the dating sites, researchers advise them to cut down on clutter on profiles as well as minimize the amount of advertising distractions to boost the user experience.

For a closer look at the background research for this survey, check out the promo video below: