Lies, damn lies, and dating apps

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

The Daily Mail reported on something interesting. Not the fact of people lying to attract mates, that seems inevitable. Human beings lie to date or attract a mate to a date.

Based on reportage of a Stanford University study, they found the most common lies on dating apps. People falsify availability to “deceive potential partners.”

The most common lies were “butler lies.” They are 3/10ths of the lies. With 200 participants and 3,000 messages, the lies centered on relationships rather than starting them.

The situation before some of this research was ambiguous about the types of lying. Now, the vice of lying can be cut into bits via parsing of dating app data.

On the whole, people are honest. 2/3rds of people never lie. 7% were deceptive for sure. The majority of lies were “availability and exaggerating personal interests in an effort to appear more attractive.”

People lie about who they’re with and what they do. Other research has shown men lie about income and height; women lie about age and beauty.

Hancock calls the butler lies the ones that are meant to be polite into to conceal something. That prevents some unwanted social interactions.

30% of lies were white lies.

“One participant messaged, ‘Hey I’m so so sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it today. My sister just called and I guess she’s on her way here now. I’d be up for a raincheck if you wanted, though. Sorry again.’”

People tend to be honest, about 66% of the time or 66% of people are, surprisingly, honest and frank in a respectful way. Others not so much, but only to politely avoid some interaction.

The first dating app came from 1995 with Single people could give an image and then converse with people. This was purported to help with long-term relationship development.

eHarmony came online around 2000, and 2002 for Ashley Madison for those wanting to cheat on their spouses.

Others include “OKCupid (2004), Plenty of Fish (2006), Grindr (2009) and Happn (2013)” and “Tinder [2012].” Tinder was the first one with a swipe option as the main means for selection of a potential short-term partner — i.e., someone to sleep with.

“After its initial launch it’s usage snowballed and by March 2014 there were one billion matches a day, worldwide,” the Daily Mail reported, “In 2014, co-founder of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble, a dating app that empowered women by only allowing females to send the first message.”

(Updated September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:, Scott.Jacobsen@TrustedClothes.Com, Scott@ConatusNews.Com,, Scott@Karmik.Ca.

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice Magazine, Your Political Party of BC, ProBC, Marijuana Party of Canada, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Harvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, Vice President of Outreach for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.

He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights.