Date of Conferral
Modification of self-traits is defined as a user's modification of his or her physical self-description between real life and online dating profiles. Personality traits may impact this modification in online dating. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of gender and modification of self-traits on measures of anonymity, social desirability, and self-monitoring to identify factors that contributed to deception in online dating. The theoretical framework used in this study was Paulhus' social desirability model to explain changes in social interactions with the inclusion of anonymity and the desire to be perceived in a favorable light. The research questions concerned the differences in anonymity, social desirability, and self-monitoring between men and women, and the differences in anonymity, social desirability, and self-monitoring between high- and low-level modified self-traits. Archival data of 80 participants were obtained from a 2008 study conducted by Toma, Hancock, and Ellison. A factorial MANOVA was employed to determine the significance of gender and level of modified self-traits on anonymity, social desirability, and self-monitoring. Nonsignificance was found in anonymity, social desirability, and self-monitoring between gender and high- and low-level modified self-traits. Educators could benefit from the result of this study by informing new online daters of the existing digital landscape to include risky and questionable online dating conditions and predators. Likewise, law enforcement officers could benefit from this study by identifying and pursuing deceptive online daters who commit criminal acts or civil crimes against other online daters.