TIME relationships

Dating: Women Believe What They Hear About a Guy’s Reputation

New study shows that women reject men based on negative spin, even when the information is the same

When it comes to relationships, women tend to believe the hype about men they’re considering dating. Researchers found that women change their opinion of men when they’re presented with a negative or positive spin, even if the information is exactly the same.

Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal found that women were more highly attuned to information about potential mates when it was negatively framed, even if the facts were exactly the same as the positive framing. In other words, women are extremely susceptible to spin.

They presented participants with two statements about potential mates that said the exact same information in different ways. For example:

“Seven out of 10 people who know this person say he is kind”

vs.

“Three out of 10 people who know this person say he is unkind.”

The information is the same, but the framing is different, and the women were much more likely to reject mates who were framed negatively. The researchers concluded this is probably because of “parental investment theory,” or the notion that women have to be pickier about their mates because the consequences are higher for picking the wrong one.

So what does that mean for guys who get mixed reviews on apps like Lulu that rate men? It means they should clean up their act, because one negative comment could be enough to turn dates away.

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