[6 Scientific Tips for a Successful Marriage]Khan and Chaudhry searched the literature for studies on attraction and persuasion, including studies that specifically focused on online dating."The findings from this literature are directly relevant to how one can employ online dating to be most attractive," to potential mates, Khan told Live Science.
The duo decided to focus on 86 studies that looked at how often an initial contact that two people made online translated into face-to-face meetings.
Among the findings: picking a screen name that starts with a letter in the first half of the alphabet may be as important as a pretty photo. It's best to survey the pickings on a dating site before committing to that service.
"Most people just don't do this," said study co-author Khalid Khan, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London.
The researchers found that people whose screen names started with letters in the first half of the alphabet got better responses — the effect almost as strong as that of posting an attractive photo.
It's not clear why this might be, but other studies have found that people whose names start with letters early in the alphabet tend to have more education and higher incomes, or it may have to do with a quirk in how search results are displayed, the researchers speculated.
Instead, people tend to register for a site, and then check out their options.
For the current study, the motivation was personal: Dr.In addition, screen names containing a negative word, such as "Bug" and "Litter," went over more poorly than those with generally positive connotations, such as "Fun2Be With," according to the findings.