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Woman's Awful Fake Dating Profile Attracts Men

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They say that beauty is only skin deep, but many studies have shown that we have an inherent bias to view attractive people as better, smarter, and more socially competent. This strong attractiveness bias impacts everything from hiring decisions, to how highly students rate professors, to how well students are treated by their teachers.

This bias is especially strong in our 21st century dating scene. As an example, the comedy writer Ali Reed created a fake profile on the dating site OK Cupid for a woman she called "AaronCarterFan." (Aaron Carter, for the uninitiated, is the younger brother of a Backstreet Boy.) Then she loaded her profile with despicable traits, including "enjoys kicking cups out of homeless people's hands," and "my parents think I'm in law school so they pay all my bills—LOL," and "you should message me if ur rich." But for the online photo Reed used the real photo of a friend who's a professional model.

What happened to the beautiful but decadent fake "AaronCarterFan"? Reed said, "[She] did very well. In the first 24 hours she got 150 messages. I had the profile up for two or three weeks, and she had close to 1000 men message her. She got probably 10 times the number of messages that my real profile got."

Adapted from Freaknomics blog, "What You Don't Know About Online Dating: Full Transcript" (2-5-14)



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