There’s a reason why people ‘creep’ through a date’s social media

In a new survey published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers suggest that people could catch a valuable lesson from the way that 29 percent of people “creep” through a potential…

There’s a reason why people ‘creep’ through a date’s social media

In a new survey published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers suggest that people could catch a valuable lesson from the way that 29 percent of people “creep” through a potential date’s social media accounts. The study, conducted by Elizabeth D. Loftus and her team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that when first meeting a person on a date, about 27 percent of people present the first few characteristics of that person to that person’s friends in a positive light, and only 14 percent of people present all the characteristics in a negative light.

The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was essentially an updated and more updated version of the poll that Loftus published in 2015. That one was based on social science data and suggested that most people were applying a variation of the term “creep” to basically whatever came across their computer’s web browser. Loftus and her team revisited the same questions with approximately 300 people, 600 people, and more than 400 people, which allowed for tighter statistical controls.

This poll was particularly relevant given the study’s results. As Loftus noted in a release: “Earlier research has shown that people think negatively about most people they meet, even if they don’t know them.” It seems it’s even worth taking a peek into someone’s social media—as long as it’s not publicly revealed to the world.

According to the study, people who explicitly and unconditionally gave the date their verdict in positive and negative terms before meeting them were viewed as more trustworthy and optimistic, and also as being authentic and emotionally stable—a finding that should come as no surprise to anyone who has played “Judge Judy.”

In the same release, Loftus said: “We don’t need to perform ‘risk assessments’ before initiating a date. We can make judgements based on what we’ve seen so far. Our survey results suggest that social media behavior, for a person we aren’t yet acquainted with, can have a fundamental impact on how we perceive the individual.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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