International Journal of Internet Science
A peer reviewed open access journal for empirical findings, methodology, and theory of social and behavioral science concerning the Internet and its implications for individuals, social groups, organizations, and society.
What's in a Screen Name? Attractiveness of Different Types of Screen Names Used by Online Daters
Monica T. Whitty1, Tom Buchanan2
1Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, 2University of Westminster, United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper examined whether different types of screen names offer advantages when it comes to attracting a partner on dating sites. In the pilot study, we conducted a content analysis of real screen names to develop a typology of screen names. In the main study, we explored whether the typology predicted online daters' ratings of names, and compared the types of names that appealed to men and to women. Men more than women were attracted to screen names that indicated physical attractiveness, and women more than men were attracted to screen names that indicated intelligence or were neutral. Similarly, men more than women were motivated to contact screen names which indicated physical attractiveness and women more than men were more motivated to contact screen names which indicated intellectual characteristics or were neutral. These findings indicate that different types of screen names may elicit different reactions.
Keywords: Online dating, Internet dating, screen names, attraction, gender differences, Internet relationship
Download full paper