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According to Goffman (1959), one means of controlling how other people respond to us is to optimize the impression we give others about ourselves.Impression management is normally viewed as one person trying to influence positively others’ perceptions (Rao, Schmidt, & Murray, 1995).Individuals may purposely manage their impressions based on the expected preference of the message receiver.For example, Zanna and Pack (1975) found that, when led to believe that a desirable man preferred traditional women, female participants manipulated their self-presentation to appear more stereotypically feminine than they had previously described themselves.Therefore, how advertisers describe themselves in ads actually reflects their beliefs on mate selections.Another important component of personal ads is qualities that the advertiser is looking for in others.mate selection, online dating, self-presentation, cross-cultural analysis Personal advertisements are inseparable components of many print media (Vičková, 1996).The aim of personal ads is not only to provide information about advertisers’ personal features and their mate preferences but also to mediate personal contact.
Previous studies have suggested that mate selection strategies are subject to many factors.Evidence has also shown that the description of one’s personal characteristics does influence others’ perception of him or her.In a study conducted by Keisling and Gynther (1993), men perceived physically unattractive and average women described as affectionate and compassionate as more attractive than those described as independent and assertive.More Chinese advertisers provided information on their physical appearances, health conditions, financial status, education, and morality, whereas more American advertisers wrote about their personality and hobbies.
A similar pattern was found in their statements about mate preferences: statement about physical characteristics, financial status and morality more frequently appeared in Chinese personal ads, and statements about personality and hobbies more frequently occurred in American personal ads. Particularly, Chinese women were more likely to write about their own personalities, moralities, and physical characteristics than Chinese men.When people are composing their personal ads, since they usually do not know the reader, they tend to describe themselves based on the stereotypical beliefs of the society.