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In our data, all five of Pawłowski and Dunbar’s categories appear as statistically significant key semantic domains, and we find other statistically significant categories.
The category of sexiness was added in Pawłowski and Dunbar’s (2001) without exemplification.
Our focus is the over-50s, as this age group is often overlooked in previous studies.
Pawłowski and Dunbar’s (2001) evolutionary psychology study found the five most important categories of words in Lonely Hearts advertisements were attractiveness, resources, commitment, social skills and sexiness.
Table 1 exemplifies the traits associated with these categories, based on the investigations conducted by Dunbar and his colleagues.
The types of words coded for the categories of attractiveness, resources and commitment (to be precise, physical attractiveness, wealth/status and family commitment) were given in Waynforth and Dunbar (1995).
Athletic, attractive, cute, fit, good-looking, healthy, nice body (for both sexes); handsome, hunk, muscular, rugged, tall, well-built (for males); or buxom, petite, pretty, shapely, slender, slim (for females)Kind, understanding, emotionally stable, mature, dependable, pleasing disposition, likes/wants children, good cook/ housekeeper (based on the list produced by Buss 1989); plus, in addition, giving, caring, family-minded or gentle Overall, in Pawłowski and Dunbar’s (2001: 7) study, females rated resources and social skills higher than males did, while males rated attractiveness and sexiness higher than females did.