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Participants gave much lower ratings to potential dates and also perceived less similarity with them when they were shown greater, rather than fewer, numbers of traits.

The results are detailed in the January issue of the .

Profiles were corroborated with real-life measurements of a sample of users.

About half of the men lied about their height, adding at least a half inch to their stature, while more than 60 percent of all participants skewed their weight by five pounds or more.

And as soon as I find that one thing, then things start to cascade so everything else I learn about you suddenly now feels like more evidence that we are dissimilar and we don’t get along,” Norton said.

“Once you start this process of saying, ‘Ah, it’s not going well,’ it’s like an avalanche basically,” Norton said.

They end up being disappointed again.” Little white lies add to the inflated expectations.Women put more stock in the virtual dating world because they seek a soul mate, he said, whereas men are typically after a more casual relationship.It's not that familiarity always breeds contempt, the researchers say.More evidence Two additional experiments backed up this finding.In one, scientists asked each of 190 students to complete a Web-based survey in which they were shown 10 traits, one at a time.

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Though it’s nowhere near an in-person encounter, Norton said you can get a feel for whether the person is funny or a good listener.

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