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Profile As Promise: A Framework For Conceptualizing Veracity In Online Dating Self-presentations

Nicole B. Ellison, Jeffrey T. Hancock, Catalina L. Toma

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This research explores how users conceptualize misrepresentation (their own and others’) in a specific genre of online self-presentation: the online dating profile. Using qualitative data collected from 37 online dating participants, we explore user understandings of self-presentational practices, specifically how discrepancies between one’s online profile and offline presentation are constructed, assessed, and justified. Based on our analysis, we propose the profile as promise framework as an analytic lens that captures user understandings about profile-based representation through a qualitative analysis of their retrospective reflections.