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Profile texts of casual relationship seekers are more diffuse and harder to classify.Moreover, the study demonstrates that using a multi-method approach, with LIWC and a data-driven word-based classifier, provides a deeper understanding of linguistic differences between the two relationship seeking groups.Using both methods may be effective for obtaining a finer-grained and more comprehensive picture of linguistic differences between profile texts written by people with long-term and casual relationship goals.People's online dating intentions and relationship goals may differ: some aim for a traditional life-lasting relationship, where intended intimacy goals may eventually develop into long-term commitment (Sternberg, 1986; Eastwick et al., 2018).In this way, the theoretically postulated linguistic differences between the two groups of profile texts we investigate can then hopefully be confirmed, as well as explore whether there are additional linguistic differences not captured by the first approach.Accordingly, the second goal of our study is to determine to what extent a data-driven word-based classifier adds to a method like LIWC when textually analyzing online dating profile texts.For instance, online daters looking for a long-term or short-term relationship differ in both the presence as well as the content of the picture(s) on their profiles.
A writer's emotions may be one such factor that influences language use: positive and joyful writers may behave linguistically different from negative and angry writers, for instance, with respect to affective language use, negations and punctuation use (Hancock et al., 2007; Gill et al., 2008).
This study uses two methods to examine whether online daters looking for a long-term relationship behave linguistically different in their profile texts compared to daters seeking casual relationships.
To investigate these linguistic differences, 12,310 existing Dutch dating profiles were analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program and a word-based classifier.
The first goal of this study is therefore to examine to what extent dating intentions affect linguistic behavior in online dating profile texts, and what particular linguistic elements are important when trying to distinguish between profile texts written by people with different relationship goals.
To do so, the language use in existing dating profiles of online daters who aim to find a long-term relationship partner is compared with that of daters who search for a casual, less-involved relationship.In order to investigate whether linguistic behavior is affected by online daters' relationship goals, two different computer-based text analysis methods are employed in the present study.