Some Advice for Gold-Diggers

The Los Angeles Times reports that membership at online dating sites has increased substantially this year; eHarmony, for example, was up 20 percent.

In light of the economy, we wonder how many of these online daters joined up to do some gold-digging. They should be careful. As research by Gunter Hitsch, Ali Hortacsu, and Dan Ariely makes clear, income is often vastly overstated on online dating sites.

So potential gold-diggers might do better to meet up with a potential partner face-to-face to see if there’s really any gold there. A new study by Michael Kraus and Dacher Keltner, psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that people reveal their socioeconomic status in live interactions. Undergrads with a higher socioeconomic status, for instance, were found to be ruder when interacting with others than students of a lower SES.

According to a report in Live Science:

It comes down to our animalistic tendencies, Kraus explained. Like a peacock’s tail, the seemingly snooty gestures of higher SES [socioeconomic staus] students indicates modern society’s version of “I’m fit,” and “I don’t need you.”

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  1. Doctor S says:

    People are even looking to the internet to find people to love just because of their money. Becoming pretty pathetic, cue Kanye’s song….

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  2. Fred Beukema says:

    Wow, Live Science. Generalize much?

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  3. C. Larity says:

    Desperate gold diggers? Time to go change my income on to “over $200,000″.

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  4. Erik says:

    Actually, I think it’s more likely that the fact that advertising rates have plummeted that has driven this. This has produced a surge in TV and radio ads for dating sites, in time slots never before available to them.

    See also The Snuggie and Sham Wow.

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  5. hal says:

    Reading the story (LATimes), noticed remarkable similarity to 100 other stories, thought “Gee, when there are no journalists anymore, we’ll just direct-distribute the press releases (written by the higher-priced PR grads from the J-school).”

    Looked for numbers to support statistics. Saw 20%, 30%, but no raw data. So 10 customers become 12 at 20% growth.

    Here’s an idea. Let’s make up a trend. Send press releases in 100-200 directions. Make it enticing, just before VD (Valentine’s Day) when romance anxiety and romance money is in the air. Rely on the Bandar-log to spread it. $kaching$

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  6. Steve says:

    What’s new?.. This was also where all the action was when I was in U back in the 70s. The scions treat the gold diggers like dirt and they lap it up. A few years later, they were all of the opinion that “all men are scum”.

    It was so pathetic because here they were at a place that had to be the prime hunting territory for decent guys with a lot of potential. And 2+ males for every female! But no, they wanted it all and now.

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  7. econobiker says:

    “income is often vastly overstated on online dating sites.”

    Who would have thought that someone would actually stoop to placing a lie in a profile on an online dating website?

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  8. Joe Smith says:

    “Undergrads with a higher socioeconomic status, for instance, were found to be ruder when interacting with others than students of a lower SES.”

    Well that helps explain why so many of my class mates in law school were so unspeakably rude to so many people. It was embarrassing to go out to a restaurant or bar with some of them.

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