When it comes to dating in the digital world, deciding on a picture for your profile can be a daunting task. After all, you only have a fleeting moment to switch that left swipe to a right and it often (cough, always) comes down to aesthetics.
But recent research has found that contrary to popular belief, we kind of suck at choosing the most favourable photos of ourselves.
A study out of the University of New South Wales asked 102 students to select two out of 12 photos of their face that they were most, or least likely to use on a dating or social network profile. They were then asked to do the same for 12 images of a randomly selected stranger who had participated in the study previously. A third group was then shown all of the photos and asked to rate the options on how attractive, trustworthy, dominant, confident or competent the person in them appeared.
Surprisingly, the results showed that the images participants had chosen for themselves made a less favourable impression than photos chosen by others.
"Our findings suggest that people make poor choices when selecting flattering images of themselves for online profile pictures, which affects other people's perception of them," said the study’s lead author, Dr David White.
"This effect is likely to have a substantial impact on online interactions, the impressions people form and the decisions they base on them, including whether to employ, date, befriend or even vote for someone."
Better run your options by some friends, fam or a willing stranger!