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1997; Greenlees & Mc Grew 1994; Wiederman 1993), as well as entertainment and social skills (Miller 1998).Robin Dunbar was involved in a series of evolutionary psychology investigations of different categories of words in Lonely Hearts advertisements (Waynforth & Dunbar 1995; Pawłowski & Dunbar 1999a; Pawłowski & Dunbar 1999b; Pawłowski & Dunbar 2001) where it was reported that men and women attached different levels of importance to the following five categories in online ads: attractiveness, resources, commitment, social skills and sexiness.The methodology employed in these previous studies is usually interview-based.Academic research into the language of online dating ads is still scarce.In Computer-Mediated Communication research, previous analysis of personal pronoun usage (Sherblom 1990; Witt 2004; Walther 2007) has been reported.More pronoun use is associated with greater immediacy and involvement with a reader or topic.
Researchers have studied online relationships mainly from psychological and sociological perspectives (Van Gelder 1985; Lea & Spears 1995; Scharlott & Christ 1995; Walther 1996; Daneback 2006; Valkenburg & Jochen 2007; etc.), and predominantly among younger people.
This paper describes the results arrived at using our corpus-based methodology and compares them with those in Pawłowski and Dunbar's (2001) study.
In our data, all five of Pawłowski and Dunbar’s categories appear as statistically significant key semantic domains, and we find other statistically significant categories.
According to Pawłowski and Dunbar's (2001: 6-7) study of words in Lonely Hearts advertisements, men and women attached different levels of importance (with the exception of commitment) to five broad categories of traits.
Men’s preferences (in order) were: commitment, attractiveness, social skills, resources and sexiness.