The popular hipster (or at least hipper) dating site OK Cupid has taken data from its members photos to examine which sorts of photos get the most messages. They bash popular profile photo "myths" that command online daters to keep their chests covered, always smile, make eye contact, and never take their own photo. Among their findings: the much-maligned "MySpace photo" gets plenty of hits, the power of cleavage increases with age, and flirty-face gets more attention than smiling. Of course, they only do lip-service to the idea of omitted variables--that the reason flirty-faced pics get more hits could have to do with the underlying characteristics of those driven to take such pics, and not the expression at all. They also note that the things that lead to instant attention (messages) versus long-term connection (meaningful conversations, dates) are not the same. What the study does show, though, is that it's probably better to be yourself in your pic than try to follow the advice of online dating "experts" (including OK Cupid). Are you an OK Cupid user? What do you think of their findings?
OK Trends: The four big myths of profile pictures