Science Of Online Dating: Neuroscience Reveals Top 5 Tips For The Perfect Tinder Profile Picture

Are you on Tinder or any other online dating app? Then you want to hear this! Neuroscientists have found a relationship between profile picture attributes and attractiveness. It turns out that your brain prefers certain types of pictures more than others. This has a major influence on our swiping behavior.

Simple Versus Complex: Which Is More Attractive?

Our brains LOVE efficiency. The brain uses up 20% of the body’s energy and therefore needs to be as economical as possible. For this reason our brain prefers to process visually simple pictures and designs over complex ones. For example, research by Google has concluded that visually simple website designs are rated as more beautiful than complex designs.

What Happens Inside The Brain When We Swipe Through Tinder?

Dutch neuromarketing researchers have studied the relationship between cognitive workload and attractiveness. They let participants swipe through Tinder profiles while measuring brain activity (EEG) and eye movements. They found a negative correlation between the two parameters which suggests that easy to process pictures lead to better results. Pictures that require a HIGH mental workload therefore receive LESS attention.

The Perfect Tinder Profile Picture: 5 Tips According To Neuroscience

Now we have learned that our brain LOVES simplicity. So, do you want to attract more attention online? Then ditch complex pictures! But what is it that makes a picture complex? Check out these 5 tips for an irresistible first impression.

1. More contrast = more attactive

Our brains prefer high contrast pictures. Not only brings this more definition to your face but it also let’s you stand out from your background. Always make sure that you don’t blend in with your background by making use of color contrast. For instance, when you have black hair AND a black background, it’s harder for our brain to process the image.


Picture: ST&T Research

2. Keep the background clean

Another thing our brains love is a clean and simple background. Busy backgrounds distract our brain from focusing on the person in front of it. Try to avoid backgrounds with many different shapes or colors.


Picture: ST&T Research

3. Go for the solo shot

Although having friends in your picture does show your fun side, it’s best to choose a solo shot as your main profile picture. Potential dates need to be able to see within a matter of milliseconds who you are. Other people are a MAJOR distraction. So also make sure you don’t have any people in the background and never ever use a group shot as your main profile picture. It’s of course fine to upload fun pictures with friends when you show them as your second or third picture.


Picture: ST&T Research

4. Composition is key: face and body

Our brains show a clear preference for a composition that shows the upper third part of our body. This is preferred over a full body shot or headshot. Who knew?!


Picture: ST&T Research

5. Show your face

The last tip is simple: NEVER wear sunglasses! Or anything else that blocks out your face. Don’t eat a XXL pizza slice, don’t wear a hat and don’t hold your cat in front of your face. When we judge someone’s attractiveness we need to see the WHOLE face in order to become interested.


Picture: ST&T Research

Will you put these tips into practice?

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