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Jealousy - an Emotion

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Jealousy is an emotion marked by fear of losing something important and is a common

emotion that almost all individuals experience (DeSteno, Valdesolo and Bartlett, 2006). It is

said that often those who are anxious, individuals may be more prone to these feelings in

their relationships, thus experiencing negative outcomes.

This paper will explore the effect of jealousy and anxiety, through review of a research

study Touch reduces romantic jealousy in the anxiously attached (Kim, Feeney &

Jakubiak, 2017). Previously jealousy has been shown to be harmful to individuals and their

relationships, thus the purpose of this study is to explore mechanisms to reduce jealousy

in anxious individuals. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of touch

vs. non touch in reducing negative expressions of jealousy for anxious individuals.

In order to test this theory, 75 couples (69 heterosexual and 6 homosexual couples) aged

between 18-35 who had been dating for at least 3 months were studied. The results were

tested using G-Power 3.1, which used hierarchical multiple regression with three variables.

Each couple, at random was designated to be the “target” of the jealous induction and the

“partner” who would assist with the induction. The data was only collected from the target.

To ensure authenticity, couples were told that they were being watched while rating

photographs. Firstly, each pair completed a questionnaire with scales from 1 to 7, to which

the anxiety sub scale was the primary focus. The sub scale measured the extent to which

an individual was worried about being rejected or unloved. After determining the anxiety

levels, the researchers moved onto the jealousy inducing stage.

As the study wanted to understand if touch vs. non touch was relevant, couples were split

into two groups. If the couple were assigned to “touch”, the partner had to maintain

physical contact with the target whilst sitting together for the entire duration (ie, putting his/her hand on the targets leg). The partner orally rated each photo by two measures: (1)

Attractiveness of the person (2) If the partner would date the person in the image. Unlike

this group, non touch couples performed the same task however, the partner could not

touch and the target had to sit and watch their partner rate the photographs. The visual

activity measured jealousy by asking participants to rate the extent of which they felt

threatened. Self-esteem and positive feelings were also measured as these were expected

to be related to the experience of jealousy.

In conclusion, there was a significant effect between anxiety producing jealous feelings,

indicating that the more anxious targets experienced greater states of jealousy. Consistent

with prior research showing correlation between attachment and jealousy (Hazan and

Shaver, 1987), anxious participants reported more jealousy and lower self-esteem in

response to induced jealousy laboratory situations. After examining the results, there was

a marginally significant negative relation between touch and positive feelings of low levels




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