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Dylan . Antovich. Jealousy. The Evolutionary Theory of Romantic Jealousy. Jealousy is an adapted function designed to increase fitness. Two factors in human reproduction affecting jealousy. Male concern: humans use internal fertilization, allowing for doubt regarding the genetic link between fathe.... ID: 317223 Download Presentation

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Brooke Bussone




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Brooke Bussone Dylan Antovich

Jealousy

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The Evolutionary Theory of Romantic Jealousy

Jealousy is an adapted function designed to increase fitnessTwo factors in human reproduction affecting jealousyMale concern: humans use internal fertilization, allowing for doubt regarding the genetic link between father and offspring Female concern: men may form a new relationship with another woman rather than invest in offspringTheory: men are more jealous towards sexual infidelity and women are more jealous towards emotional infidelity

Jealousy: the Theory

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Gender cannot be changed or randomly assigned, and with gender comes a lifetime of socialization and learningMany believe that emotional and sexual infidelity reflects a false dichotomy (the existence of one implies the existence of the other) All findings supporting the ESD (evolution-predicted sex difference) derive from the use of a forced-choice preference questionIt would be rare that emotional and sexual infidelities would be observed simultaneously; it would be more likely that humans would develop a mechanism for each event separately, rather than one that distinguishes between the twoUsing the terminology “distress” or “upset” to assess jealousy on the forced-choice measure could be problem of construct validity, as the phenomenological experience of jealousy is more complex than simple distress

Challenges and rebuttals to previous tests of ESD theory

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Given these issues, it is difficult to claim that ESD results from sex-specific evolved modules; to resolve this, DeSteno et al. pitted the two views against one another Two key assumptions:Sex differences from evolved mechanisms should be observed on all measures of jealousy involving sexual and emotional infidelity Sex differences should be shown to be an automatic process

Revised Jealousy Theory

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Methods:

111 undergrads from Northeastern University Received three kinds of measures Forced-choice measure Continuous scale for emotional infidelity Continuous scale for sexual infidelity (both continuous measures used the Likert scale)Agree/disagree with statements (Likert scale)Checklist measure regarding types of infidelity The order of these tests was counterbalanced

Study #1

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Likert

Scale

SEXUAL

Angry

Strongly Disagree

Strongly Agree

Jealous

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Calm

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Threatened

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Relieved

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Interested

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Alert

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

EMOTIONAL

Angry

Strongly Disagree

Strongly Agree

Jealous

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Calm

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Threatened

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Relieved

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Interested

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Alert

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Forced Choice

What would cause you more distress?

Finding out your partner had passionate sexual intercourse with another person

 

Finding out that your partner had formed a deep emotional attachment to another person

 

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Check List

Emotional

Sexual

angry

 

jealous

 

worried

 

suspicious

 

threatened

 

content

 

distressed

 

Agree-Disagree

Statement

Sexual Infidelity

Strongly Disagree

Strongly Agree

I would become very upset

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel rejected by my partner

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would not feel angry with my partner or with the person he/she was with

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel extremely jealous

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel anxious

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Emotional Infidelity

Strongly Disagree

Strongly Agree

I would become very upset

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel rejected by my partner

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would not feel angry with my partner or with the person he/she was with

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel extremely jealous

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I would feel anxious

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

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Forced-choice measure: women and men differed, with women finding emotional infidelity most distressing and men being the opposite(p =.04) (

Tbl. 1) Continuous measures: using several measures of assessment it was shown that both women and men reported more jealousy towards sexual infidelity rather than emotional, and women reported a stronger emotional response than men on both measures (Fig. 1)

RESULTS:

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? ? ? ? ?

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The findings demonstrate that support for the ESD is limited to standard forced-choice response tests While participants using the forced-choice measure did demonstrate the usual ESD effect, the effect was not demonstrated on any other measure used Whether using measures of simple distress or jealousy, both men and women reported more negative emotions in response to sexual infidelity than to emotional infidelity Women tended to report more intense levels of jealousy for both sexual and emotional infidelity (this was accounted for using the latent curve model in the second study)

Study #1: Discussion

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The findings on all jealousy measures, excepting the forced-choice measure, were parallelIt is likely that the judgments on the forced-choice measure represent the influence of decision processes evoked specifically by the method of assessment (in order for something to be a module it must be automatic, not requiring a decision-making process) The forced-choice response has been shown to engender a decision strategy when individuals effortfully consider trade-offs and possible outcomes for two options Prediction: when under a cognitive load, women will report more jealousy towards sexual infidelity rather than emotional on the forced-choice measurePrediction: women not under the cognitive load will show the typical ESD responsePrediction: men will report more jealousy towards sexual infidelity regardless of cognitive load or no cognitive load

Study #2: Introduction

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Methods:

127 undergrads (51 men, 76 women, with 6 women ultimately being removed from subsequent analysis)Participants were randomly assigned to have a cognitive load manipulation or to the control conditionCognitive load condition: participants performed several trials in which they were asked to remember a seven-digit string while answering a forced-choice question (with a ten second time constraint)

Study #2

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All three predictions were accurate:

Prediction: when under a cognitive load, women will report more jealousy towards sexual infidelity rather than emotional on the forced-choice measurePrediction: women not under the cognitive load will show the typical ESD responsePrediction: men will report more jealousy towards sexual infidelity regardless of cognitive load or no cognitive load

RESULTS:

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Since women’s reported feelings of jealousy were altered under the cognitive load, this indicates that the ability to weigh consequences and possibly outcomes will greatly affect their decision Women are answering questions based on decision-making rather than an evolved automatic response The theory of the typical ESD does not predict the outcomes that were observed in this studyTypical ESD trends are not the result of and automatic processes

Study#2: Discussion

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Overall Discussion

When needing to make a quick decision, men and women’s aversion patterns are indistinguishable

Considering men and women in the past, it seems likely that both would be more concerned with sexual infidelity rather than emotional

Men: cuckolding, reducing fitness by giving resources to someone who is not their child

Women: if men have another child with someone else, they will have to provide resources to that child as well, diluting the woman’s own resource supply

Also, it is unlikely that males will engage in emotional infidelity without any sexual contact

Evidence suggests that feelings of jealousy change with resource availability.

CONCLUSION: it

may be difficult to come up with a global evolutionary theory of jealousy that works across time

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