Sex differences in jealousy: investigating infidelity types and rival characteristics using animated videos
Larocque, Sebastien C.
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
Commonality of infidelities
Evolutionary pressures on jealousy
Sexual versus emotional infidelities
Jealousy-related emotions and action tendencies
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In this study, romantic jealousy, infidelity types, and rival characteristics (height, weight, facial attractiveness, strength, and social status) are explored from an evolutionary perspective. Several studies have previously investigated this issue with results suggesting that jealousy is an evolved psychological mechanism (as opposed to a purely social construct). Participants were presented with animated videos of jealousy-provoking situations and asked to report, using visual analogue scales, on the intensity with which they would expect to experience a wide range of jealousy-related emotions. Despite a replication of the original findings when using only the written forced-choice question, the video paradigm found no evidence for the hypothesis that women and men are differentially sensitive to sexual and emotional infidelities. However, women reported more of an emotional response to the infidelity videos than men, and participants reported more of an emotional response to the sexual versus the emotional infidelity video. Further, while participants did perceive differences in the attractiveness of the various rival characters created, these rival characteristics were not found to have a significant influence on participants' emotional intensity ratings in response to the jealousy-provoking videos. Analyses indicated that being short or overweight (in men) and being overweight (in women) were the characteristics that were associated with the greatest decreases in both opposite-sex and same-sex evaluations of attractiveness.