chapter  13
16 Pages

A Social Cognitive Evolutionary Approach to Jealousy: The Automatic Evaluation of One’ s Romantic Rivals: Abraham P. Buunk, Karlijn Massar, and Pieternel Dijkstra

T he defining feature of a jealousy-evoking situation is that it involves arival who is interested in one’s partner, or in whom one’s partner isinterested. Individuals do not become jealous when their mate ends the relationship for other reasons, such as when the partner is killed in an automobile accident, moves to a far away city for work (Mathes, Adams, & Davies, 1985), or ends the relationship without getting involved with someone else (Parrott, 1991). An illustration of the centrality of a rival for the occurrence of jealousy was provided by Hupka, Otto, Tarabrina, and Reidl (1993) who found that individuals in three cultures (Russia, the US, and Germany) agreed that the

words “rival” and “sex” were associated strongly with jealousy, but not with emotions such as anger, envy, and fear. In addition, jealousy should not be viewed as a basic or specific emotion (cf. Ellsworth, chapter 5, this volume), but rather as an evaluative-motivational complex aimed at assessing the threat that a rival may impose to one’s reproductive interests (e.g., Buunk & Dijkstra, 2000; Parrott, 1991).