Last Updated 26 Mar 2020

Jealousy in Romantic Relationship

Category Experiment
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Jealousy in Romantic Relationships Roxy Ghamgosarnia Stetson University In today’s society, we witness that the majority of romantic relationships suffer and falter. Numbers show marriages that end in divorce have sky rocketed. The question persists why? What causes so much dysfunction in a romantic relationship? A topic I found to be intriguing was jealousy. Present in all humans and in platonic and romantic relationships, jealousy has become an unexplainable phenomenon in which researchers are diving into in hopes of identifying the source of this detrimental emotion.

Of course with such a loaded and complex topic, it’s hard to uproot all information because there are so many directions and scenarios. However, this being said, I was able to read about some studies and observations researchers have inducted. In my research I concluded that jealousy has no real definition, but rather is a collection of negative emotions that emerge when one person feels they are loosing power over something they think they posses. (Goodboy, Horan, Booth-Butterfield, 2012:374).

Because there are different types of lovers (eros, ludus, storge, pragma, mania and agape), there are different reactions to jealousy and a correlation between ludus and mania lovers to evoke jealousy in their relationship. Through reading about a specific scenario involving jealousy in cross-sex friendship whilst being in a committed monogamous relationship I determined that jealousy opens the door to other interpersonal communication factors. For example ones non-verbal behavior is greatly affected. (Williams, 2005).

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I wanted to really invest time in understanding how different situations call for jealousy and the non-verbal reactions that begin to emerge through this negative emotion. In my prospective research I wanted to test how jealousy brews between a couples that have been in a committed heterosexual monogamous relationship. I decided for my first investigation to focus more on the jealousy that a woman would express because I was personally more familiar with it. I will carry out my methodology in two parts, first an observational analysis and following that an in-depth private interview.

In my experimentation I would make sure to have written consent from a couple that have been dating for at least six months and who are both between 21-30 years of age. I will explain to my subjects that they are about to undergo a psychological experiment but are not able to be told intricate details because it may skew the results. I will make sure to have a clear and concise written contract that explains my experiment is not intended to cause any personal conflict, or to harm them in any way.

For example, an excerpt from that written contract may be: “I ____________ hereby understand that the information that will be observed in the evenings progression is strictly confidential. No section of this experiment is instituted to cause damage in physicality or emotionally but is rather for the purposes of education and to be studied my professionals in the field. I understand the curators of the experiment are not responsible for my actions or reactions, but rather have the intent to gain knowledge from the study.

At anytime it is my right to leave the room if I feel uncomfortable. ” After my subjects understand their rights and identify my responsibilities I will progress with the experiment. The “Model” (which I will explain later) is not a volunteer and will be paid for working with me, so a level of professionalism is definitely necessary. There too, will be an employee contract as to protect both the agent and the principal. I wished to set up my methodology in a contemporary way.

The observation portion will be as follows: once consent is given my subjects will be instructed to attend a semi-formal gathering among their peers. This gathering will be a social banquet, perhaps associated with a charitable event such as to create more mystery for the subjects so they don’t foresee the elements of the procedure that I have set up. I would certainly avoid and places such as a nightclub or bar, where there would be increased tension and the risk of my subjects become intoxicated.

Through out the course of the evening there will be a third element to my experiment. This would be the Model, or M. M would have to be an attractive lady in her early to mid twenties who during the succession of the event will purposefully approach the couple and insert herself in conversation with the couple, paying closer attention to the male in the relationship. Her job is to be extraverted and friendly. She will be wearing an ear device that will have me instructing her on how to keep conversation as I will be watching and hearing everything from a private room.

What I will be looking for is the verbal and non-verbal reactions from the female in the relationship. How she reacts to certain things that M says like “Oh, I am currently not seeing anybody its so difficult to find a decent man nowadays. ” While not breaking eye contact with the Male. After the event has finished the couple will be instructed by a personnel to meet with me for the second portion of the experiment. The second method I will use for my study is an in depth interview with both the male and the female in the relationship.

Each interview will be done separately and privately. I will explain that what the study specifically was about, telling them that it was an observation of body language and interpersonal non-verbal communication. I then will proceed to ask a few questions on what they were thinking and how they felt at different parts of the evening when M was present. I will be able to play back the footage and point out key moments where I think that they displayed some sort of negativity.

Ultimately I am trying to discover if in the situation that was provided the female in the study felt any sort of jealousy towards the M and if the male was able to effectively pick up on her reactions. Some interview questions will include, but are not limited to: Were you aware of the body language and looks that your girlfriend was doing? How did you feel when you saw the other lady? Were you aware of your body language? Many of the questions I ask depend of course on what I see and what I hear so I cannot give a clear and accurate outline at this time.

But, the questions will be formatted to help me better understand the emotions felt during the experimentations. Even if there were no feelings of jealousy it will still be interesting to be able to understand peoples reactions to situations that involve their significant other. After a few different couples I am positive that my results will allow me to draw some parallels, and in other cases there would be no correlation in emotional responses. This would further validate my theory that jealousy is subjective and situational depending on each different person. Spitzberg, Cupach, 2010). In order to protect my subjects’ privacy, I would keep their identity a secret. The only people that would really know who they are would be myself and the person I chose to hire as M who would be liable to keep confidentiality. In my published results I would refer to the female as X and the male as Y. I will store all information on my laptop which is password locked. All digital footage shall be locked in a secure filing cabinet and destroyed once the procedure is completed.

Like an experiment there are a few limitations that should be considered. For one, budget. I would have to have substantial funds in order to purchase the equipment I need and to organize a set up that would be appropriate. The next would be finding the right couple to conduct this experiment on, which would easily give consent for the study. For future research I would greatly like to reverse the roles. Using a male M and observing the reactions and interpersonal communications that the male in the relationship would demonstrate.

Repeated trials would allow for a better and cleared understanding as results can vary drastically from one another. Also, perhaps this can be conducted using homosexual couples in order the see if there are any similarities or differences in the results. All in all, I feel that my implemented methodology would effectively allow me to test how jealousy may brew in a situational setting in a committed, monogamous relationship. Because jealousy is such a deep emotion that also is affiliated with other negative emotions it is difficult to plug in a formula and measure it.

However, with this study, it will allow one to observe first hand how non-verbal communication is so prominent in our everyday interactions especially in one which we feel uncomfortable in. Through my read research I better understand what factors can possibly lead to jealousy and I wanted to put my understanding to the test and create a compelling, creative and contemporary study. I hope that my results will assist others when researching about this relatively dewy subject. References Kennedy-Lightsey, C. , & Booth-Butterfield, M. (2011).

Responses to jealousy situations that evoke uncertainty in married and dating relationships. 59(2), 255-275. Williams, S. (2005). Jealousy in the cross-sex friendship. 471-485. doi: Ebsco Host Goodboy, A. , Horan, S. , & Booth-Butterfield, M. (2012). Intentional jealousy- evoking behavior in romantic relationships as a function of received partner affection and love styles. 60(3), 370-385. doi: Ebsco Host Spitzberg, B. H. , & Cupach, W. R. (2010). Disentangling the dark side. In B. Spitzberg & W. Cupach (Eds. ), The dark side of interpersonal communication (2nd ed. ). New York: Routledge

Jealousy in Romantic Relationship essay

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