The present research uses insights from evolutionary psychology and social cognition to explore the relationship between jealousy-both experimentally activated and chronically accessible-on men's and women's desire to start a family and invest in children. In our first two studies, we found that chronically jealous men and women responded to primed infidelity threat by exhibiting a diminished interest in infants (Study 1) and reporting less happiness upon receiving pregnancy news (Study 2) relative to controls. Study 3 extended these results by examining the effects of jealousy on desired parental investment. Consistent with the proposed theoretical framework, chronically jealous men, but not women, respond to infidelity threat by decreasing their desired level of parental investment relative to controls. Together, these results provide novel empirical support for the hypothesis that jealousy functions to attenuate the reproductive costs associated with partner infidelity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology