Secure attachment and material reward both attenuate romantic jealousy

Abstract

Research has shown that social support and materialism can both serve as coping mechanisms, reducing individuals’ experiences of physical and social pain (Zhou and Gao in Psychol Inq 19(3–4):127–144, 2008). We extend this paradigm by testing the buffering effects of secure attachment and material reward on a specific form of social psychological pain: romantic jealousy. Two studies examined the effects of these variables after an imagined relational threat. Participants were primed with (a) secure attachment, (b) material reward, or (c) neutral control, and then responded to a hypothetical scenario involving their romantic partners behaving flirtatiously with a rival. Results from both studies showed that the secure attachment and material reward primes both attenuated jealous responses to the provoking stimuli, relative to the neutral control prime. Neither trait attachment styles nor chronic jealousy moderated the priming effects in Study 1, but attachment styles did slightly moderate the priming effects in Study 2.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Participants’ age was not assessed in this sample.

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Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Art Aron for his feedback on the manuscript, and the undergraduate research assistants who helped with the project: Corey Herth, Jenn Loya, Monica Margulis, Stephanie Nandoo, Greg Vosits, and Danielle Wischenka.

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Correspondence to Dylan F. Selterman.

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Selterman, D.F., Maier, M.A. Secure attachment and material reward both attenuate romantic jealousy. Motiv Emot 37, 765–775 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-013-9340-y

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Emotion
  • Jealousy
  • Materialism
  • Relationships