Skip to main content

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. Participants’ age was not assessed in this sample.

References

  • Arndt, J., Solomon, S., Kasser, T., & Sheldon, K. M. (2004). The urge to splurge: A terror management account of materialism and consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14, 198–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Banerjee, R., & Dittmar, H. (2008). Individual differences in children’s materialism: The role of peer relations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 17–31.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baumiester, R., & Leary, M. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bowlby, J. (1969/1982). Attachment and loss, Vol. 1: Attachment. New York: Basic Books.

  • Brown, J. L., Sheffield, D., Leary, M. R., & Robinson, M. E. (2003). Social support and experimental pain. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 276–283.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buss, D., & Haselton, M. (2005). The evolution of jealousy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(11), 506–507.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buunk, B. (1997). Personality, birth order, and attachment styles as related to various types of jealousy. Personality and Individual Differences, 23(6), 997–1006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buunk, B. P., & Dijkstra, P. (2001). Evidence from a homosexual sample for a sex-specific rival-oriented mechanism: Jealousy as a function of a rival’s physical attractiveness and dominance. Personal Relationships, 8(4), 391–406.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carnelley, K. B., & Rowe, A. C. (2007). Repeated priming of attachment security influences later views of self and relationships. Personal Relationships, 14(2), 307–320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carnelley, K. B., & Rowe, A. C. (2010). Priming a sense of security: What goes through people’s minds? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(2), 253–261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chiffriller, S., & Hennessy, J. (2010). An empirically generated typology of men who batter. Victims and Offenders, 5, 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

  • Creasey, G. (2008). Social support, money, and pain management mechanisms: An attachment perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 19(3–4), 161–166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeSteno, D., Bartlett, M., Braverman, J., & Salovey, P. (2002). Sex differences in jealousy: Evolutionary mechanism or artifact of measurement? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1103–1116.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dijkstra, P., Groothof, H. K., Poel, G. A., Laverman, T. G., Schrier, M., & Buunk, B. P. (2001). Sex differences in the events that elicit jealouosy among homosexuals. Personal Relationships, 8(1), 41–54.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fraley, R., Waller, N. G., & Brennan, K. A. (2000). An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 350–365.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guerrero, L. (1998). Attachment-style differences in the experience and expression of romantic jealousy. Personal Relationships, 5, 273–291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris, C. R. (2002). Sexual and romantic jealousy in heterosexual and homosexual adults. Psychological Science, 13(1), 7–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • MacDonald, G., & Leary, M. R. (2005). Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 202–223.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maner, J. K., Gailliot, M. T., Rouby, A., & Miller, S. L. (2007). Can’t take my eyes off you: Attentional adhesion to mates and rivals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(3), 389–401.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marazziti, D., Consoli, G., Albanese, F., Laquidara, E., Baroni, S., & Dell’Osso, M. C. (2010). Romantic attachment and subtypes/dimensions of jealousy. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 6, 53–58.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Arad, D. (1999). Attachment working models and cognitive openness in close relationships: A test of chronic and temporary accessibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(4), 710–725.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., Birnbaum, G., Woddis, D., & Nachmias, O. (2000). Stress and accessibility of proximity-related thoughts: Exploring the normative and intraindividual components of attachment theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 509–523.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2001). Attachment theory and intergroup bias: Evidence that priming the secure base schema attenuates negative reactions to out-groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 97–115.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2005). Mental representations of attachment security: Theoretical foundation for a positive social psychology. In M. W. Baldwin (Ed.), Interpersonal cognition (pp. 233–266). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2007a). Attachment in adulthood: Structure, dynamics, and change. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2007b). Boosting attachment security to promote mental health, prosocial values, and inter-group tolerance. Psychological Inquiry, 18(3), 139–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2008). ‘Can’t buy me love’: An attachment perspective on social support and money as psychological buffers. Psychological Inquiry, 19(3–4), 167–173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P. R., & Pereg, D. (2003). Attachment theory and affect regulation: The dynamics, development, and cognitive consequences of attachment-related strategies. Motivation and Emotion, 27(2), 77–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pfeiffer, S. M., & Wong, P. T. (1989). Multidimensional jealousy. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6(2), 181–196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rammstedt, B., & John, O. P. (2007). Measuring personality in one minute or less: A 10-item short version of the big five inventory in English and German. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(1), 203–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rowe, A. C., & Carnelley, K. B. (2005). Preliminary support for the use of a hierarchical mapping technique to examine attachment networks. Personal Relationships, 12, 499–519.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rydell, R., & Bringle, R. (2007). Differentiating reactive and suspicious jealousy. Social Behavior and Personality, 35(8), 1099–1114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sharpsteen, D., & Kirkpatrick, L. (1997). Romantic jealousy and adult romantic attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(3), 627–640.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simpson, J. A. (1990). Influence of attachment styles on romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(5), 971–980.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waters, E., Merrick, S., Treboux, D., Crowell, J., & Albersheim, L. (2000). Attachment security in infancy and early adulthood: A twenty-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 71(3), 684–689.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–1070.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wei, M., Russell, D. W., Mallinckrodt, B., & Vogel, D. L. (2007). The Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (ECR)-short form: Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 88(2), 187–204.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wigman, S. A., Graham-Kevan, N., & Archer, J. (2008). Investigating sub-groups of harassers: The roles of attachment, dependency, jealousy and aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 23, 557–568.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou, X., & Gao, D. (2008). Social support and money as pain management mechanism. Psychological Inquiry, 19(3–4), 127–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

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.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dylan F. Selterman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-013-9340-y

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Emotion
  • Jealousy
  • Materialism
  • Relationships