Research Projects

Jealousy as an adaptation designed to protect close attachment bonds

Jealousy as an adaptation designed to protect close attachment bonds. FONDECYT_1181114
April 2019-April 2023
Ana María Fernández (Principal Investigator)

Collaborating Institutions:
Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD
University of Santiago de Chile (USACH)
University of Chile (UCH)

Participants:
Ana María Fernández (IR-USACH)
UDD:
José A. Muñoz (CO)
Carlos Rodríguez-Sickert (CO)

Other Participants:
Ana María Fernández (IR-USACH)
Michelle Dufey (CO-UCH)

*IR: Responsible Researcher; CO: Co-Investigator; Tec; Technical Support; Es; Graduate Student; PD; Postdoc.

Project Description:
According to the literature on social and evolutionary psychology, jealousy is an emotion that is designed by biological evolution to protect close bonds. Jealousy would be directed to drive away individuals perceived as social rivals that potentially threaten the bond with the close person, or this emotion would be oriented towards mate retention. Taking into account this background during this research it will be assessed during early childhood development, as well as later in the development of friendship and romantic bonds, jealousy (non-pathological) would be an emotion to protect close attachment. In this sense, we will try to understand whether this complex emotion presents similar affective, behavioral and physiological characteristics throughout ontogenetic development (in childhood and adulthood). Thus, jealousy arises when emotional behaviors and the respective neurobiological systems that affect the search for proximity, exclusivity, care and reunification with the close attachment figure are activated, varying its characteristics according to the level of maturity and dependence of the individual. In the present investigation, jealousy will be experimentally induced by presenting a social rival to children, same-sex friends and adult romantic partners. From this induction the affective and behavioral response of the participants will be recorded. In addition to this, the psychophysiological reaction will be recorded in same-sex friends and romantic partners. Also, as a methodological innovation in the area of evolutionary psychology, economic games will be incorporated as scenarios of evocation of jealousy, which will be investigated with heterosexual couples and same-sex friends seeking to determine whether jealousy would be an independent emotion or associated with feelings of trust of individuals.

Doctorado en Ciencias de la Complejidad Social UDD - Acreditado