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  1. James M. Hepburn

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0492

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hepburn, J. M. 2010. Jealousy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Waynesburg University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Jealousy is typically defined as an emotional response to the threat of losing a valued relationship to a rival. Although it is not considered to be a primary emotion, such as fear, sadness or joy, jealousy reflects a vital emotional process that is clinically and socially relevant to psychologists. Jealousy is found in every culture and has been recorded throughout history as an integral component to human relationships. Although it is neither desired nor essential for healthy relationships, it is nevertheless a common, even ubiquitous response. All people experience jealousy at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, some people's experience of jealousy involves intense psychological turmoil that can lead to aggressive or maladaptive responses. A majority of violent crime involving intimate partners—including murder, stalking or domestic abuse—can be attributed to feelings of jealousy.