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“Creeping” or just information seeking? Gender differences in partner monitoring in response to jealousy on Facebook

Authors


  • Amy Muise, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada; Emily Christofides and Serge Desmarais, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Canada.
  • This work has been supported by Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships awarded to Amy Muise, and a SSHRC doctoral fellowship awarded to Emily Christofides. This research was partially funded by a research grant from the University of Guelph-Humber awarded to Amy Muise. We would like to thank Emily Impett and the Relationships and Well-being Lab at the University of Toronto for their helpful comments.

Abstract

New media, such as Facebook, has implications for romantic relationships, including easing the ability to monitor a partner's activities. Across two studies we demonstrate that in response to feelings of jealousy, women are more likely than men to monitor their partner's activities on Facebook. In Study 1, participants were exposed to one of three experimental conditions meant to provoke jealousy, and their search time on a simulated Facebook environment was recorded. Jealousy predicted more time searching for women, but less for men. In Study 2, a dyadic daily experience study, on days when women (but not men) reported greater jealousy they spent more time monitoring their partner on Facebook, and anxious attachment was one mechanism that explained this association. The results are discussed in terms of gender differences in attachment and response to feelings of jealousy.

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