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Comparing romantic jealousy and friendship rivalry

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The main project aim is to test whether the same or different psychological mechanisms are defending against threats to romantic relationships and friendships emanating from a rival or competitor using a variety of methods. Jealousy is the psychological mechanism that presumably gets activated whenever a valued social relationship is threatened by a rival. Importantly, current approaches suggest that the same jealousy mechanism is involved, irrespective of the type and function of the threatened social relationship and of the stage in our socio-cognitive development (e.g., Hart & Legerstee, 2013; Parrott, 1991). To illustrate, current approaches imply that the same jealousy mechanism accompanies us throughout our entire life and in a variety of social relationships, starting in infants as young as six months in the form of sibling and peer jealousy (e.g., Hart, 2016; Legerstee, 2013), through childhood, adolescence and adulthood as friendship jealousy (e.g., Parker, Kruse, & Aikins, 2013), as romantic jealousy (e.g., Buss, 2013), and finally in the form of workplace jealousy (Thompson, Buch, & Glasø, 2018; Vecchio, 2000; Zurriaga, Gonzalez-Navarro, Buunk, & Dijkstra, 2018).
In this research project we intend to test the implicit but widely accepted assumption of a common jealousy mechanism that tries to cope with threats to any kind of valued social relationship emanating from a rival or competitor at any stage of our socio-cognitive development by focusing on a wide range of psychological processes (emotional, cognitive, and behavioural) involved in romantic jealousy and friendship rivalry.
Methods used will depend on the psychological process under scrutiny. Whenever possible, the method intends to track the dynamics involved in these processes.

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website
Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

How good is research at Brunel University London in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 22.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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