We're (more than) friends on Facebook: an exploration into how Facebook use can lead to romantic jealousy

Kallis, Rhiannon
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University of Delaware
This study explored how possible situations on Facebook could evoke romantic jealousy. Included in this research is a proposed model of response to romantic jealousy-evoking situations that incorporates cognitive and emotional jealousy, perceived and own commitment, focus of goals, communication, and a partner's response. A pre-test was given to test the validity of the hypothetical scenarios and also to determine what activities on Facebook could lead to romantic jealousy. Participants for the main study (N=135) completed an online survey where they were given a hypothetical scenario with a possible jealousy-evoking situation that could occur on Facebook (friending, posting a message on one's wall, being tagged in a photo) along with questions pertaining to the variables of interest. Participants identified that public and private communication, photos, ex-lovers, relationships statuses, not being invited to events, and friending could elicit jealousy. Results from the main study supported most of the model, but one's communication did not predict a partner's response, nor did a partner's response predict one's own commitment. This study aimed to extend research on romantic jealousy to include events that could transpire online. Useful results were found in this study, and future research should continue to delve into this underdeveloped topic.