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Relationship Orientation, Jealousy, and Equity: An Examination of Jealousy Evoking and Positive Communicative Responses
Unformatted Document Text:  Relationship Orientation and Jealousy 2 Relationship Orientation, Jealousy, and Equity: An Examination of Jealousy Evoking and Positive Communicative Responses Equity theory (Adams, 1965) assumes that satisfaction with human social life is based on the reciprocity that occurs within interpersonal relationships. When an individual perceives their ratio of inputs and outcomes as equal to their partner’s, the individual tends to be happy. Walster, Walster, and Berscheid (1978) expanded on equity theory to include feeling advantaged or deprived as predictors of less satisfaction in the relationship. Individuals feel guilt when they perceive themselves as being advantaged and feel angry, sad, or hurt when deprived. Equity Theory is based on exchange principles applied to a relationship, however, Clark and Mills (1979) contended that exchange principles cannot be applied to intimate relationships. Instead they believed that intimate relationships are based on a communal relationship orientation. Relationship orientation refers to either having a communal or exchange based orientation in a relationship. Communal orientation, according to Clark and Mills (1979), involves being aware and responsive to the other person’s needs and wants. Exchange orientation involves individuals expecting reciprocity concerning benefits (e.g., expressions of caring) in relationships (Murstein, Cerreto, & MacDonald (1977). An aspect of relationships that can affect either communal oriented or exchange oriented individuals is jealousy. According to White (1981), jealousy involves feelings and or thoughts stemming from threats to the existence or quality of a relationship. Although many researchers have focused on relationships involving the variables of relationship orientation and jealousy (e.g., Afifi & Reichert, 1996; Buunk & Mutsaers, 1999; Buunk & VanYperen, 1991; Clark & Mills, 1979; Guerrero & Afifi, 1998; Guerrero & Andersen, 1998; Guerrero, Andersen, Jorgensen, Spitzberg, & Eloy, 1995; Pines & Aronson, 1983), the intentional evokation of

Authors: Cayanus, Jacob. and Booth-Butterfield, Melanie.
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Relationship Orientation and Jealousy 2
Relationship Orientation, Jealousy, and Equity: An Examination of Jealousy Evoking and
Positive Communicative Responses
Equity theory (Adams, 1965) assumes that satisfaction with human social life is based on
the reciprocity that occurs within interpersonal relationships. When an individual perceives their
ratio of inputs and outcomes as equal to their partner’s, the individual tends to be happy.
Walster, Walster, and Berscheid (1978) expanded on equity theory to include feeling advantaged
or deprived as predictors of less satisfaction in the relationship. Individuals feel guilt when they
perceive themselves as being advantaged and feel angry, sad, or hurt when deprived. Equity
Theory is based on exchange principles applied to a relationship, however, Clark and Mills
(1979) contended that exchange principles cannot be applied to intimate relationships. Instead
they believed that intimate relationships are based on a communal relationship orientation.
Relationship orientation refers to either having a communal or exchange based
orientation in a relationship. Communal orientation, according to Clark and Mills (1979),
involves being aware and responsive to the other person’s needs and wants. Exchange
orientation involves individuals expecting reciprocity concerning benefits (e.g., expressions of
caring) in relationships (Murstein, Cerreto, & MacDonald (1977).
An aspect of relationships that can affect either communal oriented or exchange oriented
individuals is jealousy. According to White (1981), jealousy involves feelings and or thoughts
stemming from threats to the existence or quality of a relationship. Although many researchers
have focused on relationships involving the variables of relationship orientation and jealousy
(e.g., Afifi & Reichert, 1996; Buunk & Mutsaers, 1999; Buunk & VanYperen, 1991; Clark &
Mills, 1979; Guerrero & Afifi, 1998; Guerrero & Andersen, 1998; Guerrero, Andersen,
Jorgensen, Spitzberg, & Eloy, 1995; Pines & Aronson, 1983), the intentional evokation of


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