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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 21 when an individual feels underbenefited in a relationship, consistent with Equity Theory, positive responses to jealousy are not apparent. Reciprocity in interpersonal relationships is the foundation for satisfaction. If an individual feels equity or overbenefited, they may feel guilt and want to respond to their partner in a positive way. When an individual feels underbenefited, feelings of anger and/or hurt may exist, which leads lack of positive response to their partner. Having a high communal orientation leads to using positive responses when jealous. In both studies, individuals high in communal orientation had the strongest positive responses to jealousy. If partners are aware of the other’s needs, it would be expected that they respond positively. In doing so, they convey to the other awareness and support of their feelings/needs. Before further conclusions can be drawn concerning evoking jealousy, limitations of this study need to be addressed. First, the Evoking Jealousy Scale appears to have face validity and obtained a high reliability, but additional work is needed to assure external validity. The scale is primarily behavior based; cognitive aspects may also need to be examined within this construct. This represents a first step in developing an instrument to measure jealousy-evoking communication. Nevertheless, this research indicates that strategies such as dressing nicely when going out and flirting are regularly employed (especially by some individuals) to heighten jealous responses of their partners. These two studies also raised some concerns about the operationalization of equity in relational research. It is not clear whether a two-item measure of equity is actually the best way to measure equity. The question of whether two separate 1-item scales compiled to produce equity scores can adequately measure equity needs to be examined. The administration of the equity operationalization used in Study 1 proved problematic due to extremely low reliability. Additional scrutiny of the measurement of feeling overbenefited, underbenefited, or in balance is

Authors: Cayanus, Jacob. and Booth-Butterfield, Melanie.
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Relationship Orientation and Jealousy 21
when an individual feels underbenefited in a relationship, consistent with Equity Theory, positive
responses to jealousy are not apparent. Reciprocity in interpersonal relationships is the
foundation for satisfaction. If an individual feels equity or overbenefited, they may feel guilt and
want to respond to their partner in a positive way. When an individual feels underbenefited,
feelings of anger and/or hurt may exist, which leads lack of positive response to their partner.
Having a high communal orientation leads to using positive responses when jealous. In
both studies, individuals high in communal orientation had the strongest positive responses to
jealousy. If partners are aware of the other’s needs, it would be expected that they respond
positively. In doing so, they convey to the other awareness and support of their feelings/needs.
Before further conclusions can be drawn concerning evoking jealousy, limitations of this
study need to be addressed. First, the Evoking Jealousy Scale appears to have face validity and
obtained a high reliability, but additional work is needed to assure external validity. The scale is
primarily behavior based; cognitive aspects may also need to be examined within this construct.
This represents a first step in developing an instrument to measure jealousy-evoking
communication. Nevertheless, this research indicates that strategies such as dressing nicely
when going out and flirting are regularly employed (especially by some individuals) to heighten
jealous responses of their partners.
These two studies also raised some concerns about the operationalization of equity in
relational research. It is not clear whether a two-item measure of equity is actually the best way
to measure equity. The question of whether two separate 1-item scales compiled to produce
equity scores can adequately measure equity needs to be examined. The administration of the
equity operationalization used in Study 1 proved problematic due to extremely low reliability.
Additional scrutiny of the measurement of feeling overbenefited, underbenefited, or in balance is


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