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The Communication of Jealousy


Jennifer L. Bevan

This book won the 2014 National Communication Association’s Diamond Anniversary Book Award

This book received the 2014 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award from the «Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association» and the «National Communication Association – Communication and Social Cognition Division – 2013 Distinguished Book Award»

Informed by a wide variety of academic disciplines and offering a unique interpersonal communication approach to the study of jealousy, The Communication of Jealousy examines, integrates, and informs research on jealousy experience and expression. The book’s integration and interpretation of academic jealousy research is through a jealousy expression lens, meaning that the focus will be particularly, but not exclusively, on jealousy research that includes a behavioral or communicative component that is drawn from a number of academic disciplines as diverse as communication, social and clinical psychology, sociology, criminology, forensic anthropology, and the biological sciences. To date, no academic book has considered jealousy primarily from an interpersonal communication perspective; in doing so, this book effectively connects jealousy research from related academic disciplines and develops a theory that advances the state of jealousy expression research.
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Chapter Five. Cognition and Emotion in the Jealousy Expression Process


One of the few things that most researchers seem to agree upon regarding the complex nature of jealousy is that it is comprised of distinct, but related, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components. These three components were first introduced in White’s (1981b) jealousy model and were subsequently formally validated and measured by Pfeiffer and Wong (1989) via their self-report Multidimensional Jealousy Scale (MJS). Further, White and Mullen’s (1989) often-used definition delineated jealousy according to these three components, as does the definition of jealousy offered in this volume. Guerrero and Andersen’s (1998b) componential model of jealousy also includes these three interrelated components, assuming that jealousy is “a pattern of emotions and cognitions that are linked to communication in empirically observable ways” (Yoshimura, Guerrero, & Trost, 1999, p. 2). In essence, jealousy researchers concur that all three components are to some extent present when an individual experiences jealousy: “thoughts of revenge and comparison to the rival, feelings of anger and rage” and “behaviors intended to damage the rival relationship” (White & Mullen, 1989, p. 13).

In addition, research has demonstrated that these three jealousy components can take many forms, and can impact and relate to one another in a multitude of ways. For example, cognitive jealousy can involve separate experiences of suspicion and worry (e.g., Guerrero et al., 1995) and emotional jealousy can include any number of specific emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness (e.g., Guerrero, Trost, & Yoshimura, 2005; Sharpsteen, 1991). In addition, specific cognitions such as rumination and...

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