Cyberpsychol Behav. 2009 Aug;12(4):441-4.
More information than you ever wanted: does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy?
Muise A, Christofides E, Desmarais S.
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
The social network site Facebook is a rapidly expanding phenomenon that is changing the nature of social relationships. Anecdotal evidence, including information described in the popular media, suggests that Facebook may be responsible for creating jealousy and suspicion in romantic relationships. The objectives of the present study were to explore the role of Facebook in the experience of jealousy and to determine if increased Facebook exposure predicts jealousy above and beyond personal and relationship factors. Three hundred eight undergraduate students completed an online survey that assessed demographic and personality factors and explored respondents’ Facebook use. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis, controlling for individual, personality, and relationship factors, revealed that increased Facebook use significantly predicts Facebook-related jealousy. We argue that this effect may be the result of a feedback loop whereby using Facebook exposes people to often ambiguous information about their partner that they may not otherwise have access to and that this new information incites further Facebook use. Our study provides evidence of Facebook’s unique contributions to the experience of jealousy in romantic relationships.