August 7, 2009

Facebook may contribute to jealousy

College students who use social networking sites may be exposed to information about their partners that makes them jealous, Canadian researchers found.

Amy Muise, Emily Christofides and Serge Desmarais of the University of Guelph surveyed young adults involved in romantic relationships and found the more time spent on Facebook, the more likely they are to feel jealous toward their romantic partners, leading them to do more online surveillance to uncover more jealousy-provoking information.

The study, reported in CyberPsychology & Behavior, describes a vicious cycle in which Facebook usage and feelings of jealousy become intertwined and have a negative influence on behavior and relationships. Some of the study participants in the study described their increasing use of Facebook as addictive.

This research on university age individuals is an excellent starting point to begin asking additional questions on how this new forum might be impacting the dynamics of adult relationships and other social processes, Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, editor in chief of CyberPsychology & Behavior, said in a statement.