Green-eyed snakes: the associations between psychopathy, jealousy, and jealousy induction

Karlijn Massar*, Christina L. Winters, Sabine Lenz, Peter K. Jonason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The available literature on psychopathy suggests that individuals scoring high on primary or secondary psychopathy traits might respond differently to jealousy-arousing situations, but to date this has not been investigated directly. In the current study, we collected responses from 244 women and 103 men who completed measures of psychopathy, multidimensional jealousy, jealousy induction, and motives for inducing jealousy. Primary psychopathy predicted emotional jealousy, jealousy induction, and inducing jealousy to gain control over or to exact revenge on one's partner. Secondary psychopathy predicted the experience of suspicious and emotional jealousy, as well as inducing jealousy to test the relationship, gain control/power over one's partner, or gain self-esteem. In addition, primary and secondary psychopathy fully mediated sex differences in the power/control motive for jealousy induction, and partially mediated sex differences in emotional jealousy. These findings provide support for a two-factor model of psychopathy when investigating affective experiences in interpersonal relationships, and indicate a need for further research on the influence of "dark" personality traits on emotions and behavior in intimate relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-168
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Psychopathy
  • Jealousy
  • Jealousy induction
  • Motives


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