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The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy and Jealousy

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Psychology, September 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
13 news outlets
blogs
5 blogs
twitter
65 X users
facebook
1 Facebook page
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
googleplus
1 Google+ user
reddit
1 Redditor
video
2 YouTube creators

Citations

dimensions_citation
21 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
103 Mendeley
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Title
The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy and Jealousy
Published in
Frontiers in Psychology, September 2017
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01619
Pubmed ID
Authors

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Baland Jalal

Abstract

The old dogma has always been that the most complex aspects of human emotions are driven by culture; Germans and English are thought to be straight-laced whereas Italians and Indians are effusive. Yet in the last two decades there has been a growing realization that even though culture plays a major role in the final expression of human nature, there must be a basic scaffolding specified by genes. While this is recognized to be true for simple emotions like anger, fear, and joy, the relevance of evolutionary arguments for more complex nuances of emotion have been inadequately explored. In this paper, we consider envy or jealousy as an example; the feeling evoked when someone is better off than you. Our approach is broadly consistent with traditional evolutionary psychology (EP) approaches, but takes it further by exploring the complexity and functional logic of the emotion - and the precise social triggers that elicit them - by using deliberately farfetched, and contrived "thought experiments" that the subject is asked to participate in. When common sense (e.g., we should be jealous of Bill Gates - not of our slightly richer neighbor) appears to contradict observed behavior (i.e., we are more envious of our neighbor) the paradox can often be resolved by evolutionary considerations which h predict the latter. Many - but not all - EP approaches fail because evolution and common sense do not make contradictory predictions. Finally, we briefly raise the possibility that gaining deeper insight into the evolutionary origins of certain undesirable emotions or behaviors can help shake them off, and may therefore have therapeutic utility. Such an approach would complement current therapies (such as cognitive behavior therapies, psychoanalysis, psychopharmacologies, and hypnotherapy), rather than negate them.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 65 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 103 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 103 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 22 21%
Student > Master 15 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 13 13%
Other 7 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 6 6%
Other 16 16%
Unknown 24 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 31 30%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 7 7%
Business, Management and Accounting 6 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 5%
Computer Science 3 3%
Other 25 24%
Unknown 26 25%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 181. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 February 2024.
All research outputs
#222,027
of 25,363,868 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Psychology
#473
of 34,390 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#4,641
of 325,035 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Psychology
#12
of 588 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,363,868 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 34,390 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 325,035 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 588 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.