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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40445. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040445. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

It's not just lunch: extra-pair commensality can trigger sexual jealousy.

Author information

  • 1Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America. kmk276@cornell.edu

Abstract

Do people believe that sharing food might involve sharing more than just food? To investigate this, participants were asked to rate how jealous they (Study 1)--or their best friend (Study 2)--would be if their current romantic partner were contacted by an ex-romantic partner and subsequently engaged in an array of food- and drink-based activities. We consistently find--across both men and women--that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating, such as having coffee. These findings suggest that people generally presume that sharing a meal enhances cooperation. In the context of romantic pairs, we find that participants are attuned to relationship risks that extra-pair commensality can present. For romantic partners left out of a meal, we find a common view that lunch, for example, is not "just lunch."

PMID:
22792327
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3394702
Free PMC Article
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