Jealousy is a complex emotion that crops up when we feel threatened, often bringing with it feelings of fear, insecurity, anger, and even violence, and a new study done with primates is shedding some light on how it affects our brains.
Jealousy is weird. I mean, why would we have this irresistible urge that makes us lurk on Becky’s instagram to see if she’s hanging out with Chad? What good does that do us? One idea is our fear of rejection forces us to develop strong relationships we fight to protect. Some researchers even think that jealousy might have manifested as a fitness advantage as humans evolved. Jealous people boxed out competitors, secured a mate, and passed on their jealous trait.
But jealousy is a hard emotion to study, at least in people. Researchers know that animals are easier to control in a lab, but people aren’t always truthful when they give their answers.
That’s why a team of researchers based their new study on coppery titi monkeys. This is a monogamous primate species that forms strong bonds with their partner as well as mate-guarding that’s similar to romantic behaviour in humans.
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