Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-2017




Lorne Campbell

Second Advisor

Rhonda N. Balzarini


Polyamory is a relationship model where every partner involved in the relationship practices or consents to the practice of multiple simultaneous relationships. Polyamory typically consists of at least two partners, and the most common model is the primary-secondary relationship. Previous research found higher intimacy, commitment, and investment in primary relationships, while greater sexual frequency and satisfaction in secondary relationships (Mogilski, Memering, Welling, & Shackelford, 2015; Mitchell, Bartholomew, & Cobb, 2014; Balzarini, Campbell, Holmes, Lehmiller, Harman, Kohut, & Atkins, 2017). As these relationship outcomes are related to romantic attraction, passionate love, companionate love, and jealousy, the purpose of the study was to investigate the differences in feelings of love and jealousy towards primary partners compared to secondary partners. Two hundred and twenty-six self-identified polyamorists, who were above the age of majority and had at least two partners (one as primary and another as secondary) were included in the study. Participants completed a survey, which included a Romantic Attraction Scale, a Passionate Love Scale, a Companionate Love Scale, and a modified Jealousy Scale testing for emotional and sexual jealousy. Participants were recruited through online polyamorous groups and social media. Consistent with the hypotheses, results showed higher companionate love and emotional jealousy for primary partners than secondary partners. However, results for passionate love and romantic attraction were contrary to predictions, both resulting higher for primary partners than secondary partners.

Included in

Psychology Commons