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Sources: Leonardo Cuello, leo2k5@hotmail.com;
and Brenda McDaniel, 785-532-0807, bmcdani@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-6415, gtammen@k-state.edu

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010

UNDERGRADUATE FROM UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO STUDIES ROMANTIC JEALOUSY THROUGH K-STATE RESEARCH PROGRAM

MANHATTAN -- While many college students spend their summer vacation away from the world of academia, one has traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to get more of it.

Leonardo Cuello, a senior at the University of Puerto Rico, ventured to Kansas State University to explore romantic relationships in young adults. His study examined predictors of female romantic jealousy, such as body image, anxious romantic attachment, and cheating-related thoughts and behaviors.

Cuello's study is part of K-State's Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, or SUROP, in the department of psychology.

"The rationale behind one of the variables in my study is to see if people who are thinking about cheating or who have cheated on their partner will project their own thoughts and behavior onto their partner," said Cuello, a Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, resident.

"For example, take a guy who in his past relationships, and even in his current relationship, has seen a lot of women and thought he would like to get with them. Now, with his current girlfriend, he sees that same behavior and thoughts in her by projecting, and becomes jealous since he believes she is doing and thinking the same things that he is," Cuello said.

For nine weeks Cuello conducted research under the tutelage of Brenda McDaniel, assistant professor of psychology at K-State. He examined more than 200 online surveys from women age 18-23 living in the United States and Puerto Rico. He intends to publish his results in an academic journal.

In addition to his research, Cuello is assisting McDaniel with instruction in some of her summer courses. He said this helps prepare him for his future career as a professor.

Cuello is one of eight undergraduates currently participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at K-State.

"The Graduate School has sponsored some type of undergraduate research experience for the past 20 years," said Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School and co-director of the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. "Different departments have been funded by the National Science Foundation for the past 15 years to support undergraduates in obtaining research experiences during the summer, and to stimulate the students' interest in graduate education and a research career. The success of all these programs is dependent on faculty who provide excellent mentoring to the undergraduates participating in the different programs."