ERIC Number: ED372440
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Nonverbal Communication and Conflict: The Effects of Attribution and Predisposition.
Remland, Martin S.; And Others
A study examined the means by which inferences and emotions combine to motivate conflict escalation in response to nonverbal displays of status. Subjects, 64 male and 105 female volunteers enrolled in communication courses at a university located in the northeastern part of the United States, completed a verbal aggressiveness scale and a personal report of communication apprehension during the first few weeks of the semester. During the last few weeks of the semester, subjects completed questionnaires that assessed attributions, anger, and preferences for particular conflict management behaviors. Results indicated that: (1) verbally aggressive individuals were more likely to prefer negative conflict behaviors than less aggressive individuals and that the preference had little to do with feelings of anger; (2) even a single nonverbal display of status can increase the likelihood of a purposive attribution, leading to anger, which makes the use of negative conflict behavior more probable; and (3) men were more verbally aggressive than women. Findings support the attribution-based model, that conflict escalation is a more likely outcome when purposive attribution is made in response to a nonverbal display of status and less likely when a reactive attribution is made. (Contains 28 references, a figure illustrating the model, and 5 tables of data.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Conflict Management
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Conflict Management (Eugene, OR, June 1994).