College students' expectations of conflict intensity: A self-fulfilling prophecy

Benjamin M. DiPaola, Michael Elwood Roloff, Kristopher M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Before becoming involved in an argument, actors often hold expectations regarding the intensity of the forthcoming conflict. This article examines how the interaction of initiator role and expecting a conflict to be intense is related to accounts of conflict processes and conflict aftermath. Undergraduate students' reports of a recent intense conflict they had initiated or another person had initiated revealed that expectations for conflict intensity were positively associated with the extent to which the conflicts reportedly were emotionally upsetting, involved personal attacks, and subsequently interfered with everyday life. These relationships were of greater magnitude when conflicts were self-initiated than other-initiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

Keywords

  • Conflict intensity
  • Confrontation
  • Expectations of conflict
  • Self-fulfilling prophecies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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