Argumentative and Aggressive Communication: Theory, Research, and Application

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Andrew S. Rancer & Theodore A. Avtgis

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  • Part I: The Structure and Origin of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication

    Part II: The Function of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication

    Part III: Enhancing Communicative Outcomes through Improved Understanding of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication Processes

  • Copyright

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    Preface

    Communication traits have enjoyed a central position in the communication discipline for over 30 years. An examination of the content of the communication journals supports this assertion. Much research activity and theory building has focused on understanding how communication predispositions develop and how they influence one's behavior. Examination of the constructs of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness constitutes a large part of these research programs.

    This book is designed to serve as a textbook for courses that deal with communication especially during disagreement, controversy, and conflict. While written for upper-level undergraduates, master's and doctoral students, researchers interested in the argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness traits would also benefit from this material. Indeed, this text represents a thorough review of research and application efforts on argumentative and aggressive communication. This book is not intended to be a comprehensive review of human aggressiveness (which would fill dozens of volumes), but provides a robust treatment of primarily communication literature specific to the argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness traits.

    Our goal for this text was twofold. First, we wanted to produce a book that contained the most up-to-date information on argumentative and aggressive communication written in a way that is accessible to a wide variety of people (i.e., undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers). Second, we wanted to produce a book that contains the most comprehensive review of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness written to date. As such, students, researchers, and even practitioners could use the text as a handbook from which to review the development of this line of inquiry and garner information and ideas for future research and training efforts.

    One pedagogical feature of this text is the reflective discussion questions located at the end of each chapter. These questions serve to stimulate student self-reflection as well as classroom discussion. Students can also identify their own, and others', predispositions toward constructive and destructive communication by completing the numerous scales contained in the appendixes.

    The research benefits of this text are that it reviews hundreds of studies and resources partitioned by communication context allowing the researcher to gain a comprehensive knowledge of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness simply by reading the specific chapters of interest. Finally, Chapter 12 provides those interested in argumentative and aggressive communication with suggestions from some of the leading scholars who have conducted research in this area.

    Acknowledgments

    The genesis of this project began with a need to bring together a massive body of research that was being conducted on argumentative and aggressive communication from several social science disciplines. Throughout the writing process we have been supported by many people without whom this project would have never come to fruition. First, we would like to thank our families through which everything is possible. Andrew would like to thank his wife Kathi and his daughter Aimee who provided the motivation, love, and food to see him through this process. Ted would like to thank his wife Mary for love and support throughout this project and his son Aiden for providing the reason and inspiration to complete it. He would also like to thank his parents Alex and Gloria for their generous support.

    This project would not have been possible without the help and support of a number of other colleagues. First, we would like to acknowledge Dominic Infante. Dom is one of the rare breed of scholars who is not only world renowned for his research, but is also an excellent teacher and mentor. He encouraged us to go ahead with this project and provided a great deal of time and feedback to us. Joseph DeVito, whose own books have greatly influenced the discipline, provided numerous suggestions on how to enhance the content and appearance of the book.

    We called on a number of distinguished and highly recognized communication scholars and asked them to contribute their thoughts about the future of research on argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. Despite their hectic schedules, none of them let us down. Their contributions have made Chapter 12 quite unique and extremely meaningful. In alphabetical order we thank Carolyn Anderson, Michael Beatty, Dominic Infante, Timothy Levine, Matthew Martin, James McCroskey, Scott Myers, Anne Maydan Nicotera, Jill Rudd, and Charles Wigley. We would also like to thank the numerous other scholars mentioned throughout this text, for their work is really the foundation of the content of this book.

    We would like to thank SAGE Publications for assistance throughout this project. Our editor, Todd Armstrong, an early supporter of this project, provided much guidance especially in dealing with revisions. Deya Saoud, associate editor, always answered our questions and helped us meet our deadlines in a timely fashion. We would also like to thank Toni Williams, whose editing helped to improve the flow of the text.

    Finally, we wish to thank the following reviewers:

    • Deborah J. Borisoff, New York University
    • Leda Cooks, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Joseph A. DeVito, Hunter College of The City University of New York
    • Dominic Infante, Kent State University
    • Matthew M. Martin, West Virginia University
    • Anne Maydan Nicotera, Howard University
    • James C. McCroskey, West Virginia University
    • John G. Oetzel, University of New Mexico
    • R. Jeffrey Ringer, St. Cloud State University
    • Jill E. Rudd, Cleveland State University
    • Charles J. Wigley III, Canisius College
  • Appendix A: The Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness Scales

    The Argumentativeness Scale

    Instructions: This questionnaire contains statements about arguing controversial issues. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally by placing the appropriate number in the blank to the left of the statement. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = almost never true
    • 2 = rarely true
    • 3 = occasionally true
    • 4 = often true
    • 5 = almost always true
    • _____ 1. While in an argument, I worry that the person I am arguing with will form a negative impression of me.
    • _____ 2. Arguing over controversial issues improves my intelligence.
    • _____ 3. I enjoy avoiding arguments.
    • _____ 4. I am energetic and enthusiastic when I argue.
    • _____ 5. Once I finish an argument I promise myself that I will not get into another.
    • _____ 6. Arguing with a person creates more problems for me than it solves.
    • _____ 7. I have a pleasant, good feeling when I win a point in an argument.
    • _____ 8. When I finish arguing with someone I feel nervous and upset.
    • _____ 9. I enjoy a good argument over a controversial issue.
    • _____10. I get an unpleasant feeling when I realize I am about to get into an argument.
    • _____11. I enjoy defending my point of view on an issue.
    • _____12. I am happy when I keep an argument from happening.
    • _____13. I do not like to miss the opportunity to argue a controversial issue.
    • _____14. I prefer being with people who rarely disagree with me.
    • _____15. I consider an argument an exciting intellectual challenge.
    • _____16. I find myself unable to think of effective points during an argument.
    • _____17. I feel refreshed and satisfied after an argument on a controversial issue.
    • _____18. I have the ability to do well in an argument.
    • _____19. I try to avoid getting into arguments.
    • _____20. I feel excitement when I expect that a conversation I am in is leading to an argument.
    Scoring Instructions for the Argumentativeness Scale
    • Add scores for items 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20

      (A) Total =_____

    • Add scores for items 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19

      (B) Total =_____

    • Subtract your (B) total from your (A) total

    Interpretation of Argumentativeness Scores

    • If the result is any number between 14 and 40, you may have a high motivation to argue.
    • If the result is any number between 4 and 13, you may have a moderate motivation to argue.
    • If the result is any number between 5 and 25, you may have a low motivation to argue.
    From “A Conceptualization and Measure of Argumentativeness,” by D. A. Infante and A. S. Rancer, 1982, Journal of Personality Assessment, 46, pp. 72–80. Copyright 1982 by Lawrence Erlbaum.
    The Verbal Aggressiveness Scale

    Instructions: This survey is concerned with how we try to get people to comply with our wishes. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally when you try to influence other persons. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = almost never true
    • 2 = rarely true
    • 3 = occasionally true
    • 4 = often true
    • 5 = almost always true
    • _____ 1. I am extremely careful to avoid attacking individuals’ intelligence when I attack their ideas.
    • _____ 2. When individuals are very stubborn, I use insults to soften their stubbornness.
    • _____ 3. I try very hard to avoid having other people feel bad about themselves when I try to influence them.
    • _____ 4. When people refuse to do a task I know is important, without good reason, I tell them they are unreasonable.
    • _____ 5. When others do things I regard as stupid, I try to be extremely gentle with them.
    • _____ 6. If individuals I am trying to influence really deserve it, I attack their character.
    • _____ 7. When people behave in ways that are in very poor taste, I insult them in order to shock them into proper behavior.
    • _____ 8. I try to make people feel good about themselves even when their ideas are stupid.
    • _____ 9. When people simply will not budge on a matter of importance I lose my temper and say rather strong things to them.
    • _____10. When people criticize my shortcomings, I take it in good humor and do not try to get back at them.
    • _____11. When individuals insult me, I get a lot of pleasure out of really telling them off.
    • _____12. When I dislike individuals greatly, I try not to show it in what I say or how I say it.
    • _____13. I like poking fun at people who do things which are very stupid in order to stimulate their intelligence.
    • _____14. When I attack a person's ideas, I try not to damage their self-concepts.
    • _____15. When I try to influence people, I make a great effort not to offend them.
    • _____16. When people do things which are mean or cruel, I attack their character in order to help correct their behavior.
    • _____17. I refuse to participate in arguments when they involve personal attacks.
    • _____18. When nothing seems to work in trying to influence others, I yell and scream in order to get some movement from them.
    • _____19. When I am not able to refute others’ positions, I try to make them feel defensive in order to weaken their positions.
    • _____20. When an argument shifts to personal attacks, I try very hard to change the subject.
    Scoring Instructions for the Verbal Aggressiveness Scale
    • Add your scores on items 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 19
    • Add your scores on items 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20
    • Subtract the sum obtained in step 2 from 60
    • Add the total obtained in step 1 to the result obtained in step 3 to compute your verbal aggressiveness score

    Interpretation of Verbal Aggressiveness Scores

    • If you scored between 59 and 100, you may be considered high in verbal aggressiveness.
    • If you scored between 39 and 58, you may be considered moderate in verbal aggressiveness.
    • If you scored between 20 and 38, you may be considered low in verbal aggressiveness.
    From “Verbal Aggressiveness: An Interpersonal Model and Measure,” by D. A. Infante & C. J. Wigley, 1986, Communication Monographs, 53, pp. 61–69. Copyright 1986 by National Communication Association, Taylor & Francis.

    Appendix B: The Adolescent Argumentativeness and Adolescent Verbal Aggressiveness Scales

    The Adolescent Argumentativeness Scale (ADARG)

    Instructions: This survey contains statements about arguing. By “arguing,” I mean having a discussion or disagreement about a topic that has more than one side. For example, you might argue over who is the best basketball player or who is the best music group. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally when you argue with your friends. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = Almost never true
    • 2 = Rarely true
    • 3 = Sometimes true
    • 4 = Often true
    • 5 = Almost always true
    • _____ 1. I have a great time when I argue.
    • _____ 2. I feel good when I am winning an argument.
    • _____ 3. When I finish arguing with someone, I feel nervous and upset.
    • _____ 4. I enjoy a good argument.
    • _____ 5. I get a bad feeling when I am about to get into an argument.
    • _____ 6. I am happy when I keep an argument from happening.
    • _____ 7. I do not like to miss the chance to argue.
    • _____ 8. Arguments are a fun challenge.
    • _____ 9. I feel refreshed and satisfied after an argument.
    • _____10. I have the ability to do well in arguments.
    Scoring Instructions for the Adolescent Argumentativeness Scale
    • Reverse the scoring for items 3, 5, and 6. Use the following conversions: (5 = 1) (4 = 2) (3 = 3) (2 = 4) (1 = 5). That is, for Items 3, 5, and 6, if you scored a “5” change the score to a “1”; if you scored a “4” change the score to a “2” and so on.
    • Sum the scores on the ten items after this reverse scoring.
    The Adolescent Verbal Aggressiveness Scale (ADVA)

    Instructions: This survey is concerned with how we try to get people to do what we want. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally when you try to change a friend's mind. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = Almost never true
    • 2 = Rarely true
    • 3 = Sometimes true
    • 4 = Often true
    • 5 = Almost always true
    • _____ 1. When people are very stubborn, I use insults to soften their stubbornness.
    • _____ 2. When others do things I think are stupid, I try to be very gentle with them.
    • _____ 3. When I want my way and someone won't listen, I will call them names and let them know I think they are stupid.
    • _____ 4. When people behave badly, I insult them in order to get them to behave better.
    • _____ 5. When people will not budge on an important issue, I get angry and say really nasty things to them.
    • _____ 6. When people criticize my faults, I do not let it bother me and do not try to get back at them.
    • _____ 7. When people insult me, I like to really tell them off.
    • _____ 8. I like making fun of people who do things which are very stupid in order to make them smarter.
    Scoring Instructions for the Adolescent Verbal Aggressiveness Scale
    • Reverse the scoring for items 2 and 6. Use the following conversions: (5 = 1) (4 =2) (3 = 3) (2 = 4) (1 = 5). That is, for Items 2 and 6, if you scored a “5” change the score to a “1”; if you scored a “4” change the score to a “2” and so on.
    • Sum the scores on the eight items after this reverse scoring.
    Both scales from “The Assessment of Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness in Adolescent Populations,” by A. J. Roberto and M. Finucane, 1997, Communication Quarterly, 45, pp. 21–36. Copyright 1997 by Eastern Communication Association, Taylor & Francis.

    Appendix C: Short-Form Versions of the Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness Scales

    Short-Form Version of the Argumentativeness Scale

    Instructions: This questionnaire contains statements about arguing controversial issues. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally by placing the appropriate number in the blank to the left of the statement. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = almost never true
    • 2 = rarely true
    • 3 = occasionally true
    • 4 = often true
    • 5 = almost always true
    • _____ 1. While in an argument, I worry that the person I am arguing with will form a negative impression of me.
    • _____ 2. I am energetic and enthusiastic when I argue.
    • _____ 3. I enjoy a good argument over a controversial issue.
    • _____ 4. I prefer being with people who rarely disagree with me.
    • _____ 5. I enjoy defending my point of view on an issue.
    • _____ 6. When I finish arguing with someone I feel nervous and upset.
    • _____ 7. I consider an argument an exciting intellectual challenge.
    • _____ 8. I find myself unable to think of effective points during an argument.
    • _____ 9. I have the ability to do well in an argument.
    • _____10. I try to avoid getting into arguments.
    From “Subordinates’ Satisfaction and Perceptions of Superiors’ Compliance-Gaining Tactics, Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness, and Style,” by D. A. Infante, C. M. Anderson, M. M. Martin, A. D. Herington, and J. Kim, 1993, Management Communication Quarterly, 6, pp. 307–326. Copyright 1993 by Sage Publications.
    Short-Form Version of the Verbal Aggressiveness Scale

    Instructions: This survey is concerned with how we try to get people to comply with our wishes. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally when you try to influence other persons. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = almost never true
    • 2 = rarely true
    • 3 = occasionally true
    • 4 = often true
    • 5 = almost always true
    • _____ 1. I am extremely careful to avoid attacking individuals’ intelligence when I attack their ideas.
    • _____ 2. When individuals are very stubborn, I use insults to soften their stubbornness.
    • _____ 3. I try very hard to avoid having other people feel bad about themselves when I try to influence them.
    • _____ 4. If individuals I am trying to influence really deserve it, I attack their character.
    • _____ 5. I try to make people feel good about themselves even when their ideas are stupid.
    • _____ 6. When people simply will not budge on a matter of importance, I lose my temper and say rather strong things to them.
    • _____ 7. When individuals insult me, I get a lot of pleasure out of really telling them off.
    • _____ 8. When I attack a person's ideas, I try not to damage their self-concepts.
    • _____ 9. When I try to influence people, I make a great effort not to offend them.
    • _____10. When nothing seems to work in trying to influence others, I yell and scream in order to get some movement from them.
    From “Subordinates’ Satisfaction and Perceptions of Superiors’ Compliance-Gaining Tactics, Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness, and Style,” by D. A. Infante, C. M. Anderson, M. M. Martin, A. D. Herington, and J. Kim, 1993, Management Communication Quarterly, 6, pp. 307–326. Copyright 1993 by Sage Publications.

    Appendix D: The Affective-Behavioral-Cognitive Scale (ABCAS)

    Directions: This instrument contains statements concerning how you feel about and how you tend to behave when communicating with other people. For most of the items on this questionnaire you can choose one of seven possible responses. Many statements are similar to other statements. Do not be concerned about this. Please indicate in the space provided the degree to which each statement applies to you by marking whether you:

    • 1 = Strongly Disagree
    • 2 = Disagree
    • 3 = Somewhat Disagree
    • 4 = Not Sure
    • 5 = Somewhat Agree
    • 6 = Agree
    • 7 = Strongly Agree
    • _____ 1. I tend to avoid opportunities to discuss my views on controversial issues.
    • _____ 2. Discussing controversial issues with another person sharpens my mind.
    • _____ 3. I participate frequently in controversial discussions.
    • _____ 4. When I overhear a controversial discussion, I try to join in.
    • _____ 5. I initiate discussions on controversial issues.
    • _____ 6. Controversial discussions are refreshing and satisfying.
    • _____ 7. Participating in discussions over controversial issues at social events makes these events more fun for me than they would be otherwise.
    • _____ 8. My friends and I engage in controversial issues.
    • _____ 9. Controversial discussions keep my personal relationships interesting.
    • _____10. When I think about having to discuss controversial issues with others, it bothers me.
    Scoring Instructions for the Affective-Behavioral-Cognitive Scale (ABCAS)
    • Reverse the scoring for items 1 and 10. Use the following conversions: (5 = 1) (4 = 2) (3 = 3) (2 = 4) (1 = 5). That is, for Items 1 and 10, if you scored a “5” change the score to a “1”; if you scored a “4” change the score to a “2” and so on.
    • Sum the scores on the ten items after this reverse scoring.

    Interpretation of ABCAS Scores

    • Mean = 45.09
    • Standard deviation = 9.86
    • Low Argumentativeness = Scores between 0–31
    • Moderate Argumentativeness = Scores between 32–55
    • High Argumentativeness = Scores between 56–70
    From “Affective, Behavioral, and Cognitive Dimensions of Argumentativeness: A New Measure,” by L. L. Hinkle, April 2003. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Williamsburg, VA. Copyright by Dr. Lois L. Hinkle.

    Appendix E: The Indirect Interpersonal Aggressiveness Scale

    Instructions: This survey is concerned with how we try to get people to comply with our wishes. Indicate how often each statement is true for you personally when you try to influence other persons. Use the following scale:

    • 1 = almost never true
    • 2 = rarely true
    • 3 = occasionally true
    • 4 = often true
    • 5 = almost always true
    • _____ 1. If someone intentionally treats me unfairly, I would spread rumors about him or her.
    • _____ 2. I would provide inaccurate information to a person who has been hostile or unfair to me.
    • _____ 3. I might “forget” to relay information to a person who has been hostile or unfair to me.
    • _____ 4. I would work “behind the scenes” to keep an enemy from getting what he or she wants.
    • _____ 5. If someone is a real jerk, I would harm his or her chances for success if given the chance.
    • _____ 6. I would facilitate the failure of people who have mistreated me.
    • _____ 7. Given the chance, I would keep a person who has mistreated me from getting a job or promotion that he or she really wants.
    • _____ 8. I would not warn a person who has mistreated me about a problem situation even though my information would allow him or her to avoid trouble.
    • _____ 9. I have destroyed one or more of another's belongings because he or she mistreated me.
    • _____10. I would try to keep important information from people who have been hostile toward me.
    From “A ‘Dark Side’ of Communication Avoidance: Indirect Interpersonal Aggressiveness,” by M. J. Beatty, K. M. Valencic, J. E. Rudd, and J. A. Dobos, 1999, Communication Research Reports, 16, pp. 103–109. Copyright by Eastern Communication Association, Taylor & Francis.

    Appendix F: The Beliefs about Arguing Measure

    Instructions: This questionnaire contains statements regarding your beliefs about arguing. Indicate your agreement or disagreement with each statement by using the following scale:

    • 1 = strongly disagree
    • 2 = disagree
    • 3 = neither agree or disagree
    • 4 = agree
    • 5 = strongly agree
    • _____ 1. I enjoy a good verbal fight.
    • _____ 2. Arguing gives me insight into how others see the world.
    • _____ 3. Arguing increases my communication ability.
    • _____ 4. Arguing is a waste of time.
    • _____ 5. Arguing is a type of education.
    • _____ 6. When I do well in an argument, I experience a sense of power.
    • _____ 7. When I argue with someone, issues usually are not discussed fully enough.
    • _____ 8. Arguing creates tension between people.
    • _____ 9. Arguing is fun.
    • _____10. People will dislike me if I argue with them.
    • _____11. I find it difficult to state my case well when I argue.
    • _____12. Matters usually become worse between people when they argue with each other.
    • _____13. Arguing is an effective means of resolving differences between people.
    • _____14. Arguing usually leads to anger and unreasonable behavior.
    • _____15. Arguing is a type of inexpensive, enjoyable entertainment.
    • _____16. Unless an argument actually resolves an issue, it is not enjoyable.
    • _____17. Arguing provides an opportunity to persuade someone over to my side of an issue.
    • _____18. Arguing reduces aggression.
    • _____19. I rarely try to change others’ opinions.
    • _____20. Arguments can be vicious.
    • _____21. It feels good, during an argument, to let out my feelings and support and defend my ideas.
    • _____22. When I argue, I don't feel good about myself.
    • _____23. Arguing helps resolve conflict.
    • _____24. Arguing is a hostile means of resolving differences between people.
    From “Beliefs about Arguing as Predictors of Trait Argumentativeness: Implications for Training in Argument and Conflict Management,” by A. S. Rancer, R. L. Kosberg, and R. A. Baukus, 1992, Communication Education, 41, pp. 375–387. Copyright 1992 by National Communication Association, Taylor & Francis.

    Appendix G: Additional Resources on Argumentative and Aggressive Communication

    Anderson, C. M., Raptis, P. R., Lin, Y., & Clark, F. R. (2000). Motives as predictors of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness of black and white adolescents. Communication Research Reports, 17, 115–126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08824090009388758
    Aune, M., Hunter, J. E., Kim, H. J., & Kim, J. S. (2001). The effect of culture and self-construals on predispositions toward verbal communication. Human Communication Research, 27, 382–408. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2001.tb00786.x
    Beatty, M. J., & McCroskey, J. C. (1998). Interpersonal communication as temperamental expression: A communibiological paradigm. In J. C.McCroskey, J. A.Daly, M. M.Martin, & M. J.Beatty (Eds.), Communication and personality: Trait perspectives (pp. 41–67). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
    Bekiari, A., Kokarides, D., & Sakelariou, K. (2005). Verbal aggressiveness of physical education teachers and students’ self-reports of behavior. Psychological Reports, 96, 493–498. http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/pr0.96.2.493-498
    Bell, R. A., & Daly, J. A. (1984). The affinity-seeking function of communication. Communication Monographs, 51, 91–115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637758409390188
    Benoit, W. L. (2004). Election outcome and topic of political campaign attacks. Southern Communication Journal, 69, 348–355. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10417940409373305
    Bresnahan, M. J., & Cai, D. H. (1986). Gender and aggression in the recognition of interruption. Discourse Processes, 21, 171–189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01638539609544954
    Cameron, K. A., Campo, S., & Brossard, D. (2003). Advocating for controversial issues: The effect of activism on compliance-gaining strategy likelihood of use. Communication Studies, 54, 265–282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10510970309363286
    Cayanus, J. L., Martin, M. M., & Weber, K. D. (2005). The relationships between driver anger and aggressive communication traits. Communication Research Reports, 22, 189–197. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036810500206990
    Chory-Assad, R. M., & Cicchirillo, V. (2005). More evidence on the bi-dimensionality of the verbal aggressiveness scale: Relationships with hostility and self-monitoring. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Pittsburgh, PA.
    Darus, H. J. (1994). Argumentativeness in the workplace: A trait by situation study. Communication Research Reports, 11, 99–106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08824099409359945
    DeWine, S., & Nicotera, A. M. (1989, October). Understanding argumentativeness at work and at home. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.
    Downs, V. C., Kaid, L. L., & Ragan, S. (1990). The impact of argumentativeness and verbal aggression on communicator image: The exchange between George Bush and Dan Rather. Western Journal of Communication, 54, 99–112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10570319009374327
    Feezel, J. D., Gordon, W. I., & Infante, D. A. (1991). Gender and the connotations of selected communication terms. Ohio Speech Journal, 29, 21–32.
    Frankovsky, M. (1995). Multidimensional scale in argumentativeness. Studies in Psychology, 37, 157–158.
    Frantz, C. M., & Seburn, M. (2003). Are argumentative people better or worse at seeing both sides?Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 565–573. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02654075030204007
    Gorden, W. I., & Infante, D. A. (1991). Test of a communication model of organizational commitment. Communication Quarterly, 39, 144–155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01463379109369792
    Gordon, W. I. (1986, April). Superior-subordinate argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Atlantic City, NJ.
    Hample, D., Benoit, P. J., Houston, J., Purifoy, G., VanHyfte, V., & Warwell, C. (1999). Naïve theories of argument: Avoiding interpersonal arguments or cutting them short. Argumentation and Advocacy, 35, 130–139.
    Harrell, W. A. (1981). Verbal aggressiveness in spectators at professional hockey games: The effects of tolerance of violence and amount of exposure to hockey. Human Relations, 34, 643–655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872678103400802
    Hartley, A. (2005, April). The long term effects of viewing television violence on adult aggressive behavior. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern States Communication Association, Baton Rouge, LA.
    Hatcher, A. (2005, April). The long term effects of viewer characteristics on aggression. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern States Communication Association, Baton Rouge, LA.
    Hinkle, L. L. (2003, November). Family conflict communication model: Constructive and destructive conflict in communication. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Miami Beach, FL.
    Huessmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C. L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children's exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977–1982. Developmental Psychology, 39, 201–221. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.39.2.201
    Infante, D. A. (1985). Inducing women to be more argumentative: Source credibility effects. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 13, 33–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00909888509388419
    Infante, D. A. (1989). Response to high argumentatives: Messages and sex differences. Southern Communication Journal, 54, 159–170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10417948909372753
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    About the Authors

    Andrew S. Rancer (Ph.D., Kent State University) is Professor of Communication at The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. He teaches communication theory, communication research, nonverbal communication, training methods in communication, and personality and communication to both undergraduate and graduate students. His research focuses on the role of argumentative and verbally aggressive communication and other personality traits across a wide variety of contexts. He has published in Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, Communication Education, Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, and the Journal of Personality Assessment, among other publications. He has also published several book chapters and is one of the coauthors of the widely used textbook Building Communication Theory.

    Theodore A. Avtgis (Ph.D., Kent State University) is Associate Professor of Communication at West Virginia University. He teaches research methods, communication theory, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, training and development, communication personality, and small group communication. His research focuses on the impact of personality on relationships and relational outcomes and, more specifically, the influence of argumentative and aggressive communication in the workplace and within the family. He has published in Communication Education, Management Communication Quarterly, and Communication Research Reports, among other publications.


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