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Argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness: Type of argument as a situational constraint
Unformatted Document Text:  Argumentativeness 1 Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness: Type of Argument as a Situational Constraint Arguments occurring in interpersonal relationships can be divided into two types: public issue arguments and personal issue arguments. Arguing about issues tied to personal relationships, such as trust and jealousy and leisure time spent together (personal issue arguments) can be very different from arguing over public issues, such as welfare or politics (public issue arguments). Most previous research on argumentation in interpersonal relationships has focused on personal issue arguments (e.g., Canary, Brossmann, Brossman, & Weger, 1995; Semic & Canary, 1997; Trapp & Hoff, 1985), and nearly all scholars of interpersonal argument have not made a distinction between the two types of arguments in their research (for an exception see Newell and Stutman, 1988). However, previous research by the author has found that these two types of arguments differ in the functions that these arguments play in relationships (Author, 2002a) and the beliefs that individuals hold concerning each type of argument (Author, 2002b). This study seeks to extend this line of research by focusing on whether type of argument is a situational constraint on levels of argumentative and verbally aggressive behavior. Argument is a ubiquitous phenomenon in interpersonal relationships. Markman (1991) states, “All couples experience disagreement and conflicts” (p. 91). Intimate couples are more likely than acquaintances to experience such disagreements (Cahn, 1990). Argument is therefore an important concept to study in interpersonal relationships. Benoit and Cahn (1994) claim that “Everyday argument…is a more socially acceptable way of managing disagreement than some other options” (p. 163), as disagreements can be resolved without physical violence. Studying argument helps individuals to solve their conflicts more

Authors: Johnson, Amy.
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Argumentativeness 1
Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness:
Type of Argument as a Situational Constraint
Arguments occurring in interpersonal relationships can be divided into two types: public
issue arguments and personal issue arguments. Arguing about issues tied to personal
relationships, such as trust and jealousy and leisure time spent together (personal issue
arguments) can be very different from arguing over public issues, such as welfare or politics
(public issue arguments). Most previous research on argumentation in interpersonal relationships
has focused on personal issue arguments (e.g., Canary, Brossmann, Brossman, & Weger, 1995;
Semic & Canary, 1997; Trapp & Hoff, 1985), and nearly all scholars of interpersonal argument
have not made a distinction between the two types of arguments in their research (for an
exception see Newell and Stutman, 1988). However, previous research by the author has found
that these two types of arguments differ in the functions that these arguments play in
relationships (Author, 2002a) and the beliefs that individuals hold concerning each type of
argument (Author, 2002b). This study seeks to extend this line of research by focusing on
whether type of argument is a situational constraint on levels of argumentative and verbally
aggressive behavior.
Argument is a ubiquitous phenomenon in interpersonal relationships. Markman (1991)
states, “All couples experience disagreement and conflicts” (p. 91). Intimate couples are more
likely than acquaintances to experience such disagreements (Cahn, 1990).
Argument is therefore an important concept to study in interpersonal relationships. Benoit
and Cahn (1994) claim that “Everyday argument…is a more socially acceptable way of
managing disagreement than some other options” (p. 163), as disagreements can be resolved
without physical violence. Studying argument helps individuals to solve their conflicts more


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