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Argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness: Type of argument as a situational constraint
Unformatted Document Text:  Argumentativeness 2 constructively. Therefore, studying and teaching argumentativeness “offers a real opportunity to reduce destructive conflict in interpersonal relations” (Dowling & Flint, 1990, p. 185). Argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness are integral concepts in the literature on argument (Infante & Rancer, 1996). Argumentativeness is defined as “a generally stable trait which predisposes the individual in communication situations to advocate positions on controversial issues and to attack verbally the positions which other people take on these issues” (Infante & Rancer, 1982, p. 72). This concept is perceived as constructive (Infante, Myers, & Buerkel, 1994; Martin & Anderson, 1997) and as related to positive relational outcomes (Infante, 1987; Rancer, Baukus, & Amato, 1986) and marital satisfaction (Sabourin, Infante, & Rudd, 1993). It is related to physical violence as a preventative (Infante & Rancer, 1996). In addition, demonstrating argumentative behavior has been suggested to increase a person’s likelihood of achieving personal goals (Infante, 1982) and improving interpersonal relationships by allowing individuals to obtain better solutions to arguments (Rancer & Infante, 1985). Verbal aggressiveness is “a personality trait that predisposes persons to attack the self- concepts of other people instead of, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication” (Infante & Wigley, 1986, p. 61). This concept has been perceived as negative and destructive (Martin & Anderson, 1997). It is a catalyst to physical violence (Infante, Chandler, & Rudd, 1989; Infante & Rancer, 1996) and leads to relationship deterioration and termination (Infante, Rancer, & Womack, 1997). Venable and Martin (1997) claim that a majority of dating couples report at least some level of verbally aggressive behavior. Therefore, one’s behaviors in arguments can affect interpersonal relationships. An argument is one type of response to interpersonal conflict. However, interpersonal arguments appear to be divided into two types. Does argumentative and verbally aggressive behavior have

Authors: Johnson, Amy.
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Argumentativeness 2
constructively. Therefore, studying and teaching argumentativeness “offers a real opportunity to
reduce destructive conflict in interpersonal relations” (Dowling & Flint, 1990, p. 185).
Argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness are integral concepts in the literature on
argument (Infante & Rancer, 1996). Argumentativeness is defined as “a generally stable trait
which predisposes the individual in communication situations to advocate positions on
controversial issues and to attack verbally the positions which other people take on these issues”
(Infante & Rancer, 1982, p. 72). This concept is perceived as constructive (Infante, Myers, &
Buerkel, 1994; Martin & Anderson, 1997) and as related to positive relational outcomes (Infante,
1987; Rancer, Baukus, & Amato, 1986) and marital satisfaction (Sabourin, Infante, & Rudd,
1993). It is related to physical violence as a preventative (Infante & Rancer, 1996). In addition,
demonstrating argumentative behavior has been suggested to increase a person’s likelihood of
achieving personal goals (Infante, 1982) and improving interpersonal relationships by allowing
individuals to obtain better solutions to arguments (Rancer & Infante, 1985).
Verbal aggressiveness is “a personality trait that predisposes persons to attack the self-
concepts of other people instead of, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication”
(Infante & Wigley, 1986, p. 61). This concept has been perceived as negative and destructive
(Martin & Anderson, 1997). It is a catalyst to physical violence (Infante, Chandler, & Rudd,
1989; Infante & Rancer, 1996) and leads to relationship deterioration and termination (Infante,
Rancer, & Womack, 1997). Venable and Martin (1997) claim that a majority of dating couples
report at least some level of verbally aggressive behavior.
Therefore, one’s behaviors in arguments can affect interpersonal relationships. An
argument is one type of response to interpersonal conflict. However, interpersonal arguments
appear to be divided into two types. Does argumentative and verbally aggressive behavior have


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