Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness
Two Argument-related "Traits"
Based on the work of Professor Dominic Infante of Kent State University These notes are adapted from course materials prepared by Professor Robert Gass, California State University, Fullerton Argumentativeness
• Defined: “A predisposition to recognize controversial issues, advocate positions, and refute opposing positions” (Infante) • Infante considers this a personality trait
• Argumentativeness isd proposed as a subset of “assertiveness” • It Is generally considered to be a positive, constructive trait Argumentativeness and Assertiveness
• Assertiveness and argumentativeness are viewed as constructive predispositions • Assertiveness includes being forceful, firm, using reasoning to defend personal positions while refuting the positions of adversaries • Research has shown that “high argumentatives” are seen as more credible, eloquent, creative, and self-assured More on Argumentativeness
• High argumentatives are willing to engage in argument, like to discuss controversial issues, initiate arguments, express disagreement • Low argumentatives dislike arguing, shy away from conflict, withdraw from arguments, and are reluctant to voice disagreement Finding a Balance
• The idea is to strike a balance between precipitating arguments needlessly and avoiding arguments altogether. • One’s style of arguing should lie between the two extremes. Verbal Aggressiveness (VA)
• Defined: a predisposition to attack the self-concept of others • VA Is associated with name-calling, the use of threats, and ultimatums, negativity, resentment, and suspicion • VA is generally considered a negative, destructive form of communication • VA Is similar to Brockriede’s notion of the arguer as “rapist” or Walker's arguer as "abuser" Four Main Causes of Verbal Aggressiveness
• Psychopathology (attacking for other unresolved issues) • Disdain...
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