Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
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Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
Theory, Research, and Application



© 2006 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
"Argumentative and Aggressive Communication is an excellent balance between research and application. This fits with the tradition of having high concern for application in the field of communication, and leaning on strong research to guide that application."
—James C. McCroskey, West Virginia University  

"The thoroughness of coverage that this book devotes to perhaps the most important research area in communication today provides students with amazing insight into conflict, argumentativeness, aggressiveness, and a variety of other concepts and skills central to communication!" —Joseph A. DeVito, Hunter College of the City University of New York  

Argumentative and Aggressive Communication: Theory, Research, and Application is the first text to describe the development, history, research, and application efforts on the communication traits of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. Authors Andrew S. Rancer and Theodore A. Avtgis include  a collection of nine widely used reliable and valid instruments which the reader, the researcher, and the practitioner can use for diagnostic and research purposes.  

Key Features:

  • Discusses the origin and structure of argumentative and aggressive communication: The book completely describes the development of the argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness trait constructs.  In addition, the measurement of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness is treated in the most comprehensive way to date.
  • Explores the function of argumentative and aggressive communication in various contexts: Guidelines are provided on how to approach conflict and disagreement across multiple contexts in a constructive fashion. This text synthesizes the large corpus of research in several areas of communication, including family, organizational, intercultural, instructional, and mediated contexts.
  • Provides conclusions drawn from this literature: Suggestions are given for future research on argumentative and aggressive communication from ten distinguished communication scholars.
Intended Audience:
Written in a style accessible to undergraduates, yet comprehensive and detailed enough for graduate students and researchers, this is an ideal text for courses in Communication and Personality; Communication and Conflict; Interpersonal Communication; Social Psychology-Personality; and Psychology-Aggression.
 
Part I: The Structure and Origin of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
 
1. What are Argumentative and Aggressive Communication?
The Genesis of the Theory of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Purpose of This Book  
The Importance of Communication Traits  
What are Communication Traits?  
What is Aggressive Communication?  
Constructive Aggressive Communication Traits  
Categories of Trait Argumentativeness  
Destructive Aggressive Communication Traits  
Causes of Verbal Aggressiveness  
Argumentative and Aggressive Communication Traits and Personality Theory  
The Dimensions of Personality  
The Relationship Between Temperament and Aggressive Communication Traits  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 1  
 
2. Measuring Individual Differences in Argumentative and Agressive Communication
Measuring the Argumentative and Verbal Aggressiveness Traits  
The Development of the Argumentative Scale  
The Development of the Verbal Aggressivness Scale  
Challenges to the Scales  
Critiques of the Argumentativeness Scale  
Critiques of the Verbal Aggressiveness Scale  
Alternative Methods of Assessing Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Assessing Beliefs About Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 2  
 
3. Trait, State, and Interactionist Approaches to Studying Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
The Trait Perspective on Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
The Situationist Perspective on Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Situational Factors: Topic and Topic Salience  
Situational Factors: The Adversary's Attributes  
Argument Topic  
Context and Characteristics as Situational Influences  
The Interactionist Approach to Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 3  
 
Part II: The Function of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
 
4. Argumentative and Aggressive Communication in Relational and Family Contexts
Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness in General Interpersonal Relationships  
Friendship Relationships  
Dating Relationships  
Family Relationships  
Marital Relationships  
Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness, and Interspousal Violence  
Sibling Pairs  
Parent-Child Dyads  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 4  
 
5. Argumentative and Aggressive Communication in Organizational Contexts
Organizational Satisfaction  
Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Satisfaction  
Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Gender Differences in the Organization  
Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Other Organizational Constructs  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 5  
 
6. Argumentative and Verbally Aggressive Communication in Instructional Contexts
The Influence of Instructor Trait Argumentativeness  
The Influence of Instructor Trait Verbal Aggressiveness  
The Influence of Instructor Use of Verbally Aggressive Messages  
Characteristics of the Argumentative Student  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 6  
 
7. Argumentative and Aggressive Communication in Intercultural and Intracultural Contexts
Co-Cultural Differences in Argumentative and Verbal Aggressiveness  
Regional Differences in Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness  
West Meets West  
East Meets West  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 7  
 
8. Argumentative and Aggressive Communication in Mass and Mediated Communication
Social Learning, the Media and Aggression  
Television Situation Comedies  
Comparing Sitcoms to Other Television Genres  
Televised Wrestling  
Music  
Other Mediated Communication Research  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 8  
 
9. Argumentative and Aggressive Communication in Persuasion and Social Influence Situations
An Orientation to Persuasion  
An Orientation to Compliance-Gaining  
Persuasion and Compliance-Gaining Research: A focus on Traits  
A Transactional Approach to Argumentativeness and Persuasion  
Processing Persuasive Messages: The Influence of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication  
Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Compliance-Gaining Behavior  
Determining Intentions to Argue: Testing Two Frameworks  
Argumentative and Aggressive Communication and Resistance to Persuasion  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 9  
 
Part III: Enhancing Communicative Outcomes Through Improved Understanding of Argumentative and Aggressive Communication Processes
 
10. Modifying Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
The Call for Training  
The Inventional System  
Training Adults to Argue Constructively  
Training in Argument  
Training Adolescents to Argue Constructively  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 10  
 
11. Relating Argumentative and Aggressive Communication with Apprehension, Adaptation and Personality Traits
The Relationship of Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Apprehension Traits  
The Relationship of Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness and Personality Traits  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 11  
 
12. Advancing Research and Theory-Building Efforts on Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
A Problem-Centered Approach to Communication Inquiry  
The Research Contributions  
A Focus on the Message/Individual  
Cultural Influence Focus  
Theoretical Foundation/Meta-Theory Focus  
Measurement/Theoretical Refinement Focus  
Conclusion  
Discussion Questions for Chapter 12  
 
Appendix A - The Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness Scales
 
Appendix B - The Adolescent Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness Scales
 
Appendix C - Short-Form Versions of the Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness Scales
 
Appendix D - The Affective-Behavioral-Cognitive Scale (ABCAS)
 
Appendix E - The Indirect Interpersonal Aggressiveness Scale
 
Appendix F - The Beliefs About Arguing Measure
 
Appendix G - Additional Resources on Argumentative and Aggressive Communication
 
References
 
Index

"This is the first book to discuss the history, research and application of the positive and deleterious communication traits of argumentation and verbal aggressiveness. The handbook's clear style makes it accessible to any intelligent, motivated, critically analytical reader or educated layperson: from undergraduates and graduates, to teachers and researchers on any level, to those in the applied world, such as practicing psychologists and, of course counselors, managers, and politicians. Even secondary and tertiary school teachers ought to convey certain information to their students to prepare them for life."

Karl H. Wolf
Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books

An ideal for writing thesis in emotion and communication field.

Dr Chavi Chen
IESEG, School of Management, Catholic University of Lille
April 27, 2012
Key features
  • First textbook to explore argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness—two communication traits that, research shows, influence both perceptions and behaviors.
  • Part I discusses the origin and structure of argumentative and aggressive communication; Part II explores the function of argumentative and aggressive communication in various contexts (e.g., family, interpersonal, organizational, intercultural, instructional, mediated); Part III provides material on enhancing communicative outcomes through improved understanding of argumentative and aggressive communication processes.
  • Appendix include eight valid and reliable scales to measure argumentative and aggressive communication so that students learn how to use and read these research instruments.
  • Suggests guidelines on how to approach conflict and disagreement across multiple contexts in a constructive fashion.
  • Contains suggestions for future research on argumentative and aggressive communication from ten distinguished communication scholars.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

Chapter 10


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