Understanding response patterns in dyadic conflict: An interactive approach combining self‐construal and opponent's dominance‐submissiveness

Authors:
Al K. C. Au, Shui‐fong Lam
Published Online:
23 Jul 2015
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12193
Pages:
116–125
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue 2

Additional Options

Previous works on the effect of self‐construal in interpersonal behaviours tend to adopt a main effect approach. The present research proposes an interactive approach in understanding two response patterns in dyadic conflict by combining self‐construal and the stance of the opponent. Independent self‐construal was hypothesised to be associated with a self‐centred pattern of conflict response, which is characterised by taking contending responses regardless of whether the stance of the opponent is dominant or submissive. Relational self‐construal was hypothesised to be associated with a tuning‐in pattern of conflict response, which is characterised by showing contending responses when the opponent is submissive but yielding responses when the opponent is dominant. With trait self‐construal measured and opponent's stance manipulated, Study 1 provided initial support for the hypotheses. Study 2 showed a three‐way interaction effect between trait self‐construal, manipulated self‐construal and the opponent's stance on actual conflict responses during discussion of a scenario. The effect of self‐construal manipulation was only observed among people who were low in trait independent self‐construal and average in trait relational self‐construal. The results pinpoint the importance of considering personal and opponent factors simultaneously in understanding the dynamics of dyadic conflict processes.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science