Applying Cognitive and Interactional Theories of Conflict

Applying Cognitive and Interactional Theories of Conflict

– Length: 6 pages +/- a half a page (not including cover page & reference page)
– Value: 25%

The purpose of this paper is to develop your ability to analyze conflict from different theoretical perspectives. In class we have compared two major perspectives on conflict: the cognitive perspective and the interactional perspective. Each of these perspectives includes different theories that help analyze conflict. These theories help us to understand how conflict develops and to explain the choices people make when they communicate in conflict situations. This assignment asks you to draw on your understanding of two different theories and perspectives as well as demonstrate that you can use these theories to gain insight into a conflict you have observed.

The Task:
Think of an interpersonal conflict that you have been involved in or you have seen firsthand. You may NOT use the same situation as in earlier assignments. It could be a conflict in a family, work, friendship, or community setting. Choose the conflict based on two criteria: a) you know a considerable amount about how the conflict unfolded and b) you are interested in analyzing the conflict in more detail. Choose ONE of the cognitive theories and ONE of the interactional theories and analyze the conflict using the two theories.

Cognitive Theories:
Verbal Aggressiveness
Psychodynamic Theory
Expectancy/Attribution theory

Interactional Theories: Chapter 3 Part 3 Notes:
Coordinated Management of Meaning
Episodes Theory
Reciprocity Theory

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