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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Enhancing Constructive Political Conflict Using Positive Imagined Interactions: A Qualitative Test of the Seventh Theorem of Conflict Linkage Theory
by Covington, Emily N., M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2018, 109; 10980987
Abstract (Summary)

This narrative inquiry sought to determine whether the strategic use of positive imagined interactions (IIs), or the conversations one has in their mind, could enhance cross-cutting political conflict while also testing the seventh theorem of II conflict linkage theory which states, “In order to enhance constructive conflict, individuals need to imagine positive interactions and outcomes” (Honeycutt, 2003a, p. 6). Undergraduate student participants were assigned to one of three conditions (positive II, negative II, or control) and engaged in a three-phase procedure. Phase one, pre-interaction, prompted the participants to engage in an II, and then reflect on their IIs by answering open-ended questions. During phase two, interaction, participants engaged in an actual, cross-cutting conversation about the political topic of their choice with a trained confederate. During the final stage, post-interaction, participants completed a second questionnaire to assess the constructiveness or destructiveness of their interaction. A thematic analysis revealed that 40 out of 45 total participants, regardless of their pre-assigned condition, engaged in a positive, constructive conflict with their conversation partner. The results also indicate that positive IIs aid in perspective-taking while negative IIs satisfy individuals by allowing them to mentally defend their beliefs. While the results neither confirm nor disprove Theorem 7 of II conflict linkage theory, they do support Theorem 3 which explains that negative intrusive IIs often occur when a person purposely attempts to have a positive II.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Winters, Caryn
Commitee: Givens-Carroll, Dedria, Madison, T. Phillip
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Conflict, Imagined interactions, Interpersonal communication, Political communication, Qualitative, Thematic analysis
Publication Number: 10980987
ISBN: 978-1-392-04203-8
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