Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flexible Approach To Acute Conflict Results In More Frustration and Anger, Study Shows

Date:
March 8, 2009
Source:
Arizona State University
Summary:
Researchers show that having a more flexible approach to resolving an acute conflict interaction results in more frustration and anger. Researchers observed a sample of 65 undergraduate students role-playing a stressful task with a "neighbor" who was portrayed by a research assistant.

It is often assumed that remaining flexible by trying different strategies when negotiating a difficult interaction is optimal, but this may not be the case if the situation cannot be resolved. Researchers at Arizona State University show that having a more flexible approach to resolving an acute conflict interaction results in more frustration and anger.

Related Articles


These are among the findings that Danielle Roubinov, an ASU doctoral student in clinical psychology, will present at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting on March 4. Roubinov and two other ASU researchers observed a sample of 65 undergraduate students role-playing a stressful task with a "neighbor" who was portrayed by a research assistant (RA).

Participants were told that the neighbor was playing music too loudly and were instructed to ask the neighbor to turn down his or her music. During the interaction, the RAs followed a script of uncooperative responses such that the task could not be resolved.

"We categorized the verbal responses of participants during the task into seven types of negotiation strategies, including problem-solving and aggressive/threatening. Individuals who used a smaller set of strategies were considered less 'flexible' than those who used a greater variety of strategies," Roubinov said.

The ASU team, which included Melissa Hagan, a doctoral student, and Linda Luecken, associate professor of psychology, also looked at the intensity of participants' facial expressions of anger or frustration, and measured participants' biological response to the task using cortisol, a stress hormone.

"Our results indicated that greater flexibility may not be the healthiest approach," Roubinov said. "Unlike less-flexible participants, those who tried a greater variety of responses showed more intense facial expressions of anger and frustration. Cortisol levels in more flexible participants also reflected an unhealthier biological response to stress than the less flexible participants."

The findings in "Flexibility in responding to interpersonal conflict predicts cortisol and emotional reactivity" suggest that in an uncontrollable situation, individuals who use a smaller variety of verbal responses to stress may have more favorable outcomes than those who use a greater variety of responses. "Although being flexible in how you respond to different situations may be beneficial, continuously trying different ways to work out the same situation may lead to greater anger, frustration, and an unhealthier biological response," Roubinov said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arizona State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Arizona State University. "Flexible Approach To Acute Conflict Results In More Frustration and Anger, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305080147.htm>.
Arizona State University. (2009, March 8). Flexible Approach To Acute Conflict Results In More Frustration and Anger, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305080147.htm
Arizona State University. "Flexible Approach To Acute Conflict Results In More Frustration and Anger, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305080147.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins