The Determination of the Conflict Resolution Strategies of University Students That They Use When They Have Conflicts with People
Dincyurek, Sibel, Civelek, Ali H., The Behavior Analyst Today
According to Cuceloglu (2002:195), general opinion is that; "if individuals have good intentions and know how to speak to each other, there will be no arguments or conflicts". If we look at the same understanding from a different point of view, it is seen that the outcome will be "people in conflict, are people who have bad intentions and who do not know manners". These expressions, might be pronouncing certain good intentions, yet they do not stand for reality. Because, as long as people live together, no matter how good intentions they have or how understanding they are, conflicts and infighting are inevitable.
According to Oner (1996:191) people think that "conflict occurs when one ore more people cannot agree on a subject". In some conflict cases, the discourses and behaviours of the individuals in conflict are different from each other, or the individuals perceive them in a different way. Conflicts generally happen when needs, instincts and desires of people counteract. These different needs, different instincts, different points of view and different perceptions cause conflicts. We all live through occasional conflicts for thinking in a different way. This is a part of being human."
According to Tastan (2002:1) it will be best to mention two factors causing interpersonal conflicts in people's lives. The reason for young individuals having interpersonal conflicts is the worry to achieve what they wish for themselves, and the ways and diversity of the relationships they have to pursue in order to get along with others. The assertive, self-sufficient, defensive attitude that emerges as a result when individuals act with the urge of satisfying their own needs, causes conflicts both within the individual and between individuals. (www.organizasyon.com)
The outbreak reasons of interpersonal conflicts may originate from personal factors like cognition, perception, emotion, non-conscious needs, and communicative skills, or cultural factors, real differences, social and physical environments or the quality of the message given in the communication process (Dokmen, 2004). Conflicts among individuals are naturally inevitable, as they differ from each other, in every aspect of these factors.
Conflicts are a normal segment of daily life. Yet, to many, conflict is considered to be negative, as it causes disagreements, stress, social chaos and violence, and moreover, the most significant indication of a good relationship is accepted to be the absence of conflicts (Johnson, 1981). According to Johnson(1981), positive aspects of conflicts are; it helps the individual in knowing themselves, enhancing their awareness about others' characteristics, noticing the relationship problems that they need to solve, and encouraging change, increases energy and motivation for problem solving, making life more interesting, and help find small problems that are perceived as big issues. After all, it is obvious that conflict, can induce constructive results both for the conflicting person, and the person or the group that conflict is about.
It has been acknowledged for a long time that conflicts are inevitable features of relationships, and that their resolutions determine whether a relationship is functional or not. (Thomas, 1976).
A conflict does not occur as a result of an object or a person, sometimes the individual may have a conflict within. The conflicts within the individual may occur in cases where two targets are equally attractive, or two internal needs or motivation oppose each other (Atkinson and others, 1999).
When we look at interpersonal relationships, conflict is defined in several ways. In one instance, Maurer (1991) defines conflict as "the unwanted result of inharmonious/clashing desires between two or more parties" (Cited in : Sweeney, Carruthers, 1996).
People in conflict, use certain conflict resolution styles. Johnson and Johnson (1994) , discussed conflict resolution styles in two dimensions and named these as "relation" and "purpose". As the result of the interaction of these two dimensions, five conflict resolution styles emerged ; forcing, avoiding, accomodating, compromising, and collaboration. The conflict resolution styles used by the individuals, determine whether the relationship is constructive or destructive (Deutsch, 1973).
Interpersonal conflict is the situation that arises when either of the parties project changes in interests, wishes or values, or if there is a competition where one tries to surpass the other (Deutsch, 1973).
It is a process which comes about when a person perceives that the target or interest of themselves or the other's are obstructed or are about to be obstructed (Dunnette, 1976).
It is an interpersonal process that happens when the actions of one obstruct the other's actions(Kelley ve digerleri, 1983). It is the unwanted consequence of clashing targets of two or more parties(Maurer, 1991); (Cited in : Sweeney ve Carruthers, 1996). The condition that arises when there are inharmonious intentions, or a competition for a rare reward or resource between at least two independent parties (Duryea, 1992:5; Cited in : Sweeney ve Carruthers, 1996). It is also stated as the disagreement or tension that occurs when interacting individuals have different interests, ideas, beliefs, values or needs (Quest International, 1994; Cited in : Sweeney ve Carrutshers, 1996).
People in conflict, exhibit diverse behavioral patterns to solve their conflicts. Conflict resolution is defined by the following five behavioral patterns (Thomas, 1976).
Forcing: The ambition of one party to dominate the other. In this case, people's targets are more important than their relationships. According to Karip (1999), "this strategy to establish superiority over one another is used when either of the parties value satisfaction of their own interests and needs, at the expense of the opposing party's interests and needs".
Avoidance: Avoiding the conflict environment. It is the indifference of one party to the other's wills. The individual does not confront the other and try for a solution, because it is hopeless? As Karip(1999) states; "in cases where the parties value each other's interests and needs , the strategies of avoiding a conflict or ignoring the conflict are used".
Accommodation: Forgoing one's own needs. The basis of this most frequently used conflict resolution strategy is the sharing of differences. One party ignores their own desires in order to fulfill the other's. According to Karip (1999), accommodation is "the case where one party forgoes the satisfaction of their own interests and needs, in consideration of the other party's interests and needs.
Compromise : The condition where either of the parties forgo their desires in order to satisfy the other's. In this case, persons seek a third way. Karip (1999) states that, "as long as both sides accept mutual compromise as a strategy, parties forgo certain issues in order to settle and achieve a solution."
Collaboration: Problem is solved by considering the needs of both parties. Both parties work together. According to Karip (1999) "this strategy is used when the importance given to own and other's interests and needs are high".
1.1 Aim of the Research
Today, technology as well as social life is progressing and improving rapidly. People live through a long and challenging transitional period from childhood into maturity. The contribution of learning conflict resolution skills to the production of more constructive, happy and self sufficient individuals with insights cannot be denied.
The general aim of this paper is to determine the conflict resolution strategies which are used by university students, in their interpersonal conflicts. There are two sub-aims under the stated main aim: Firstly, determining the strategies that students use in different types of relationships (friends, close friends, emotional friends, mother and father), and secondly, determining which strategies are used in which type of relationships.
1.2 The Problem Phrase
1. Is there a meaningful difference between the conflict resolution strategies used by university students in their conflicts with other people(friends, close friends, emotional friends, mother and father)?
1.2.1 Sub Problems
1. Is there a meaningful difference between the conflict resolution strategies used by university students in conflicts with their friends? …
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Publication information: Article title: The Determination of the Conflict Resolution Strategies of University Students That They Use When They Have Conflicts with People. Contributors: Dincyurek, Sibel - Author, Civelek, Ali H. - Author. Journal title: The Behavior Analyst Today. Volume: 9. Issue: 3-4 Publication date: Summer-Fall 2008. Page number: 215+. © 2007 Behavior Analyst Online. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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