The Determination of the Conflict Resolution Strategies of University Students That They Use When They Have Conflicts with People

By Dincyurek, Sibel; Civelek, Ali H. | The Behavior Analyst Today, Summer-Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

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. …

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