Voicing Conflict: Preferred Conflict Strategies Among Incremental and Entity Theorists
The way individuals choose to handle their feelings during
interpersonal conflicts has important consequences for relationship
outcomes. In this article, the authors predict and
find evidence that people's implicit theory of personality is an
important predictor of conflict behavior following a relationship
transgression. Incremental theorists, who believe personality
can change and improve, were likely to voice their
displeasure with others openly and constructively during conflicts.
Entity theorists, who believe personality is fundamentally
fixed, were less likely to voice their dissatisfactions
directly. These patterns were observed in both a retrospective
study of conflict in dating relationships (Study 1) and a
prospective study of daily conflict experiences (Study 2).
Study 2 revealed that the divergence between incremental and
entity theorists was increasingly pronounced as conflicts
increased in severity: the higher the stakes the stronger the
Source: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Kammrath, Lara. "Voicing Conflict: Preferred Conflict Strategies Among Incremental and Entity Theorists." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32, no. 11 (May 2, 2006): 1497-1508.