Assertiveness and social intelligence in preferred conflict resolution styles

  • Ome, B. N.


The study investigated whether assertiveness and social intelligence are significant predictors of preferred conflict resolution styles. Four hundred and three (403) participants, comprising 248 males and 155 females with mean age of 22.68 years completed a questionnaire pack which included the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (RAS) used to assess assertiveness, the Nigerian version of the Tromso Social Intelligence Scale (TSIS) used to measure three facets of social intelligence - social information processing, social awareness and social skills, and the Conflict Scenarios and Rating Scale of Preference for Methods of Conflict Resolution, which assessed preference for the use of threat, acceptance, negotiation, mediation and arbitration in conflict resolution. The results indicated a significant negative relationship between assertiveness and acceptance, as well as assertiveness and negotiation, and a significant positive relationship between social information processing and negotiation as well as social information processing and arbitration. In addition, social information processing had a significant negative relationship with the use of threat, while social awareness had a significant positive relationship with negotiation. These findings imply that negotiation might not be effective when the parties are highly assertive, while adequate and accurate information processing as well as an awareness of socially acceptable behaviours would facilitate its adoption.