Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

When Do Conflicts Feel Right for Prevention-Focused Individuals? The Debiasing Effect of Low Need for Closure

  • Zhi-Xue Zhang (a1), Xin Wei (a2), Melody Manchi Chao (a3) and Yi Zheng (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Both lay beliefs and research findings suggest that people tend to avoid conflicts if interpersonal harmony is highly valued. Counter to this widely accepted convention, we adopt the perspective of motivated social cognition to argue that conflict avoidance is subject to the joint effect of the need for epistemic security (need for closure) and the motivation to prevent losses (prevention focus). Such effect is mediated by negative anticipation towards the consequences of confronting conflicts. Results across three studies indicated that individuals with relatively high need for closure and high prevention focus show the strongest conflict avoidance tendency due to their heightened negative anticipation. However, with low need for closure, the negative anticipation and conflict avoidance tendency of high prevention-focused individuals are weakened or even disappear. This research offers a novel theory about the mechanism of conflict avoidance. The findings about the debiasing role of low need for closure also provide rich implications for conflict resolutions.

摘要:

世俗信仰和研究结果都表明, 如果人际和谐被高度重视, 人们会倾向于避免冲突。与这个被广泛接受的常规相反, 我们从动机性社会认知的视角认为, 冲突规避受限于认知安全需要 (闭合需要) 和预防损失 (预防关注) 动机的共同影响。这样的影响是通过对面对冲突的后果的负预期来调解的。横跨三个研究的结果表明, 有相对较高闭合需要和预防关注需要的个体由于其高度的负面预期呈现出最强的冲突规避趋势。然而, 在低闭合需要状态, 对有高预防关注的个体的负面预期和冲突规避倾向减弱甚至消失。这项研究提供了关于冲突规避机制的一种新理论。关于低闭合需要的去偏见作用的研究发现也为解决冲突提供了丰富的启示。

सामान्य विश्वास और शोध परिणाम, दोनों ही अन्तर्सम्बन्धी सामंजस्य की महत्ता की स्थिति में लोगों द्वारा संघर्ष-वर्जन प्रस्तावित करते हैं. इसके विपरीत हम उत्प्रेरित सामाजिक संज्ञान परिप्रेक्ष्य अपनाते हुए यह मत रखते हैं की संघर्ष वर्जन सूझती सुरक्षा (समापन की आवश्यकता) और नुक्सान बचने की उत्प्रेरणा का समग्र प्रभाव है. इस प्रभाव में संघर्ष के नकारात्मक प्रभावों की प्रत्याशा मध्यस्थ का काम करती है. तीन अध्ययनों के परिणाम ये दिखाते हैं की समापन की अपेक्षाकृत तीव्र चाहत वाले तथा बचाव केंद्रित व्यक्ति अत्यधिक नकारात्मक प्रत्याशा के कारण सबसे अधिक संघर्ष-वर्जन दिखाते हैं. लेकिन समापन की सीमित आवश्यकता होने पर वर्जन-केंद्रित व्यक्तियों की नकारात्मक प्रत्याशा व संघर्ष वर्जन प्रवृत्ति कमज़ोर और बहुधा अदृश्य भी हो जाती है. यह शोध संघर्ष-वर्जन प्रक्रिया पर नवीन सिद्धांत प्रस्तुत करता है. समापन की आवश्यकता के गैर-पक्षपाती प्रभाव से जुड़े परिणाम संघर्ष-समाधान के लिए आशय प्रस्तुत करते हैं.

ABSTRACT:

Tanto crenças leigas quanto achados de pesquisa sugerem que as pessoas tendem a evitar conflitos se a harmonia interpessoal é altamente valorizada. Contrariando essa convenção amplamente aceita, adotamos a perspectiva da cognição social motivada para argumentar que evitação de conflitos está sujeita ao efeito conjunto da necessidade de segurança epistêmica (necessidade de fechamento) e da motivação para prevenir perdas (foco na prevenção). Esse efeito é mediado pela antecipação negativa em relação às consequências de enfrentar conflitos. Os resultados de três estudos indicaram que indivíduos com necessidade relativamente alta de fechamento e elevado foco na evitação mostram a tendência mais forte de evitar conflitos devido à sua aumentada antecipação negativa. No entanto, com baixa necessidade de fechamento, a antecipação negativa e a tendência de evitar conflitos de indivíduos de elevado foco na prevenção são enfraquecidas ou mesmo desaparecem. Esta pesquisa oferece uma nova teoria sobre o mecanismo de prevenção conflitos. As conclusões sobre o papel eliminação de viés da baixa necessidade de fechamento também fornecem ricas implicações para resoluções de conflitos.

АННОТАЦИЯ:

Как мнения дилетантов, так и результаты исследований подтверждают, что люди склонны избегать конфликтов в том случае, если они высоко ценят межличностную гармонию. Вопреки этому общепринятому мнению, мы следуем теории мотивированного социального познания, и утверждаем, что предотвращение конфликтов является результатом совместного воздействия со стороны необходимости эпистемической безопасности (потребности в замкнутости) и мотивации для предотвращения убытков (фокус на профилактику). Такой эффект стабилизируется негативными ожиданиями в отношении последствий противостояния конфликтам. Результаты трех исследований показали, что люди с относительно высокой потребностью в замкнутости и высоким фокусом на профилактику демонстрируют самую сильную тенденцию к предотвращению конфликтов из-за повышенных негативных ожиданий. Тем не менее, при низкой потребности в замкнутости, негативные ожидания и склонность к предотвращению конфликтов у лиц с высоким фокусом на профилактику, ослабляются или даже исчезают. Это исследование предлагает новую теорию о механизме предотвращения конфликтов. Выводы о стабилизирующей роли, которую играет низкая потребность в замкнутости, также имеют большое значение для урегулирования конфликтов.

RESUMEN:

Tanto las creencias establecidas como los resultados de investigación indican que las personas tienden a evitar conflictos si la armonía interpersonal es altamente valorada. En contraste con esta convención ampliamente aceptada, adoptamos la perspectiva de la cognición social motivada para discutir que la evitación de conflictos está sujeta al efecto de la necesidad por seguridad epistémica (necesidad de cierre) y la motivación para prevenir perdidas (enfoque de prevención). Esto efecto está mediado por una anticipación negativa hacia las consecuencias de confrontar los conflictos. Los resultados entre tres estudios indican que los individuos con una necesidad relativamente alta de cierre y un enfoque alto de prevención muestran la tendencia a evitar conflictos más alta debido a su anticipación intensificada. Sin embargo, con una necesidad baja de cierre, la anticipación negativa y la tendencia a evitar conflictos de individuos enfocados en alta prevención son debilitados, o incluso desaparecen. Esta investigación ofrece una teoría novedosa sobre los mecanismos de evitación de conflictos. Los hallazgos sobre el rol de reducir los prejuicios de la baja necesidad por cierre también proporcionan implicaciones abundantes para las resoluciones de conflictos.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Zhi-Xue Zhang (zxzhang@gsm.pku.edu.cn)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

C. Anderson , & J. L. Berdahl 2002. The experience of power: Examining the effects of power on approach and inhibition tendencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83 (6): 13621377.

M. Bukowski , U. von Hecker , M. Kossowska 2013. Motivational determinants of reasoning about social relations: The role of need for cognitive closure. Thinking and Reasoning, 19 (2): 150177.

E. R. Burris 2012. The risks and rewards of speaking up: Managerial responses to employee voice. Academy of Management Journal, 55 (4): 851875.

M. M. Chao , Z. X. Zhang , & C. Y. Chiu 2010. Adherence to perceived norms across cultural boundaries: The role of need for cognitive closure and ingroup identification. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13 (1): 6989.

C. Y. Chiu , M. W. Morris , Y. Hong , & T. Menon 2000. Motivated cultural cognition: The impact of implicit cultural theories on dispositional attribution varies as a function of need for closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78 (2): 247259.

E. Crowe , & E. T. Higgins 1997. Regulatory focus and strategic inclinations: Promotion and prevention in decision-making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 69 (2): 117132.

C. K. De Dreu , L. R. Weingart , & S. Kwon 2000. Influence of social motives in integrative negotiation: A meta analytic review and test of two theories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78 (5): 889905.

E. De Grada , A. W. Kruglanski , L. Mannetti , & A. Pierro 1999. Motivated cognition and group interaction: Need for closure affects the contents and processes of collective negotiations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35: 346365.

J. R. Detert , & E. R. Burris 2007. Leadership behavior and employee voice: Is the door really open? Academy of Management Journal, 50 (4): 869884.

J. R. Detert , & A. C. Edmondson 2011. Implicit voice theories: Taken-for-granted rules of self-censorship at work. Academy of Management Journal, 54 (3): 461488.

J. R. Detert , & L. K. Treviño 2010. Speaking up to higher-ups: How supervisors and skip-level leaders influence employee voice. Organization Science, 21 (1): 249270.

R. Friedman , S. C. Chi , & L. A. Liu 2006. An expectancy model of Chinese-American differences in conflict-avoiding. Journal of International Business Studies, 37 (1): 7691.

J. H. Fu , M. W. Morris , S. Lee , M. Chao , C. Chiu , & Y. Hong 2007. Epistemic motives and cultural conformity: Need for closure, culture, and context as determinants of conflict judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92 (2): 191207.

A. D. Galinsky , & T. Mussweiler 2001. First offers as anchors: The role of perspective-taking and negotiator focus. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81 (4): 657669.

A. D. Galinsky , G. J. Leonardelli , G. A. Okhuysen , & T. Mussweiler 2005. Regulatory focus at the bargaining table: Promoting distributive and integrative success. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31 (8): 10871098.

E. T. Higgins 1997. Beyond pleasure and pain. American Psychologist, 52 (12): 12801300.

X. Huang , E. Van de Vliert , G. Van der Vegt 2005. Breaking the culture of silence: Does the stimulation of participation reduce employee opinion withholding cross-nationally? Management and Organization Review, 1 (3): 459482.

D. Keltner , D. H. Gruenfeld , & C. Anderson 2003. Power, approach, and inhibition. Psychological Review, 110 (2): 265284.

A. W. Kruglanski , & T. Freund 1983. The freezing and unfreezing of lay-inferences: Effects of impressional primacy, ethnic stereotyping and numerical anchoring. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19 (5): 448468.

A. W. Kruglanski , & D. M. Webster 1996. Motivated closing of the mind: ‘Seizing’ and ‘freezing’. Psychological Review, 103 (2): 263283.

Z. Kunda 1990. The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108 (3): 480498.

M. Kuster , K. Bernecker , S. Backes , V. Brandstätter , F. W. Nussbeck , T. N. Bradbury , M. Martin , D. Sutter-Stickel , & G. Bodenmann 2015. Avoidance orientation and the escalation of negative communication in intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109 (2): 262275.

K. Leung 1988. Some determinants of conflict avoidance. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 19 (1): 125136.

K. Leung , F. P. Brew , Z. X. Zhang , & Y. Zhang 2011. Harmony and conflict: A cross-cultural investigation in China and Australia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42 (5): 795816.

J. Liang , C. I. Farh , & J. L. Farh 2012. Psychological antecedents of promotive and prohibitive voice: A two-wave examination. Academy of Management Journal, 55 (1): 7192.

N. Liberman , L. C. Idson , C. J. Camacho , & E. T. Higgins 1999. Promotion and prevention choices between stability and change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77 (6): 11351145.

P. Lockwood , C. H. Jordan , & Z. Kunda 2002. Motivation by positive or negative role models: Regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83 (4): 854864.

F. J. Milliken , E. W. Morrison , & P. F. Hewlin 2003. An exploratory study of employee silence: Issues that employees don't communicate upward and why. Journal of Management Studies, 40 (6): 14531476.

M. M. Montoya-Weiss , A. P. Massey , & M. Song 2001. Getting it together: Temporal coordination and conflict management in global virtual teams. Academy of Management Journal, 44 (6): 12511262.

M. W. Morris , K. Y. Williams , K. Leung , R. Larrick , M. T. Mendoza , D. Bhatnagar , J. Li , J. L. Luo , & J. C. Hu 1998. Conflict management style: Accounting for cross-national differences. Journal of International Business Studies, 29 (4): 729747.

E. W. Morrison , S. L. Wheeler-Smith , & D. Kamdar 2011. Speaking up in groups: A cross-level study of group voice climate and voice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96 (1): 183191.

L. Richter , & A. W. Kruglanski 1998. Seizing on the latest: Motivationally driven recency effects in impression formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 34 (4): 313329.

S. J. Spencer , M. P. Zanna , & G. T. Fong 2005. Establishing a causal chain: Why experiments are often more effective than mediational analyses in examining psychological processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89 (6): 845851.

D. Tjosvold , & H. Sun 2002. Understanding conflict avoidance: Relationship, motivation, actions, and consequences. International Journal of Conflict Management, 13 (2): 142164.

D. M. Webster , & A. W. Kruglanski 1994. Individual differences in need for cognitive closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67 (6): 10491062.

X. Wei , Z. X. Zhang , & X. P. Chen 2015. I will speak up if my voice is socially desirable: A moderated mediating process of promotive versus prohibitive voice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100 (5): 16411652.

H. A. Winterheld , & J. A. Simpson 2011. Seeking security or growth: A regulatory focus perspective on motivations in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101 (5): 935954.

H. A. Winterheld , & J. A. Simpson 2016. Regulatory focus and the interpersonal dynamics of romantic partners’ personal goal discussions. Journal of Personality, 84 (3): 277290.

Q. Zhang 2007. Family communication patterns and conflict styles in Chinese parent-child relationships. Communication Quarterly, 55 (1): 113128

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Management and Organization Review
  • ISSN: 1740-8776
  • EISSN: 1740-8784
  • URL: /core/journals/management-and-organization-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Zhang supplementary material S2
Zhang supplementary material

 Word (14 KB)
14 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Zhang supplementary material S1
Zhang supplementary material

 Word (13 KB)
13 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Zhang supplementary material S4
Zhang supplementary material

 Word (13 KB)
13 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Zhang supplementary material S3
Zhang supplementary material

 Word (16 KB)
16 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Zhang supplementary material S5
Zhang supplementary material

 Word (15 KB)
15 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 53 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 162 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 22nd May 2017 - 26th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.