Argumentativeness and Resistance to Persuasion

Academic Article


  • This paper examines individuals' level of argumentativeness in relation to persuasion. Both theory and empirical data suggest that a person's desire to approach or avoid argumentative situations should be associated with resistance to persuasion. Students in two basic speech communication classes at a Midwestern commuter campus (total N = 33) completed the Argumentativeness Scale and surveys pertaining to persuasive speeches before and after listening to several speeches. Using 2 × 15 and a 2 × 16 mixed ANOVAs, group data was tested for differences in attitude change attributable to receiver's level of argumentativeness. Both groups exhibited statistically significant and substantial main effects for argumentativeness, but the direction of effect was opposite to what was predicted. Highly argumentative individuals experienced more attitude change than their less argumentative counterparts. The results also showed that topic had no effect upon attitude change, and topic did not interact with argumentativeness. An explanation for this counter intuitive finding is advanced, and implications for future research are discussed. © 1993, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR; Badger EE
  • Start Page

  • 71
  • End Page

  • 78
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 2