This experiment investigated the impact of both social actors' and others' argumentativeness on the number of arguments and the type of resolution generated in conversations about controversial issues. This experiment differed from most previous research on personality and communication in that it was based on a transactional approach to personality and involved observing actual communication rather than self‐report responses to hypothetical situations. Subjects (N = 60) participated in two conversations on controversial topics, one with a dispositionally matched partner and one with a dispositionally mismatched partner. The results indicated that actors' and others' argumentativeness interacted to affect the number of arguments generated and the type of resolution reached. Specifically, high argumentatives with low argumentative partners generated a significantly greater number of arguments, and were significantly more successful in gaining concessions than other dispositional combinations. © 1996, Taylor and Francis Inc. All rights reserved.