Positive effects of conflict: A cognitive perspective

  • Robert A. Baron


Managers rated the extent to which conflict produces both positive and negative effects. Results indicated that they rated several negative effects significantly higher than any positive effects. However, virtually all managers reported personal experiences in which conflict yielded beneficial outcomes. These and other findings suggest that practicing managers perceive conflict as having the potential to yield positive as well as negative effects. A review of recent literature on human cognition identified several factors that may play a role in determining whether conflict yields predominantly positive or negative effects. These factors include the impact of strong negative emotions on cognition, stereotype-driven thinking, and attributional processes. Techniques for modifying conflict situations so that they are more likely to result in positive effects are suggested.

Key Words

positive effects of conflict cognitive perspective on conflict cognition and conflict 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Baron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroy

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