European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 227–242 | Cite as

Dealing with a disagreeing partner: Relational and epistemic conflict elaboration

  • Céline Darnon
  • Sébastien Doll
  • Fabrizio Butera
Article

Abstract

This experiment examined the effects of epistemic vs. relational conflicts on the relationship with a partner. Students participated to a fictitious computer-mediated interaction about a text with a bogus partner who introduced either an epistemic conflict (a conflict that referred to the content of the text), or a relational conflict (a conflict that questioned participants’ competence). Results indicated that compared to the epistemic conflict, the relational conflict enhanced threat and reduced the perceived contribution of the partner. Moreover, after a relational conflict, participants were more assertive in their answers, justified them to a lower extent, and expressed less doubt than after an epistemic conflict. Results also indicated that the intensity of disagreement predicted different modes of regulation depending on the conflict type. Finally, epistemic conflict elicited better learning than relational conflict.

Key words

Conflict Epistemic regulation Learning Relational regulation Threat 

Résumé

La présente expérience a examiné les effets de conflits épistémiques vs. relationnels avec un partenaire. Des étudiants étaient amenés à participer à une pseudo-interaction médiatisée par ordinateur avec un partenaire factice, à propos d’un texte. Ce partenaire factice introduisait soit un conflit épistémique (un conflit se référant au contenu du texte) soit un conflit relationnel (un conflit qui mettait en cause la compétence des participants). Les résultats ont indiqué que comparativement au conflit épistémique, le conflit relationnel a augmenté la menace et réduit la contribution perçue du partenaire. De plus, après un conflit relationnel, les participants se sont montrés plus assertifs dans leurs réponses, les ont moins justifiées et ont exprimé moins de doutes qu’après un conflit épistémique. Les résultats indiquent également que l’intensité des désaccords prédit différents modes de régulation en fonction du type de conflit. Enfin, le conflit épistémique a entrainé un meilleur apprentissage que le conflit relationnel.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Darnon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sébastien Doll
    • 2
  • Fabrizio Butera
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive, UMR CNRS 6024Université Blaise PascalClermont-Ferrand CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale de Grenoble-ChambéryUniversité Pierre Mendès France, SHSGrenoble Cedex 9France
  3. 3.Institut des Sciences Sociales et PédagogiquesUniversité de LausanneLausanneSuisse

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