, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 265–284 | Cite as

A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Argument Predispositions in China: Argumentativeness, Verbal Aggressiveness, Argument Frames, and Personalization of Conflict

  • Yun XieEmail author
  • Dale HampleEmail author
  • Xiaoli Wang


China has a longstanding tradition of stressing the values of harmony and coherence, and Chinese society has often been portrayed as a culture in which conflict avoidance is viewed more positively than direct confrontation and argumentation. In order to evaluate the validity of this claim, this paper sketches Chinese people’s feelings and understandings about interpersonal arguing by reporting results of a data collection in China, using measures of argumentativeness, verbal aggressiveness, argument frames, and personalization of conflict. These results were compared to those from a US sample. Chinese and US data differed in complex ways, but did not show Chinese respondents to be more avoidant. The Chinese correlations among variables were a reasonable match to expectations based on Western argumentation theories, although they did not replicate the US results precisely. The paper offers evidence that Chinese respondents had a more sophisticated understanding of interpersonal arguing than their US counterparts, and were more sensitive to the constructive possibilities of face-to-face disagreement.


Argument predispositions China Cross-cultural analysis Interpersonal arguing 



We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their criticisms, which are very helpful for us to improve the paper. Yun Xie would like to acknowledge the support from the National Social Science Fund Projects (13CZX063), (13&ZD186), and the Chinese MOE Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities (12JJD720006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Logic and Cognition, Department of PhilosophySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.South China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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