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The Effects of Role-Reversal during the Discussion of Opposing Viewpoints

Barbara F. Muney and Morton Deutsch
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sep., 1968), pp. 345-356
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/172670
Page Count: 12
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The Effects of Role-Reversal during the Discussion of Opposing Viewpoints
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Abstract

This study examined the effects of two different discussion methods, role-reversal and direct presentation of one's own viewpoint, upon the ease of reaching agreement and upon attitudinal change. Pairs of subjects, who had been selected for their extreme and opposed attitudes on a controversial issue, were instructed to attempt to reach a joint solution on the issue after an initial period of either role-reversal or self-presentation. Role-reversal proved no more effective than self-presentation in inducing attitudinal change; it was less effective on certain indices of conflict resolution. Both methods produced considerable understanding of the other's views and attitude change toward them. The pair's skill in role-reversal was related to attitude change toward one another. A hypothesis is offered explaining why role-reversal appeared more effective with one issue, while self-presentation was superior with the other.

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