ArticlePDF Available

Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator preference



Content may be subject to copyright.
This study examined the relationship between the com-
munication trait argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs
ype Indicator®(MBTI®) preferences. Participants who
preferred Intuition (N) and Thinking (T) were more
likely to be argumentative than participants with
Sensing (S) and Feeling (F) preferences. The ENTJ type
and the NT core preference tended to score higher in
argumentativeness than other MBTI types. This study
supported other research showing that people with
different personality preferences also differ in communi-
cation behaviors and traits. This could have implica-
tions for the individual’s comfort and success in society.
In addition, an awareness of the relationship between
MBTI preferences and argumentativeness might help
educators create better programs for training in argu-
Over the past 2 decades, the communication trait
known as argumentativeness has received increasing
attention in communication and psychology research.
Journal of Psychological Type®
Over twenty-five years of publishing research articles related to the theory and
applications of psychological type and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®instrument.
Published by the Center for Applications of Psychological Type
Thomas G. Carskadon, Ph.D., Editor
Issue 7 JUL 06
Individuals who prefer Intuition (N) and Thinking (T) are the most likely
to score high on argumentativeness, with ENTJs leading the way.
Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
Donald A. Loffredo, Ed.D.
University of Houston–Victoria
Susan K. Opt, Ph.D.
Salem College
Journal of Psychological Type®, Volume 66, July 2006
Argumentativeness, which Infante and Rancer (1982)
conceptualized as “a generally stable trait which pre-
disposes the individual in communication situations to
advocate positions on controversial
issues and to attack verbally the posi-
tions which other people take on
these issues” (p. 72), is viewed as
contributing to the individual’s partic-
ipation and success in U.S. culture.
Infante and Rancer (1996) noted
that argumentative communication is
“crucial in a democracy” (p. 320). It is
a communication pattern that helps
to “support, inform, and influence”
the workings of governmental, pri-
vate, and public institutions in U.S.
society. Linking argumentativeness to
specific MBTI preferences, then, can
provide increased understanding into
the communication behavior and
possibly the social experiences of the personality types.
For example, because the U.S. culture is one that
emphasizes argumentativeness, knowing the relation-
ship between that communication trait and MBTI
preferences may provide insight into the personality
types’ participation and comfort level in such a culture.
Rancer (1998) noted that “understanding the com-
munication behavior of others can be enhanced by
knowledge of the traits that individuals possess . . .”
(p. 149). An initial study revealed a slight relationship
between argumentativeness and MBTI preferences
(Loffredo & Opt, 1998). The purpose of this study was
to extend the previous research and search for signifi-
cant correlations between argumentativeness and MBTI
Argumentativeness can be conceptualized as one of four
communication traits that form the concept known as
aggressive communication. Infante (1987) viewed
aggressive communication as being controlled by these
four traits, which also interact with situational factors to
influence communication. As Rancer (1998) explained,
wo traits (assertiveness and argumentativeness) are
considered constructive, and two traits (hostility and
verbal aggressiveness) are considered destructive”
(p. 151). Rancer further noted that although all argu-
mentative behavior is aggressive, not all aggressive
behavior is argumentative.
Argumentativeness is characterized by “advocacy
for and defense of positions on issues simultaneous
with the refutation of the positions other people take”
(Infante & Rancer, 1996, p. 322).
According to the researchers, argu-
mentativeness arises out of competing
tendencies—to approach arguments
and to avoid arguments. “The more
the motivation to approach argu-
ments exceeds the motivation to
avoid arguments, the more argumen-
tative the individual is” (Rancer,
1998, p. 153). Some people are clas-
sified as high argumentative (high
approach/low avoid) and others
low argumentative (high avoid/low
approach). However, Rancer also
pointed out that two types of moder-
ates exist. Individuals can be high
approach/high avoid and, despite
conflicting feelings, tend to argue only when they feel
they can “win” an argument. Others can be low
approach/low avoid and, despite feeling apathetic,
argue only when they feel they must.
Since Infante and Rancer (1982) first conceptual-
ized argumentativeness, numerous studies in both
communication and psychology have explored its
relationship to a variety of human behaviors and
experiences. A review of recent literature shows that
researchers have given much attention to the connec-
tion between argumentativeness and verbal aggressive-
ness (Ifert & Bearden, 1998; Infante & Rancer, 1996)
because both are viewed as subcomponents of aggres-
sive communication. Verbal aggression, in which the
person attacks the self-concept of another rather than
just the issue, is considered a destructive communica-
tion strategy, whereas argumentativeness is considered
constructive (Infante & Wigley, 1986). Besides verbal
aggressiveness, argumentativeness also has been corre-
lated recently with variables such as culture (Toth,
1999), satisfaction and cohesion in group experiences
(Anderson & Martin, 1999), compulsive communica-
tion (Bostrom & Harrington, 1999; Hackman, Johnson,
& Barthel-Hackman, 1995), cognitive and communica-
tion flexibility (Martin, Anderson, & Thweatt, 1998),
and persuasion (Kazoleas, 1993; Levine & Badger,
1993). Researchers in psychology have also examined
communication variables, as well as looking at the rela-
tionship between argumentativeness and personality.
. . . argumentativeness
is considered a
constructive communi-
cation trait, because
the messages are
not oriented toward
attacking an
individual . . .
Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Preferences
For example, argumentativeness scales have been corre-
lated with the facet and domain scales of the Revised
NEO Personality Scale (Schill, 1996).
Myers and Rocca (2001) noted that research on
argumentativeness has consistently indicated that
subjects who score high in argumentativeness differ in
significant ways from participants who score low.
Differences in argumentativeness resulted in differences
in areas such as amount of argumentation, beliefs about
arguing, subjects of argumentation, self-esteem, percep-
tions of social desirability, leadership, and conflict
strategies. In general, argumentativeness is considered a
constructive communication trait, because the messages
are content-oriented, not oriented toward attacking an
individual, and high argumentativeness scores have
been linked with positive outcomes in group and
organizational experiences (Martin et al., 1998;
Schullery, 1998). In his extensive review of argumenta-
tive literature, Rancer (1998) emphasized, “Perhaps the
most important overall finding based on this body of
research is that all of the outcomes or consequences of
being argumentative are positive. That is, being
motivated and skilled in argumentative communication
is clearly considered positive across contexts and
situations” (p. 156). Thus, a tendency for a Myers-
Briggs personality type to approach or avoid argument
could have implications for that personality type’s
success and comfort in a variety of social contexts.
Linking argumentation to a person’s MBTI preferences
can increase understanding of how a particular type
communicates and provide educators with insight into
how to improve the argumentative skills of the various
Aside from an initial study by Loffredo and Opt
(1998), no research has specifically addressed the
relationship between argumentativeness and MBTI
preferences. Loffredo and Opt found only one of the
MBTI indices, Extraversion–Introversion (E–I), corre-
lated with argumentativeness. Subjects preferring
Introversion scored significantly lower in argumenta-
tiveness than subjects preferring Extraversion. However,
the research was conducted on a limited sample. This
study used a larger sample to repeat the earlier research
and test the following hypotheses:
1. As shown in the previous study, persons preferring
Extraversion were expected to exhibit a tendency
to approach arguments, because of the excitement
and challenge of the situation and their need to
talk as part of coming to conclusions. Persons
preferring Introversion, because they prefer to
verbalize only reasoned conclusions, were
expected to avoid arguments and score lower in
2. Persons preferring Intuition were expected to score
higher in argumentativeness, whereas people pre-
ferring Sensing were expected to score lower.
Williams and Bicknell-Behr (1992) reported that
Ns scored higher on assertiveness than Ss, and
because argumentativeness, like assertiveness, is a
subset of aggressive communication, the same
relationship should exist. Also, Ns have a tendency
to “see potential rather than immediate reality” and
“not only tolerate ambiguity, they may create it as
they jump from one point to another” (Nasca,
1994, p. 100). Because of this tendency, Ns may
have a higher motivation to approach argumenta-
tive situations as a way to explore potentialities. In
addition, Tobacyk, Driggers, and Hourcade (1991)
have shown that Intuition is significantly related to
high self-monitoring, which would result in Ns
being more aware of the result of their behaviors in
a conflict situation. Thus, Ns might lean more
toward using a communication strategy such as
argumentation, rather than verbal aggressiveness,
than Ss.
3. Persons preferring Thinking were expected to score
higher than Fs in argumentativeness, because of
the T’s tendency to compete or compromise in
conflict situations. In addition, Ts are noted for
their ability to detach themselves emotionally from
anxiety-producing communication situations and
to focus on content-oriented messages rather than
on personal attacks. This appears similar to
Schullery’s (1998) depiction of highly argumenta-
tive people as follows: “A highly argumentative
individual not only provides reasons when asked,
and approaches situations logically but also takes
opportunities to argue that others might ignore”
(p. 348). Persons who prefer Feeling should score
lower in argumentativeness, because of their
tendency to collaborate or accommodate to main-
tain social harmony (Nasca, 1994). In addition,
Williams and Bicknell-Behr’s (1992) research on
assertiveness suggests that Fs tend to be more
sensitive to the opinions of others. This might
motivate Fs to avoid argumentativeness.
Journal of Psychological Type®, Volume 66, July 2006
4. No relationship was expected between Judging (J)
and Perceiving (P) preferences and argumentative-
ness, because this particular index is primarily an
indicator of the dominant core personality process.
Previous research on the communication traits of
communication apprehension and receiver appre-
hension showed no correlation with J and P (Opt
& Loffredo, 2000; Opt & Loffredo, in press).
Participants. The sample consisted of 200 subjects (65
males, 135 females) who agreed to participate in the
study for extra academic credit in their classes at the
University of Houston-Victoria. The participants ranged
in age from 21 to 69 years, with an average age of 34.8
(6 participants did not include their age) and standard
deviation of 10.2 years. As expected, the distribution
was somewhat positively skewed (younger rather than
older). The subjects were juniors and seniors, with
majors in the arts and sciences, education, and busi-
ness. The type distribution of the total sample is shown
in TABLE 1 (SEE PAGE 63).
Instruments. Each participant completed two
instruments: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Form G
Self-Scorable (revised) measure and Infante and
Rancer’s (1982) Argumentativeness Scale. The Argu-
mentativeness Scale (ARG) is a 20-item self-report
instrument that uses Likert-type scales that range
from almost never true (1) to almost always true (5).
It was developed in a series of factor-analytic studies.
The instrument assesses a person’s tendency to
approach argument and tendency to avoid argument.
Respondents are considered high or low in argumenta-
tiveness if their score is one standard deviation above
or below the mean for the normative sample. Scores
within one standard deviation are considered as moder-
ate in argumentativeness. Infante and Rancer (1996)
reported reliabilities in the .80–.90 range for the ARG
Scale. Infante and Rancer (1982) provided evidence of
convergent, concurrent, and discriminant validity.
Several studies since 1982 have also supported the
instrument’s validity (Infante & Rancer, 1996).
Participants completed the MBTI instrument in a
classroom setting or at the Office of Student Services
under the guidance of a counselor trained in MBTI test-
ing procedures or a licensed psychologist. Participants
scored their MBTI results and then were debriefed
about the MBTI. Next, they completed the ARG Scale at
home and provided demographic information (gender,
age, class rank, school). The researchers scored the
ARG Scale.
Data Analysis. The study’s design was quasi-
experimental and identified MBTI type preferences as
quasi-independent variables and the communication
variable of argumentativeness as a dependent measure.
To complete analysis, independent-measures ttests
were used to identify significant differences between the
pairs of MBTI type preferences on argumentativeness.
An independent-measures ttest was also used to
identify a significant difference by gender on argumen-
tativeness. To minimize inflation of Type I error, the
Bonferroni adjustment was used, and the rejection
level of the ttest for each type preference was set
at alpha = .0125. A one-way independent-measures
ANCOVA was used to identify significant differences by
complete MBTI type on the measure of argumentative-
ness. A one-way independent-measures ANOVA was
also used to identify significant differences by core
personality traits (NF, NT, SF, ST) on argumentativeness.
A one-way independent-measures ANCOVA, with
gender as a covariate, was used to examine the relation-
ship between gender and T–F preferences. Finally, a
forward inclusion stepwise multiple regression was
used to determine the relative strength of the predictors
(gender, type preference pairs, core personality traits,
complete MBTI type) of argumentativeness.
TABLE 2 (SEE PAGE 64) summarizes the findings
revealed by the independent-measures ttests. As can
be seen, Extraverts scored higher than Introverts on
argumentativeness, but the difference was not signifi-
cant at the .0125 level. Subjects preferring Intuition
scored significantly higher than participants preferring
Sensing on argumentativeness. Ts scored significantly
higher than Fs on argumentativeness, and no significant
difference was found between Js and Ps.
An independent-measures ttest revealed a statisti-
cally significant difference between males (M= 6.73, SD
= 12.78) and females (M= -1.19, SD = 13.33) on the
measure of argumentativeness, t(198) = 4.02, p< .001.
A one-way independent-measures ANOVA
revealed a statistically significant difference by complete
MBTI type on argumentativeness, F(15, 184) = 3.92,
p< .001. The effect size measured by partial eta squared
was .24. Post hoc tests revealed the following:
1. ENTJ participants (M= 15.62, SD = 10.63) scored
Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Preferences
The Sixteen Complete Types
n= 22 n= 17 n= 4 n= 11
(11.0%) (8.5%) (2.0%) (5.5%)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + +
n= 8 n= 9 n= 13 n= 4
(4.0%) (4.5%) (6.5%) (2.0%)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ +
n= 9 n= 6 n= 15 n= 9
(4.5%) (3.0%) (7.5%) (4.5%)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + +
n= 25 n= 22 n= 10 n= 16
(12.5%) (11.0%) (5.0%) (8.0%)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + +
Dichotomous Preferences
En= 112 (56.0%)
In= 088 (44.0%)
Sn= 118 (59.0%)
Nn= 082 (41.0%)
Tn= 096 (48.0%)
Fn= 104 (52.0%)
Jn= 127 (63.5%)
Pn= 073 (36.5%)
Pairs and Temperaments
IJ n= 54 (27.0%)
IP n= 34 (17.0%)
EP n= 39 (19.5%)
EJ n= 73 (36.5%)
ST n= 64 (32.0%)
SF n= 54 (27.0%)
NF n= 42 (21.0%)
NT n= 4040 (20.0%)
SJ n= 86 (43.0%)
SP n= 32 (16.0%)
NP n= 41 (20.5%)
NJ n= 41 (20.5%)
TJ n= 74 (37.0%)
TP n= 30 (15.0%)
FP n= 43 (21.5%)
FJ n= 53 (26.5%)
IN n= 32 (16.0%)
EN n= 50 (25.0%)
IS n= 56 (28.0%)
ES n= 62 (31.0%)
ET n= 59 (29.5%)
EF n= 53 (26.5%)
IF n= 43 (21.5%)
IT n= 45 (22.5%)
Donald A. Loffredo and Susan K. Opt
Jungian Types (E) Jungian Types (I) Dominant Types
n%n% n%
E–TJ 41 20.5 I–TP 12 6.0 Dt. T 53 26.5
E–FJ 32 16.0 I–FP 22 11.0 Dt. F 54 27.0
ES–P 15 7.5 IS–J 39 19.5 Dt. S 54 27.0
EN–P 24 12.0 IN–J 15 7.5 Dt. N 39 19.5
Table 1. MBTI®Type Distribution of the Total Sample.
= 200 + = 1% of
Journal of Psychological Type®, Volume 66, July 2006
Table 2. Means and Standard Deviations for Argumentativeness by Type Preference.
Personality Preference Mean Standard Deviation
Introversion -0.75 14.18
Extraversion 3.34 13.06
t(198) = -2.18, p< .036
Sensing -1.21 12.22
Intuition 5.50 14.74
t(198) = -3.15, p< .001
Thinking 6.01 12.85
Feeling -3.30 12.94
t(198) = 5.10, p< .001
Judging 2.10 14.06
Perceiving 0.56 13.02
t(198) = 0.77, p< .45
N = 200
significantly higher than ISFP participants (M=
-7.33, SD = 14.32).
2. ENTJ participants (M= 15.62, SD = 10.63) scored
significantly higher than ISFJ participants (M=
-7.59, SD = 9.33).
3. ENTJ participants (M= 15.62, SD = 10.63) scored
significantly higher than ESFP participants (M=
-10.50, SD = 10.95).
4. ENTJ participants (M= 15.62, SD = 10.63) scored
significantly higher than ESFJ participants (M=
-3.27, SD = 7.69).
5. ENTJ participants (M= 15.62, SD = 10.63) scored
significantly higher than INFJ participants (M=
-13.25, SD = 20.12).
The means and standard deviations for all 16
complete types on argumentativeness are displayed in
TABLE 3 (SEE PAGE 65) in rank order.
A one-way independent-measures ANOVA revealed
a statistically significant difference by core personality
traits (NF
, NT, SF
, ST) on argumentativeness, F(3, 196)
= 15.01, p< .001. The effect size as measured by partial
eta squared was .19. Post hoc tests revealed the following:
1. NT core personality participants (M= 10.95, SD =
11.93) scored significantly higher than NF core
personality participants (M= 0.31, SD = 15.40).
2. NT core personality participants (M= 10.95, SD =
11.93) scored significantly higher than ST core
personality participants (M= 2.92, SD = 12.51).
3. NT core personality participants (M= 10.95, SD =
11.93) scored significantly higher than SF core
personality participants (M= -6.23, SD = 9.80).
A one-way ANCOVA with gender as a covariate
revealed a statistically significant difference between Ts
(M= 6.01, SD = 12.85) and Fs (M= -3.30, SD = 12.94)
on argumentativeness, F(1, 197) = 15.08, p< .001.
Although Ts scored significantly higher than Fs with the
effect of gender statistically removed, the effect size as
measured by partial eta squared was only .07, so the
significant difference was quite small.
A forward inclusion stepwise multiple regression
using the same predictors as above, identified the T–F
preference pair as the strongest single predictor of argu-
mentativeness (R2= .116, F[1, 198] = 26.04, p< .001).
Together the T–F preference pair and complete MBTI
type were a strong predictor of argumentativeness (R2=
Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Preferences
Table 3. Means and Standard Deviations for Argumentativeness by Complete MBTI®Type in
Descending Order of Argumentativeness.
ENTJ 16 15.62 10.63
INTJ 11 9.00 14.40
INTP 4 7.00 4.97
ENTP 9 6.78 11.73
ESTJ 25 4.28 10.55
ESTP 9 4.11 9.17
ENFP 15 3.47 16.08
ISTJ 22 2.86 15.85
INFP 13 0.92 10.92
ENFJ 10 0.20 16.87
ISTP 8 -2.50 11.61
ESFJ 22 -3.27 7.69
ISFP 9 -7.33 14.32
ISFJ 17 -7.59 9.33
ESFP 6 -10.50 10.95
INFJ 4 -13.25 20.12
.195, F[2, 197] = 23.89, p< .001). The T–F preference
pair, complete MBTI type, and gender combination was
the strongest predictor of argumentativeness (R2= .217,
F[3, 196] = 18.10, p< .001). The remaining predictors
could not predict any further unique variance in the
criterion variable, argumentativeness, so they were not
entered into the analysis.
The increased sample size in this study elevated the
power of the statistical tests used, which revealed
several differences between MBTI preferences on
argumentativeness. As expected, participants preferring
N and T scored higher on argumentativeness, thus
showing a greater tendency to approach arguments.
Also as expected, subjects preferring S and F scored
lower on argumentativeness, thus showing a greater
tendency to avoid arguments. This is consistent with
previous research by Williams and Bicknell-Behr
(1992), which showed similar results on assertiveness.
It has also been well documented in communication
literature that males tend to be more argumentative
than females (Cross, 1999; Rancer, 1998), a finding
replicated in this study.
The results, however, did not support an earlier
finding in which the E–I preferences were linked with
argumentativeness. This suggests that argumentative-
ness is a communication trait that reflects a person’s
internal perceiving and judging processes as opposed to
the way in which a person externalizes those processes.
In other words, a person’s tendency to argue may be
more an outcome of how that person processes informa-
tion than how he or she communicates that information.
Furthermore, although the NT core preference scored
higher in argumentativeness as would be expected, the
fact that the T–F index was the strongest predictor of
argumentativeness suggests that this communication
trait is most connected to a person’s perception of rela-
tionship. Argumentativeness is conceptualized as being
a content-oriented communication strategy, which fits
well with the “detached” nature of Ts, whereas Fs would
find this more difficult and might either avoid what they
Journal of Psychological Type®, Volume 66, July 2006
see as conflict or, when unable to avoid it, use a more
relationship-oriented strategy in aggressive communica-
tion situations. This assumption could be further tested
by examining verbal aggressiveness as related to person-
ality type.
Within the NT personality types, ENTJs tended to
score the highest in argumentativeness. This finding fits
with the ENTJ personality type descriptors provided by
Myers, McCaulley, Quenk, and Hammer (1998). ENTJs’
strengths center around organizing, problem-solving,
decision-making, analytical thinking, and long-range
planning skills. High argumentativeness would support
and/or be an outcome of these skills.
In general, this study supported other research that
shows that people with different personality preferences
vary in communication behaviors and traits, which
could have implications for an individual’s comfort and
success in society. For example, research has shown
numerous benefits to being high in argumentativeness
(Rancer, 1998). “Arguing stimulates curiosity and
increases learning because we seek out more informa-
tion on the issues we argue about” (p. 156). In his
summary of the literature on argumentativeness, Rancer
noted that persons who score high in argumentativeness
tend to use more diverse strategies to persuade, are
viewed as more credible, and tend to be more success-
ful in organizational settings. This raises the question of
whether certain personality types will be more socially
involved and successful because of their tendency to
argue. This study’s findings suggest that ENTJs would
probably be more participative and hold positions of
leadership in U.S. culture at least in part because of their
high argumentativeness scores. However, future
research needs to explore this finding with a larger
sample size, because other personality types with the
NT core also had a tendency to score higher in
Training people to become more effective arguers
or persuaders has been one of the goals of communi-
cation instruction since the days of Plato and Aristotle.
Rancer (1998) noted, “The teaching of skills for
advocacy and for the defense of positions and for the
refutation of the positions other people take remains a
valued and fundamental objective of the communica-
tion curriculum” (p. 321). Several programs have been
developed to help students become aware of and
improve their argumentative abilities. Cognitive train-
ing, topical systems, and argument-generating systems
have been used to help students gain the tools needed
for effective argumentation. However, an awareness
of the relationship between the MBTI personality
preferences and argumentativeness might help create
better programs for enhancing argumentativeness.
For example, being aware that persons preferring
Sensing might avoid argument because of their focus
on detail and literal interpretation could help trainers
find strategies to help the Ss follow the abstractions
of arguments. Understanding that Fs will typically be
concerned about the impact of their argument on
the relationship, as “detached” as the argument might
be, might help trainers find ways to modify the T-like
approach that is assumed in argumentation work.
Several avenues of research related to the MBTI
and argumentativeness need to be explored. One direc-
tion is to examine in more detail how the personality
preferences might combine to temper or motivate argu-
mentation. For example, do NFs, SFs, and STs fall into
the category that Rancer (1998) called moderate
or apathetic arguers? Research also needs to examine
the contrasting negative communication trait, verbal
aggressiveness. Do correlations exist between the
personality preferences and verbal aggressiveness as
they do with argumentativeness? Are Fs more likely
to use verbal aggressiveness in conflict situations?
Understanding what communication researchers
consider the constructive and destructive communica-
tion patterns of the various MBTI types can help
increase the researchers’ knowledge of the types and
help each type learn more effective ways of communi-
cating with each other.
As this study has indicated, the MBTI types vary in
their tendency to approach and avoid argument.
Overall, the relationship between personality type and
argumentativeness needs more examination, especially
in a culture that tends to emphasize and promote
argumentativeness as a way to participate and contri-
bute to society. A clearer understanding of all person-
ality types and their communicative experiences can
help all have more positive outcomes in group and
social experiences.
Argumentativeness and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Preferences
Anderson, C. M., & Martin, M. M. (1999). The relationship of
argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness to cohesion,
consensus and satisfaction in small groups. Communication
Reports, 12(1), 21–31.
Blickle, G. (1997). Argumentativeness and the facets of the big five.
Psychological Reports, 81(3), 1379–1385.
Bostrom, R. N., & Harrington, N. G. (1999). An exploratory
investigation of characteristics of compulsive talkers.
Communication Education, 48(1), 73–80.
Cross, V. E. (1999). An investigation into the relationship among
gender, argumentativeness, and empathy. Dissertation
Abstracts International, 59(08): 4522B.
Hackman, M. Z., Johnson, C. E., & Barthel-Hackman, T. (1995).
Correlates of talkaholism in New Zealand. Communication
Research Reports, 12(1), 53–60.
Ifert, D. E., & Bearden, L. (1998). The influence of argumentative-
ness on verbal aggression on responses to refused requests.
Communication Reports, 11(2), 145–155.
Infante, D. A. (1987). Aggressiveness. In J. C. McCroskey & U. A.
Day (Eds.), Personality and interpersonal communication (pp.
157–192). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Infante, D. A., & Rancer, A. S. (1982). A conceptualization
and measure of argumentativeness. Journal of Personality
Assessment, 46, 72–80.
Infante, D. A., & Rancer, A. S. (1996). Argumentativeness and
verbal aggressiveness: A review of recent theory and research.
In B. Burleson (Ed.), Communication yearbook 19 (pp.
319–351). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Infante, D. A., & Wigley, C. J. (1986). Verbal aggressiveness:
An interpersonal model and measure. Communication
Monographs, 53, 61–69.
Kazoleas, D. (1993). The impact of argumentativeness on resistance
to persuasion. Human Communication Research, 20(1),
Levine, T., & Badger, E. E. (1993). Argumentativeness and resist-
ance to persuasion. Communication Reports, 6(2), 71–78.
Loffredo, D. A., & Opt, S. K. (1998). Relating the MBTI to commu-
nication apprehension, receiver apprehension, and argumen-
tativeness. Journal of Psychological Type, 47, 21–27.
Martin, M. M., Anderson, C. M., & Thweatt, K. S. (1998).
Aggressive communication traits and their relationships with
the Cognitive Flexibility Scale and the Communication
Flexibility Scale. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality,
13(3), 531–540.
Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L.
(1998). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting
Psychologists Press, Inc.
Myers, S. A., & Rocca, K. A. (2001). Perceived instructor argumen-
tativeness and verbal aggressiveness in the college classroom.
Western Journal of Communication, 65(2), 113–138.
Nasca, D. (1994, February). The impact of cognitive style on
communication. NASSP Bulletin, 78, 99–107.
Opt, S. K., & Loffredo, D. A. (2000). Rethinking communication
apprehension: A Myers-Briggs perspective. The Journal of
Psychology, 134(5), 556–570.
Opt, S. K., & Loffredo, D. A. (2006). Receiver apprehension and
Myers-Briggs personality type. Journal of Psychological Type,
66(3), 15–22.
Rancer, A. S. (1998). Argumentativeness. In J. C. McCroskey, J. A.
Daly, M. M. Martin, & M. J. Beatty (Eds.), Communication and
personality: Trait perspectives (pp. 149–170). Cresskill, NJ:
Hampton Press, Inc.
Schill, T. (1996). Self-defeating personality, argumentativeness,
and assertive self-statements. Psychological Reports, 79(3),
Schullery, N. M. (1998). The optimum level of argumentativeness
for employed women. The Journal of Business Communication,
35(3), 346–368.
Tobacyk, J. J., Driggers, E. C., & Hourcade, J. (1991). Self-moni-
toring and psychological type: A social cognitive information
processing model. Journal of Psychological Type, 22, 33–38.
Toth, B. J. (1999). The Hatfields and the McCoys: Beliefs about
arguing and aggressive communication in the Appalachian
culture. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60(04): 939A.
Williams, S. B., & Bicknell-Behr, J. (1992). Assertiveness and
psychological type. Journal of Psychological Type, 23, 27–37.
Donald A. Loffredo, Ed.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology and is the psychology practicum and internship
coordinator at the University of Houston–Victoria. He holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University
of Houston Central Campus, a master of arts degree in agency counseling from Rhode Island College, and a bachelor
of arts degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island. His research interests include test construction,
communication, multicultural issues, and MBTI®preferences and communication patterns. His other MBTI research
has examined the relationship between type preferences and communication apprehension, receiver apprehension,
and argumentativeness. He finds the MBTI measure to be a useful framework for counseling individuals and couples
and for helping them understand similarities and differences in communication patterns.
Susan K. Opt, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Communication at Salem College in Winston–Salem, NC. She holds
a doctorate in communication from The Ohio State University, a master of arts in journalism from Ohio State, and a
bachelor of fine arts degree from Wright State University. Her research interests include communication and culture,
the rhetoric of social intervention, and MBTI preferences and communication patterns. Her other MBTI research has
examined the relationship between preferences and communication apprehension, receiver apprehension, and
argumentativeness. She finds that the MBTI tool provides a useful framework for helping students understand their
similarities and differences in communication patterns.
Donald A. Loffredo, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Houston–Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson Road
Victoria, TX 77901
(361) 570-4209
This Journal is being made available through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Tom Carskadon, Editor of the Journal of Psychological Type, and
the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Inc., CAPT, worldwide publisher. Dr. B. Michael Thorne serves as Executive Editor of the
Journal of Psychological Type.
Journal of Psychological Type is a trademark or registered trademark of Thomas G. Carskadon in the United States and other countries.
CAPT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the meaningful application and ethical use of psychological type as measured through the
Myers-Briggs T
ype Indicator instrument.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in
the United States and other countries.
Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Inc. and CAPT are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Center for Applications of
Psychological Type in the United States and other countries.
Copyright © 2006 by Thomas G. Carskadon, Editor.
ISSN 0895-8750.
Journal of Psychological Type®, Volume 66, July 2006
... Logically, these attributes not only affect decision-making process in general, but also the way in which individuals communicate. In this sense, analytical communicators tend to be more argumentative and reasoning communication (Loffredo and Opt, 2006). Additionally, they would tend to be less influenced by other people's opinions (Williams and Bicknell-Berhn, 1992), which hinders the debate and discussion of issues to some extent. ...
Purpose While previous human resources management (HRM) studies have focused on human resources (HR) practices to explain the strategic HRM–performance link, organizational communication is studied as a key HRM process and an alternative perspective explains the factors influencing communication implementation and subsequently internal HRM system consistency. Design/methodology/approach HR decision-makers’ human capital is examined as a determinant of communication implementation by applying the partial least squares approach to a sample of 120 Spanish HR managers. Findings The results confirm the relevance of HR decision-makers’ cognitive skills, showing that communication of HRM strategy does not appear to require a particular cognitive approach but rather a balance of creative and rational skills. Additionally, the findings suggest that appropriate communication implementation improves the internal consistency of the HRM system by creating coherent HR messages about the implemented practices. Originality/value This study presents three main contributions: a) analysing conditions that promote more appropriate communication implementation; b) providing a process perspective instead of the traditional content focus to explain HRM, and c) deepening the ways in which communication affects the internal consistency of the HRM system.
... In addition, the personality type of ENTJ was found to correlate highly with managerial roles. 9 In the medical field, the MBTI has been used to assess specialty choice and academic achievement. 8 Even though the MBTI has been widely used to assess student achievement in the medical field, not a lot of research has been conducted about the field of pathology and laboratory medicine. ...
Full-text available
Objectives The specific aims of the study are to analyze relationships between the personality traits of laboratory professionals and choice of profession and preferred work settings. Methods Data from practicing laboratory professionals were collected via a web-based survey tool to gather information about personality types, choice of profession, and work setting preferences among medical laboratory professionals. Results Results of the survey showed that INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging) is the most common medical laboratory personality type across the various laboratory work settings and that there are no significant differences between the practitioners’ personality type and the choice of profession within pathology. The study revealed laboratorians from higher-volume laboratories were 1.2 times more likely to prefer Judging than lower-volume laboratories, and younger medical laboratory practitioners were 2.3 times more likely to gravitate toward Perceiving than their older counterparts. Conclusions The results of this study shed light on how employers can build on the personality preferences of the laboratory workforce to improve personal job satisfaction and laboratory productivity, quality, and work culture. The research implications are useful for laboratory recruitment and retention.
Full-text available
Talent management is a way banks acquire competitive advantage. Practices such as personality profiling with effective knowledge-based productivity and the application of high-performance work systems help to set a company apart from its competition and maintain this competitive advantage. This book provides an in-depth look at the relationship between personality types and individual-level performance in knowledge-based environments, through cases in Australia’s banking and finance sector. This book also examines how high-performance workplace systems influence individual performance in relation to productivity through a multi-level analysis of micro- and meso-level factors. The findings in this book have relevant implications not only for the Australian system but also for other banking and financial service contexts outside of Australia.
Importance: An early understanding of the personality profiles of junior trainees may be valuable for supporting the professional and educational development of tomorrow's doctors. Objective: This study aims to describe the personality profile of junior trainees and to explore whether the personality profiles differed according to the level of training, specialty choice, or gender. Design: The Mental Muscle Diagram Indicator was distributed electronically. Setting: South West London, Health Education England South London. Participants: A total of 157 junior trainees completed the personality questionnaire. Specifically, there were core surgical (n = 40), core medical (n = 24), and foundation trainees (n = 93). Results: The preferential profile across all groups was Extroversion (E), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Perception (P). More foundation doctors favored an extrovert and sensing personality when compared with core trainees (72% vs 60.4% and 77.4% vs 57.5%, respectively). More core surgical trainees appeared to prefer Extroversion when compared with their medical counterparts (66.7% vs 54.2%). More core medical trainees favored an intuitive behavior when compared with their surgical colleagues (50% vs 35%). Significantly, more female trainees (83.3%) displayed an extrovert personality than male trainees (66.7%) did. Conclusions: According to the Mental Muscle Diagram Indicator analysis, this work shows that the more junior the trainees are in their career, the more they tend to enjoy human interaction and to favor acting before thinking. The most junior trainees tend to be slightly more interested in dealing with facts rather than ideas and favor a flexible approach of life. The reducing ratio of Extroversion and Sensing in the core trainees when compared with foundation doctors may suggest that clinical experience has an effect on personality. As trainees begin to progress, they may tend to reflect more on their practice and to start thinking about more long term. These results suggest that a greater understanding of their personality preferences and how they might change with experience may help trainees to develop a greater personal and professional insight.
Surgical education is undergoing a revolution in its approach to training. Duty-hour limitations, the need for strong teamwork, and increased cross-coverage have all impacted the culture of a surgical residency. This, combined with the profound shift in our culture at large has led to the suggestion that our specialty is attracting a different or more "modern" trainee (Generation X) with personality attributes that differ considerably from previous surgical residents. Historically, personality profiling of surgeons (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)) has favored the ESTJ personality type [extroversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), and judging (J)]. We hypothesized that the changing surgical training paradigms are attracting a different personality profile. To test this, we administered the MBTI examination to a large cohort of surgical trainees in one academic surgical training program. In 2009, with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, we administered online MBTI Step I form M tests to all 41 categorical surgery residents from our Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited general surgery program. The test results were distributed by a certified MBTI consultant and compared with previously published data of staff surgeons. The data were analyzed using a χ(2) analysis to determine differences between groups (α = 0.05). Of the 41 categorical surgery residents, 39 (95%) residents completed the MBTI assessment, (54% male). The most frequent preferential personality type of the resident surgeon was ISTJ [introversion (I)], 30.8%, n = 12. When the results were compared with previously published personality profiles of practicing surgeons, there was a significant difference (p = 0.009) between E and I, contrasting the 2 groups (Table 1). However, the preferences of sensing, thinking, and judging (STJ) over all others was not significantly different (p = 0.203). Most current surgical trainees demonstrate the I personality type. This finding contrasts with established literature, which showed a preference for the E personality type among surgeons trained under the apprenticeship model of residency. As surgical training continues to evolve, it is imperative that we consider the personality traits of the modern trainee and how they might impact the development and implementation of our educational objectives and affect relationships among staff and resident trainees.
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to establish further validity for the Cognitive Flexibility Scale (Martin & Rubin, 1995) and the Communication Flexibility Scale (Martin & Rubin, 1994) by considering their relationships with argumentativeness, verbal aggressiveness, Machiavellianism, and tolerance for disagreement. Participants (N = 276) completed a questionnaire that included the Cognitive Flexibility Scale, the Communication Flexibility Scale, and measures for the other variables. Cognitive flexibility and communication flexibility were positively related to argumentativeness and tolerance for disagreement and negatively related to verbal aggressiveness. Communication flexibility was also negatively correlated to Machiavellianism.
Full-text available
The communication traits of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness were investigated for their relationships with small group members’ perceptions of communication satisfaction, cohesion, and consensus. Participants (N = 208) in on‐going task groups were surveyed. The results suggest that group members who are argumentative and not verbally aggressive are satisfied with their group's communication, and they perceive that the groups are more likely to reach consensus and experience a sense of cohesion. The results discuss the importance of communication traits in investigating small group communication.
Argumentativeness is conceptualized as a personality trait which predisposes an individual to recognize controversial issues to advocate or refute positions on them. In a multivariate study with 166 male and 120 female students, the relationships between scores on the Argumentativeness scales and the facet and domain scales of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Form S) were analyzed. At the facet level, scores on Tendency to Approach arguments and Argumentativeness correlated significantly with scores on Assertiveness and Openness to Ideas, and scores on Tendency to Avoid arguments correlated significantly with scores on Self-consciousness and Assertiveness. At the domain level, scores on Openness to Experience correlated significantly with those on Tendency to Approach arguments and with the Argumentativeness scales and scores on Extraversion correlated significantly with Tendency to Avoid arguments and the Argumentativeness scale.
A good deal of research on argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness has been conducted in the communication discipline in this and the previous decade. The research has been based on a personality trait model that was used to conceptualize a very basic idea—that some aggressive behaviors are constructive and others are destructive. The present chapter reviews this research. The conceptualization and measurement of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness are reviewed first. Then, conclusions from the research are stated and the research relevant to the conclusions is cited. Major results are presented, along with implications. The chapter emphasizes the importance of argumentative communication. A central contention is that argumentativeness has been an approach to conceptualizing concerns of the communication discipline since antiquity, and study should continue along these lines because results suggest the impact of the communication curriculum.
Assertiveness is generally regarded as an acceptable, even mandatory, behavior for both men and women. Argumentativeness, a type of assertiveness, has been conceptualized as both desirable and constructive and linked with group leadership, better decision making, and enhanced credibility. Training in argumentative skills has been encouraged for women, who are generally lower in argumentativeness than are men. However, research on women's assertiveness has shown that an assertive speaking style is not always well received by males, the dominant management group. This study examines the relationship between argumentativeness and women's supervisory level in organizations. Supervisory level, operationalized as the number of reporting levels of authority, indicates the organization's acceptance of the employee's communication effectiveness. A survey of 386 full-time female employees suggests that a moderate level of argumentativeness is optimum for women interested in higher supervisory positions.
This paper examines individuals' level of argumentativeness in relation to persuasion. Both theory and empirical data suggest that a person's desire to approach or avoid argumentative situations should be associated with resistance to persuasion. Students in two basic speech communication classes at a Midwestern commuter campus (total N = 33) completed the Argumentativeness Scale and surveys pertaining to persuasive speeches before and after listening to several speeches. Using 2 × 15 and a 2 × 16 mixed ANOVAs, group data was tested for differences in attitude change attributable to receiver's level of argumentativeness. Both groups exhibited statistically significant and substantial main effects for argumentativeness, but the direction of effect was opposite to what was predicted. Highly argumentative individuals experienced more attitude change than their less argumentative counterparts. The results also showed that topic had no effect upon attitude change, and topic did not interact with argumentativeness. An explanation for this counter intuitive finding is advanced, and implications for future research are discussed.
The effectiveness of communication withstaff is influenced by information processing preferences of both the originatorsand recipients of the communication.Understanding and accommodatingthese preferences can lead to communication that reduces misunderstandingand conflict.
Verbal agressiveness is conceptualized as a personality trait that predisposes persons to attack the self‐concepts of other people instead of, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication. This conception is positioned with respect to the trait structure of personality and also in relation to other aggressive personality traits: hostility, assertiveness, and argumentativeness. An interpersonal model is developed that specifies the types of verbally aggressive messages in interpersonal relations, their effects, and their causes. A rationale is developed for studying verbal aggression apart from other types of aggression, and several studies developing a Verbal Aggressiveness Scale are reported. Results indicate that the Scale is valid and reliable. Implications are discussed, especially in terms of understanding and controlling physical aggression.