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Substantive Conflict-

intellectual opposition to the content of ideas

Can be a result of differences over:

Engaging in substantive conflict increases the productivity of a group because ideas are tested and evaluated on their merits, using evidence, logic and reasoning in this process. Because substantive conflict is so essential to the critical thinking process, a devil's advocate is often used for the specific purpose of creating substantive conflict. When engaging in substantive conflict it is important to focus on the issues rather than the people presenting the issues. View differences of opinion as helpful to the success of your group project. In order to create a climate which is conducive to substantive conflict, try to give praise to the person suggesting an idea before you present your opposition to the idea. Test all ideas using the Universal Intellectual Standards.  Do not base rejection of an idea on personal preferences or opinions.

Affective Conflict-

emotional, social & personal conflict

Can be due to issues of:

Affective conflict comes from the perception that one is being attacked or criticized; it is these perceptions that give conflict a bad name! Affective conflict should be avoided since it does not contribute to the productivity of the group nor does it enhance interpersonal relationships. Be careful to avoid personal criticism, sarcasm, and putting down others' ideas. Try to remain positive when others question your ideas as well, knowing that such questioning is necessary to the critical thinking process.

To increase substantive conflict and avoid affective conflict be sensitive to how you communicate your ideas.



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