Self-Concept Clarity and the Management of Social Conflict

Myriam N. Bechtoldt, C. K W De Dreu, Bernard A. Nijstad, Dieter Zapf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 4 studies we examined the relationship between self-concept clarity and conflict management. Individuals with higher self-concept clarity were overall more active and showed more cooperative problem-solving behavior than people with low self-concept clarity. There were no relationships with contending or yielding. The positive relationship with cooperative behavior was mediated by less rumination (Study 2) and moderated by conflict intensity (Study 3). Specifically, it applied to relatively mild conflicts (Study 3). Finally, Study 4 extended these findings to the group level: Dyad members with higher self-concept clarity engaged in problem solving, whereas dyad members with lower self-concept clarity did not. We conclude that higher self-concept clarity associates with proactive problem solving in social conflict. © 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-574
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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