Multiple Goals and Tactical Behaviors in Social Conflicts1


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    We express our deep gratitude to Dr. Dean G. Pruitt at the State University of New York in Buffalo for reading our draft and for giving valuable comments.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ken-ichi Ohbuchi, Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, Kawauchi, Sendai 980-77, Japan, e-mail:


The hypotheses of a multiple goals theory of conflict were supported in a study in which 264 American students reported on a conflict that they had experienced. The results showed that 95% of subjects had more than 1 goal during the conflict; social goals were more strongly activated than resource goals; subjects' tactical behavior was determined by the social goals; and effects of personal and situational variables on tactical choice were mediated by activated goals. Factor analyses identified 6 goals and 4 types of tactics.