Preferred Attributes of Effective Conflict Resolvers in Seven Societies: Culture, Development Level, and Gender Differences1


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    We gratefully acknowledge that the preparation of this paper was supported by grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), #KZ A9524283 322. the Reverend Joseph O'Hare, S. J. Professorial Chair of Ateneo de Manila University (the Philippines), and the Woodstock Theological Center of Georgetown University (United States) to the first author. We also wish to thank our two anonymous reviewers, whose helpful suggestions have been integrated into this article.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cristina Montiel, Department of Psychology. Ateneo de Manila University, P. O. Box 154, Manila 1099, Philippines.


This research examined variations in preferred personality attributes of conflict resolvers. Using a semantic differential scale, youth from Malaysia, Japan, China, Philippines, Australia, Germany, and the United States described an effective conflict resolver. ANOVA procedures tested whether culture, country's level of economic development, or gender produced significant variations on conflict resolver preferences. Results show that conflict resolvers can be described along a continuum that has a compassionate peacemaker on one side and a dominating peacemaker on the other. Cultural differences produced marginal significance. The stronger effects were results of variations in power positions. A compassionate peacemaker was preferred by respondents from developing societies, rather than by those from the wealthier countries, and by women more than men.