Perceptions of assertion: An empirical analysis

Robert L. Woolfolk, Sharon Dever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The present investigation compared perceptions of assertive communication with reactions to other styles of communication. In the first of two experiments, assertion was rated as more appropriate and efficacious than either nonassertion or aggression. Assertion was viewed as more polite, less neurotic, less hostile, and more satisfying to the recipient than aggression. Assertion was viewed, relative to nonassertion, as less polite, more hostile, and less satisfying to the recipient. In the second experiment, 96 subjects rated the three communication styles employed in the first experiment, using the same dependent measures, plus a fourth style, assertion plus "extra consideration". Results of the second experiment replicated the findings of the first study. The assertation plus extra consideration condition was perceived as comparable in effectiveness and appropriateness to assertion while being rated as kinder, less hostile, and more satisfying to recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-411
Number of pages8
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1979
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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