Pragma-dialectical theory (van Eemeren and Grootendorst 2004 ) explains that a critical discussion has four stages: confrontation, opening, argumentation, and concluding. In the confrontation stage, two people discover that they have a disagreement, and in the opening stage they decide how to pursue it. This study focuses on the transition from the confrontation stage to the opening stage. Not all disagreements are explored or even expressed. When circumstances invite disagreement and then argument, sometimes we move forward and sometimes we move away. This is an investigation of the decision to engage or not. What factors predict engagement and which predict that no argument will be voluntarily forthcoming?
The costs and benefits of arguing: predicting the decision whether to engage or not
Contributo in volume
Springer, Berlin, DEU
Topical Themes in Argumentation Theory, pp. 307–322. Berlin: Springer, 2012