A Content Analysis of Arguing Behaviors: A Case Study of Romania as Compared to the United States

Ioana A. Cionea
Ana-Maria Hopartean
Carrisa S. Hoelscher
Irina A. Iles
Sara K. Straub


This paper examines how arguing behaviors are enacted and structured among members of two cultures. We present the results of a content analysis of Romanian (N = 166) and U.S. American (N = 236) naïve actors' self reports. Differences emerged between the two cultures in respect to topics of argument, argumentation partners, the contextual appropriateness of arguing, the role of arguing, and also within each culture, based on how arguing was conceptualized (i.e., a quarrel or a debate/discussion). No cross-cultural differences were found in the goals people pursued while arguing. The discussion offers a characterization of arguing behaviors in the two cultures. Implications of these results and limitations of the study are also addressed.