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Training Evaluation Tool #2: Conflict Orientation Survey

What Questions May be Addressed by this Measure?

People view conflict in a variety of ways. The Conflict Orientation Survey can help gauge an individual’s orientation towards conflict. Conflict orientation is defined as how one conducts themselves in hypothetical conflict scenarios. The theory guiding the Orientation Scale is based upon Morton Deutsch’s work of positive and negative conflict. At the extremes, people demonstrate a positive orientation or negative orientation, with many shades in between. Positively oriented, non-violent methods of conflict resolution might include talking, cooperating, caring, and thinking about the relationship. Negatively oriented, more violent methods of conflict resolution might include the use of physical force, humiliation, or shaming.

How Do I Use This Measure?

Both a pre- and a post-test survey are included. They ask the same questions just in a different order. Administer the pre-test survey before the training begins. For the post-test survey you can either administer it a couple of days after training ends or, if this is not possible (and often it is not), right at the end of training. The instrument takes approximately 5 minutes to fill out. You will want to think through issues of confidentiality.

How to score: To control for something known as response bias, some items have been inverted, whereby a rating of "1" reflects a "higher" score rather than a rating of "5". Thus, when analyzing the questionnaire data, the response ratings for any inverted items must be reversed so that all scores end up going in the same direction (i.e., so that a rating of "5" has a parallel meaning for all subscales). High scores should indicate a positive orientation; low scores a negative orientation. One would hope that after a mediation training those individuals with a low pre-test score would move higher on the scale, indicating a shift in the way they approach conflict, from negative to positive.

To obtain an overall score for each individual, follow the steps below.

a. Reversing Response Ratings (see chart for how to reverse the ratings)

1.     Pre-Test: Reverse the scores for items 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 12.

2.     Post-training Survey: Reverse the scores for items 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12.

Score Reversal Chart:              1 = 5

                                                2 = 4

                                                3 = 3

                                                4 = 2

                                                5 = 1


b. Determining Conflict Orientation

1.     Add the values for the twelve (12) items together, creating a sum score for the person. The highest score possible is 60 and the lowest score possible is 12. Do this for both the pre- and post-test surveys.

2.     Compute the average score (i.e., divide by 12) for both the pre- and post-test surveys. The highest possible average is 5 and the lowest 1.

3.     Subtract the pre-test average score from the post-test average score. Ideally pre-test scores will be lower than post-test scores; any difference between the two scores can be tied to the training.

4.     If you are savvy in the use of a spreadsheet enter the data and perform any number of analyses available on the spreadsheet program.

A note about Reliability and Validity: This instrument has had some reliability and validity work conducted on it. Face validity was addressed by having the instrument reviewed by conflict resolution trainers and had an 80% agreement rate. Chronbach’s alpha, a measure of internal validity, was reported as .74 in one study conducted by Kmitta, 1996. More work with this instrument, across training situations, would be helpful in determining validity. Pre-test sensitization and post-test immediacy may skew results.

What Information Will the Results Give Me?

The results provide a picture of how your mediators may approach conflict. This is useful for evaluating the effectiveness of training with respect to attitude change about conflict situations. It is also useful for the selection of and assignment of mediators to a case. For example, if your mediation program uses co-mediators, you might want to ensure the mediators have different orientations to conflict, rather than the same.



Site__________________                                                                  Date__________________

Conflict OrientationPre-Training Survey (All responses are confidential)

The following questions concern attitudes about conflict and ways of handling conflict. Please answer each question as honestly as you can.

Please indicate how much you agree with each of the following statements:

1 = never true 2 = rarely 3 = sometimes true 4 = often 5 = always true

 

1.   I am careful to avoid attacking a person’s intelligence when I critique their ideas.       
1 2 3 4 5

2.   When someone is stubborn, I often use insults to soften the stubbornness.                  
1 2 3 4 5

3.   If a person I am trying to influence really deserves it, I attack their character.           
1 2 3 4 5

4.   When I critique a person’s ideas I try not to damage their self-concept.                      
1 2 3 4 5

5.   When people do things that are mean or cruel, I attack their character in order

to correct their behavior.                                                                                            
1 2 3 4 5

6.   When nothing seems to work in trying to influence someone, I yell and scream in

      order to get some movement from them.                                                                    
1 2 3 4 5

7.   I am not threatened by conflict.                                                                                  
1 2 3 4 5

8.   When people have conflicts they should try to work with the other person to solve it.     
1 2 3 4 5

9.   Physical fighting is an effective way to deal with conflict.                                          
1 2 3 4 5

10. When I have a conflict with someone I always discuss it with them as soon as possible.     
1 2 3 4 5

11. Overall I think I handle conflicts effectively.                                                              
1 2 3 4 5

12. Sometimes physically fighting it out is healthy.                                                          
1 2 3 4 5

Some useful background information:

1. Your job title/Year in School____________________________________________

2. Name of organization you work for______________________________________

3. Birthdate (month,day,year) _______________

4. Gender:       _____ Female              _____ Male

5. Ethnicity:

_____ African-American _____ Appalachian _____ Caucasian

_____ Native American _____ Inter-racial _____ Hispanic

_____ Asian

 



Site__________________                                                                  Date__________________

Conflict OrientationPost-Training Survey (All responses are confidential)

The following questions concern attitudes about conflict and ways of handling conflict. Please answer each question as honestly as you can.

Please indicate how much you agree with each of the following statements:

1 = never true 2 = rarely 3 = sometimes true 4 = often 5 = always true

 

1.   I am not threatened by conflict.                                                                                  
1 2 3 4 5

2.   When people have conflict they should try to work with the other person to solve it.
1 2 3 4 5

3.   Physical fighting is an effective way to deal with conflict.                                          
1 2 3 4 5

4.   When I have a conflict with someone I always discuss it with them as soon as possible.     
1 2 3 4 5

5.   Overall I think I handle conflicts effectively.                                                              
1 2 3 4 5

6.   Sometimes physically fighting it out is healthy.                                                          
1 2 3 4 5

7.   I am careful to avoid attacking a person’s intelligence when I critique their ideas.       
1 2 3 4 5

8.   When someone is stubborn, I often use insults to soften the stubbornness.                  
1 2 3 4 5

9.   If a person I am trying to influence really deserves it, I attack their character.           
1 2 3 4 5

10. When I critique a person’s ideas I try not to damage their self-concept.                      
1 2 3 4 5

11. When people do things that are mean or cruel, I attack their character in order

      to correct their behavior.                                                                                            
1 2 3 4 5

12. When nothing seems to work in trying to influence someone, I yell and scream in

      order to get some movement from them.                                                                    
1 2 3 4 5

Some useful background information:

1. Your job title/Year in School____________________________________________

2. Name of organization you work for______________________________________

3. Birthdate (month, day, year) _______________

4. Gender:       _____ Female              _____ Male

5. Ethnicity:

_____ African-American _____ Appalachian _____ Caucasian

_____ Native American _____ Inter-racial _____ Hispanic

_____ Asian