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Bedan Journal of Psychology 2009

Bedan Journal of Psychology 2009


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Published by San Beda Alabang
The Bedan Journal of Psychology (2009)
San Beda College Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines ISSN: 2244-5382

Psychology Research by students and faculty of San Beda Collage Alabang
The Bedan Journal of Psychology (2009)
San Beda College Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines ISSN: 2244-5382

Psychology Research by students and faculty of San Beda Collage Alabang

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: San Beda Alabang on Jun 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Aggression is defined as a behavior that is intended to injure another person, physically or
verbally or to destroy property (Atkinson and Hilgard, 1999). Verbal Aggression's definition is no
different, as it is defined as communication intended to cause psychological pain to another person, or
communication perceived as having that intent (Infante, 1995).

Aggression is always intentional. Whether it is provoked by some hostile intent, rudeness or
unprofessionalism by the agent or is invoked by the customer or client itself. Responding effectively to
the situation can prevent more aggressive behavior from resurfacing and could effectively reduce the
amount of stress on is experiencing.


In a research by (Ko de Ruyter & Martin Wetzels, 2004) It stated that listening is a complex,
affective and cognitive behavioral activity consisting of a number of distinct behavioral
manifestations. The research mainly focused on perceived listening behavior in voice-to-voice service
encounters, but it contains many insights on how a call center agent perceive the caller's intent and
how they deal with the situation at hand. Though the journal is not entirely based on verbal aggression,
it gives out different ideas on how agents respond to callers and how to satisfy them, giving them more
incentive to listen to the agent or whether or not to call again. Attempting to understand how an agent
listens and receives the customer's intentions and how they respond to it and having insights from the
agents themselves will greatly benefit the research.

One factor in this study is the verbal aggression that is handed out by the customers. Since
interpersonal communication is important in the call center business verbal aggression is bound to
happen. Several studies have revealed that verbal aggression occurs frequently and how it piles up on a
call center agent is certainly the issue that this study will try to dive deeper in to.

Though there are certainly a lot more stressful things that might happen to a person compared
to being verbally abused. If one is repeatedly exposed to even relatively small stressful things, they
have been considered as causes of severe stress and health symptoms.

In a research conducted by (Grandy, Dickter and Sin, 2004), customer aggression is measured
and how this affects the client. The study’s participants were composed of 176 participants from
different organizations. It focused mainly on customer verbal aggression and absenteeism. The
researchers hypothesized these factors will lead to the agent being absent to avoid such an unpleasant
working environment and that they may seek to avoid it whenever possible. Another explanation
mentioned in the research as to why customer aggression may relate to absences is through it's
influence on burnout. It is explained in the journal that if customer aggression predicts an employee's
state of burnout, then they may need a day off or two from work to sort out their emotions and restore
lost resources. The results of the research suggested that emotional labor does indeed result in negative
outcomes, such as emotional dissonance, job stress, burnout, physical symptoms, and absenteeism.

Although this study focuses deeply in these issues which the agents might experience, the
research will only cover on how they cope with the issue of being verbally abused by their customers
and how they regulate their feelings/emotions or take actions in order to avoid more conflicts and

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