Test Thomas: types of behavior in the conflict

human conflicts are inevitable.You can not find two people whose opinions would be completely identical.

On the one hand, this is bad, but on the other - there are several points of view on the situation to evaluate it from different angles and find the optimal solution to the problem or task.It is ironic, but the correct resolution of the conflict even able to strengthen and improve relations between people.

behavior in conflict situations

To properly overcome a conflict situation, it is necessary to choose the optimal course of action, but it is not easy.Typically, each person is inherent only in one particular line that he prefers not to change.

The issue of human behavior in conflict situations was closely involved in the American psychologist Kenneth Thomas.He judged people's actions on two criteria:

  • How a person seeks to defend its own interests in the dispute (aggressiveness).
  • far as man is inclined to consider the interests of others (cooperation).

As a result, much research psyc

hologist was able to identify five common types of human behavior in situations of conflict.Subsequently, in collaboration with Ralph Kilmanom he developed a special test Thomas-Kilman, to determine which of these behaviors is most characteristic of a person.

description techniques

Many sources this survey is often called short - Thomas test.Description it only takes a few lines.

Each of the five ways to deal with conflict described by judgments 12, and they in turn randomly grouped into 30 pairs.The subject will be selected from each pair of statements one that seems to him the most faithful.

text of the questionnaire is widely known and find it is not difficult.For all its simplicity, Thomas test, the results of which can be completely unexpected, can bring tangible benefits and greatly facilitate the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual.

Interpretation of results

key to test a special table, which can be used to determine what type of behavior in the conflict most inclined to test.Having this type, it is easy to predict how the conflict will develop and what needs to be done to resolve it as soon as possible.

Technique Thomas assumes that each person tends to act in a conflict situation to one of the five scenarios.For special clarity can be compared with the demeanor of an animal:

  • Shark - competition, competition.
  • Teddy bear - a device, the desire to resolve the conflict.
  • Turtle - avoidance of conflict, its avoidance.
  • Fox - compromise.
  • Owl - cooperation.

Each of these scenarios has its positive and negative aspects, and they are not universal, ie they can not structurally affect all without exception conflicts.


Man- "shark" in everything tends to follow only their own interests, it is absolutely not interested in the opinions of others.He does not recognize the trade-offs and believes that the victory of one always means the complete defeat of the other.In an effort to achieve its goal, this man did not hesitate to go over the heads.In his arsenal may not even be entirely legal and ethical action, it could easily decide to fraud, forgery or provocation."Shark" is always striving to have full information about the enemy, but will never take care of his good name, or peace of mind.

Such a course of action can be justified only to a negligible number of cases.This happens most often in acute crisis situations, when a person invested with certain powers must quickly restore order and submit any result.In all other cases, the behavior of the "sharks" is unacceptable and can quickly destroy any long-term relationship - both workers and personal.

Such dangerous tendency to easily identify the test will help Thomas.Problematic behavior is a serious problem for others, and thus in fellowship with them will need to be very careful.


In stark contrast to the "shark" acts "teddy bear."The man, prone to that type of behavior can easily sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the opponent.Typically, this is the lot of people with low self-esteem, honestly believe that their opinion is not worth considering.

This course of action may not be successful in the event that the matter in dispute does not really matter.Yielding to the opponent, you can save the friendly relations with him, and the consequences of the conflict will be minimal.However, refusal to defend their interests in any important debate could adversely affect the life experiences of the person.He risks losing the respect of others, and spineless pass.Such people are often targeted for manipulation.

If the test reveals the tendency of Thomas to the device, a person must urgently start working on their self-esteem, with its increase and behavior change.


Lyudi- "turtle" can not stand conflict and therefore struggling to postpone or avoid the showdown.This position is characterized not only by the inability to defend their interests, but also extreme disregard for the interests of others.Such a person prefers to hide the problem, rather than trying to solve it.The reason for this is the lack of confidence and a victim complex.

this behavior can be justified if the cause of the conflict is insignificant for both sides.In all the serious situations it can lead to further growth of misunderstanding between people and the further accumulation of mutual claims.Such painful for both sides protracted standoff ends sooner or later an explosion of emotions and violent showdown.The unfortunate consequences of this can be irreversible.

If the test showed Thomas a result, one should be brave and not afraid of problems.It is important to understand that disappears only solution to the problem unsolved deprives a person of the same strength and makes his life totally unbearable.This can not hide from.


cunning "fox" is always trying to negotiate with the enemy.However, partial satisfaction of both parties, typically does not lead to the completion of the conflict and serves only respite.

weak point position of compromise is its complete dependence on the position of the opponent, and if he is not ready to give up even the smallest part of their interests, "fox" will always lose.It may also happen that the other party unnecessarily overestimate their demands, and then "generously" has received required them to her actually level.That is why, before you compromise, you should have all possible information on the subject of the dispute, so as not to be left with nothing.

People who test showed such a result should be more decisive and straightforward in defending their own interests.


the best way to resolve the dispute - to find a solution that would fully satisfy the claims of both sides.For this, the undoubted diplomatic skills and wisdom.That is why people who are prone to such a line of conduct, conventionally called the "owls."

Lyudi- "owl" prefer not to get involved outside of the conflict, and try to understand its underlying cause.In addition, they are able to be honest with his opponent and perfectly adapted to his manner of communication.With such tactics they can easily turn the enemy into a partner, and the conflict is settled quickly through constructive negotiations.

If the test showed Thomas the result, a person can safely congratulate.His life should not be any major quarrels and conflicts, and private insight will help him achieve a lot.

value test

Thomas-Kilman test is often used to test employees for employment.According to the results easy to judge the behavior of the whole.The technique allows Thomas to assess what position a person chooses in relationships with colleagues and superiors.Also, this information will give an idea of ​​how the appearance of a novice affect the overall atmosphere in the team.

Thomas Take the test will be useful to everyone.It helps to soberly assess their own behavior and understand what prevents successfully resolve disputes and to remain on good terms with others.