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Aggression in Sports - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Aggression in Sports. What is the Role of Aggression in Sports?. Intimidation? Getting an edge? Part of the game / part of competition? At what point does it become “too aggressive?”. Definitions. AGGRESSION: a forceful action or procedure, especially when intended to dominate or master

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Presentation Transcript
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What is the Role of Aggression in Sports?

  • Intimidation?
  • Getting an edge?
  • Part of the game / part of competition?
  • At what point does it become “too aggressive?”
slide3

Definitions

AGGRESSION:

a forceful action or procedure, especially when intended to dominate or master

Etymology: from aggredi -- “to attack”

Must be aimed at another human being with the goal of inflicting physical or psychological harm

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Hostile aggression, instrumental aggression or sport assertiveness...

How to determine...

It is clear that it depends on the intent of the action...

instinct theory
Instinct Theory
  • Aggression viewed as an inborn drive
    • Freudian theory
    • Ethological viewpoint: Animals, including humans, are innately aggressive
      • Konrad Lorenz (1966) -- “The main function of sports lies in the cathartic discharge of aggressive urge.”
    • Catharsis -- sports seen as a socially acceptable way to discharge aggression
is athletic participation cathartic
Is athletic participation “cathartic?”

Does hitting someone hard release “pent-up” aggressive urges?

  • Research generally does NOT support the catharsis theory
    • aggression increases over the course of a game
    • watching violence is not cathartic (e.g., t.v. violence)
    • aggression begets aggression
frustration aggression theory
Frustration-Aggression Theory
  • Aggression viewed as a response to frustration
    • A variation of the catharsis theory
    • Frustration can lead to a variety of responses (e.g., aggression, increased effort, quitting)
    • Anger + Stress physiology (positive feedback loop)
social learning theory
Social Learning Theory
  • Aggression viewed as a learned behavior
    • Modeling in sports (e.g., young athletes watching aggressive play)
    • Strong learning occurs when aggressive play is seen as successful and portrayed as justifiable
    • Aggressive play is reinforced (receiving praise from coaches, parents, peers)
sport specific factors
Sport-Specific factors
  • Aggression influenced by:
    • Reciprocity (we respond to being “attacked”)
    • Rivalries (“territorial?”) and “Protection” of teammates
    • Drug use (e.g., steroids, alcohol)
    • Sports equipment as “weapon” (e.g., hockey stick, helmets)
    • Athletic environment (e.g., a crowded, noisy, hot gym; obnoxious fans)
      • Study of hit batters and temperature
sport specific factors15
Sport-Specific factors
  • Aggression influenced by:
    • Taunting
    • Nature of the game (contact)
    • Inconsistent officiating (leading to frustration)
    • Media effects
      • Does the sports media glorify / exaggerate violence?
      • What do fans want to see? (e.g., ESPN highlights)
reducing excessive aggression and violence
Reducing Excessive Aggression and Violence
  • Punishments for overly aggressive/violent play must have greater punitive value
  • Emphasize fair play code-of-conduct
  • Athletes/coaches should agree on what is ok and what is not -- heavy penalties should be imposed when inappropriate behavior occurs
  • Media must place in proper perspective the isolated incidents of aggression rather than making them highlights
reducing aggression and violence in sports
Reducing Aggression and Violence in Sports
  • Coaches and referees should be encouraged to attend in-service workshops for dealing with aggression/violence on the part of players
  • Reduce (ban?) use of alcoholic beverages at sporting events