Aggressive Behavior in Sports
By John Dorsa
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Aggressive Behavior in Sports
In the dictionary, aggression is defined as “a behavior that is forceful, hostile, or attacking. There have been studies showing the connection between aggressive behavior and sports. According to Singh and Tomar’s “Aggression in Athletics: A Comparative Study”, aggression in today’s society is applauded rather than shunned. Sports are the only place, outside of war, where aggression is acceptable. The attitude is to “win at all costs”. Most aggression results from frustration. Some aggression, where people are injured, outside of the rules of the game, is becoming a problem in today’s society. However, not all aggression is bad. The word “aggression” is derived from Latin and means “to work towards”. Coaches were surveyed and asked to list qualities of a successful athlete. Aggression was high on the list of all of the coaches.
Sports give aggressive people the opportunity to let off some steam, in an organized fashion, rather than having a person act out in society. Aggressive people need some form of physical contact or competition, and sports give them the perfect opportunity to channel their anger towards some good. An athlete needs some type of aggression because it is what motivates that athlete to perform to their best ability. Sports, such as football, require so much physical contact that players need to play with some passion; otherwise they are no good to their team. An aggressive person is highly motivated, demonstrates great realize of physical energy, and not inhibited by fear of potential injury. This does not only apply to playing physical. Mental aggression is also a key in sports. Having aggressive behavior can benefit athletes because it allows them to get into their opponents’ heads, thus giving them an advantage. However, verbal aggression can be bad as well. Too much talking can lead to an altercation where someone can get hurt. Therefore, aggressive behavior is vital in all aspects of sports. A sports competition without aggression is like a body without a soul.
Frank, M., Gilovich, T. (1988) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 54(1), (pp. 74-75).
Abstract: Black is viewed as the color of evil and death in virtually all cultures. With this association in mind, we were interested in whether a cue as subtle as the color of a person's clothing might have a significant impact on his or her behavior. To test this possibility, we examined whether professional football and ice hockey teams that wear black uniforms are more aggressive than those that wear nonblack uniforms. An analysis of the penalty records of the National Football League and the National Hockey League indicates that teams with black uniforms in both sports ranked near the top of their leagues in penalties throughout the period of study. On those occasions when a team switched from nonblack to black uniforms, the switch was accompanied by an immediate increase in penalties. The results of two laboratory experiments indicate that this finding can be attributed to both social perception and self-perception processes—that is, to the biased judgments of referees and to the increased aggressiveness of the players themselves. Our discussion focuses on the theoretical implications of these data for an understanding of the variable, or "situated," nature of the self.
Are teams with black uniforms more aggressive than teams with nonblack uniforms? Because black is seen as a color of evil in most cultures, it is believed that the color black brings out a more aggressive side to a person. Therefore, teams wear black uniforms as a form of intimidation. However, is there really a connection between black uniforms and aggressive play? This article debates whether or not teams that wear black uniforms are considered more aggressive than teams with lighter color uniforms....
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