Sport Agression

Powerful Essays
Aggression in Sport
Daniel L Wann
The Lancet. London: Dec 2005. Vol. 366 pg. S31, 2 pgs

1. Although there are many positive aspects to sport participation - as a player or spectator - athletic events are also often allied with aggressive behaviour. Defined as the intention to physically, verbally, or psychologically harm someone who is motivated to avoid such treatment, aggression can be either hostile or instrumental. Hostile aggression refers to actions that are motivated by anger and that are intended solely to harm someone. Thus, with this form of aggression, the perpetrator simply wants the victim to suffer - eg, a soccer player deliberately and illegally tripping an opponent with the sole purpose of injuring that person. In instrumental aggression, however, harmful actions have a purpose over and above that of wounding another player. Athletes might, for instance, attempt to injure an opponent because they believe that doing so will increase their chances of victory. In sport, research has focused mainly on the aggressive actions of three groups of individuals: athletes, spectators, and parents at youth sporting events (panel).
2. Research into player aggression has identified several factors that might promote violence. Heat is an example; as temperatures rise, tempers flare. In baseball, this association leads to more batters being hit by pitches on hot match days than on cold days. A second situational determinant of player aggression is the point differential between two teams, with the highest degrees of aggression arising when teams are separated by a wide scoring margin. Furthermore, players on winning and losing teams exhibit different patterns of aggression as a game progresses. Hence, the aggressive behaviour of those on winning teams increases consistently throughout the contest, whereas individuals on losing teams are especially aggressive at the beginning of a game, and less so towards the midpoint of the competition. Presumably, athletes

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