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Aggression in Sport

L3ED Sport and Exercise Science: Sport and Exercise Psychology

Alice Tocknell

on 12 August 2014

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Transcript of Aggression in Sport

Aggression in Sport
Aggression is behaviour
Gill's criteria for aggressive behaviour
Aggressive and Assertive behaviour
Hostile Aggression
P3: Describe the types and causes of aggressive behaviour
M2: Describe the types and causes of aggressive behaviour

with a goal
of harming or injuring
another being who is
motivated to avoid such treatment
Aggression is behaviour
motivated to avoid such treatment
with a goal
another being who is
of harming or injuring
(Baron & Richardson, 1994)
1. Aggression can either be physical or verbal behaviour
2. It involves causing harm or injury: physical or psychological
3. The injury or harm is directed towards another being
4. The aggression must be intentional: an accident is not aggression
Instrumental Aggression
Assertive behaviour
Inflicting harm: Physical or psychological harm

Towards someone else e.g. opponent

Can be refered to as reactive aggression and is associated with anger.
Displaying aggressive behaviour in the pursuit of a non-aggressive goal

Refered to as channelled aggression

Most common form or aggression in sport and often appears in contact sports
Assertive behaviour differs from aggressive behaviour because the individual is playing with emotion and within the rules of the game.
1. Assertive behaviour is goal directed

2. No intention of harm or injury

3. Uses only legitimate force, even if the amount of could be classed as agression in a non-sporting/game setting.

4. Does not break any rules of the game
Aggression or assertion?
What type of behaviour is being shown in these scenarios: Hostile aggression, instrumental aggression or assertion?
A kick boxer delivering a low blow
A footballer tackling a player hard, winning the ball fairly, but injuring the player in the process
A rugby player mistiming a tackle resulting in a high dangerous tackle
A boxer biting an opponents ear off during a match
Causes of Aggression
Social Learning Theory: Aggression
Frustration-aggression theory
Aggression comes from being frustrated after not achieving goals or having progress towards goals blocked.

Every time you are frustrated you will respond in an aggressive manner, you cannot control it.
Revised frustration-aggression theory
Combines elements of frustration-aggression theory with elements of the social learning theory.

States that aggression occurs in situations you feel frustrated, as when you are frustrated you experience anger and arousal; and if you cannot control that arousal/anger you are more likely to become aggressive.

This theory also states that you are more likely to become aggressive if the aggressive acts are supported or positively reinforced.
Case Study
A fullback in hockey is being beaten by the opposing winger all the time during a game which is frustrating the fullback greatly.

After the winger's team scores a goal that the winger set up, the fullback hits the winger in the knee with his stick and injures the winger. This is not noticed by an offical and the fullback's coach simply nods in their general direction after the incident
Aggression is a behaviour we learn by observing others and experiencing reinforcement for such behaviours.
For example: If a child was watching a game on the TV with his parents and saw his favorite player foul an opponent off the ball and not get punished, and his parents cheer this action, he is likely to imitate that behaviour when playing.

Which theory do you think can be used to explain the cause of aggression in this situation?

What type of aggression has the fullback displayed?

How do you think the fullback is going to respond in future situations similar to this one?

What do you think of the coaches actions in this scenario?
Full transcript