Theories Of Aggression In Sport

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According to bull (1991) stress is a stimulus, which is present in the form of demands placed upon the individual by the environment. A crucial component in the equations is the individual’s thought process or cognitive appraisal of the stressor, which forms a mediator between the stimulus and the response. Competition, for example is one such stressor. Whether the competitive environment causes an anxiety response depends upon sports performers’ appraisal of their ability to meet the demands of the situation. According to Bull (1991), the stress of a competition can be perceived in two ways; • Negatively this leads to somatic anxiety symptoms. • Or positively, in which case the performer is coping with the stress. A snooker player’s appraisal…show more content…
Instinct theory, social learning theory, Bredemeier’s theory of moral reasoning, and Berkowitz’s reformulation of the frustration-aggression hypothesis are the four main categories these models have fallen into. According to Thierer (1993) aggression is a negative personality trait that has been associated with sport participation. Aggression is operationally defined as intentionally harmful physical or psychological behavior that is directed at another living organism. Instinct theory is based upon the writings of Sigmund Freud and ethologists such as Konrad Lorenz. According to Freud, aggression is unavoidable because it is innate but can be regulated through fulfillment or discharge. Freud also believed that aggression is an innate characteristic of all human beings and it would benefit society to promote Athletic sport and games as this provides a socially acceptable outlet for aggression. To finish, the eradication of pent-up aggression is known as catharsis, the instinct theory suggests that when an athlete strikes another player this serves as a catharsis or release of pent-up…show more content…
Bredemeier’s theory proposes that an individual’s willingness to engage in aggression is related to his or her state of moral reasoning (Bredemeier, 1994). Bredemeier reasoned that a relationship should exist between level of moral reasoning and overt acts of athletic aggression. Contact sport, because it legitimizes acts of aggression, may actually retard a person’s moral development. Additionally, athletic teams create a “moral atmosphere” that may be contributing to the willingness to aggress (Stephen & Bredemeier, 1996). Lastly, the reformulated frustration – aggression theory is proposed as a natural response to frustration and that the aggressive act provides a catharsis, or purging, of the anger associated with the frustration. This theory incorporates the basic framework of the instinct theory in terms of the purging or catharsis of aggression. This could also be argued as a theory that opposes the ideas of the social learning theory. The reformulated frustration aggression theory was originally presented by Dollard, Miller, Doob, Mourer and Sears (1939). For aggression to actually occur, certain stimuli associated with aggression must be present. These stimuli are cues that the frustrated person associates with aggression. An example of this would be in football when players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are not winning they tend to sulk and

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