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Aggression and its influence on sporting performance - Essay Example

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When attempting to define pornography in the 1980s,a congressman investigating pornography remarked "I know it when I see it." In fact,there is a book with that title,I Know It When I See It:Pornography,Violence,and Public Sensitivity,by Michael Leach…
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Aggression and its influence on sporting performance
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Download file to see previous pages When attempting to define pornography in the 1980s, a congressman investigating pornography remarked "I know it when I see it." In fact, there is a book with that title, I Know It When I See It: Pornography, Violence, and Public Sensitivity, by Michael Leach. Perhaps aggression is easier to identify and define, but like so many areas of life, the boundaries as to what constitutes aggressive acts may sometimes be blurred. In general, on an interpersonal level, aggression can be defined as "a response that delivers noxious stimuli to another organism." (Buss, 1) Daniel Wann defines aggression as intentionally harming someone verbally, physically or psychologically (Wann). Perhaps these definitions seem straightforward and clear to most people, but it certainly becomes more blurred in the sports environment such as in soccer, football and the "non-contact" sport of basketball where elbows under the basket are common forms of "non-contact"!In recent years, aggression in sports seems to have increased. Wann points out a number of recent aggressive sports situations. He gives the Marty McSorley and David Brashear incident, mentioned earlier, as an example. McSorley was suspended for the season and charged with assault. Brashear received a concussion. This is an example of player violence, common in hockey, but also far too common in other sports. In football, baseball and basketball, riots have resulted in property damage, arrests and death during and after sporting event.
Aggression itself is not violent, but rather, aggressive acts can, and often do lead to violence. For example, a person can be aggressive on the chessboard without leading to any acts of violence unless the ultimate checkmate of the victor is viewed as violent. By contrast, aggression in sports and in other areas of life can lead to significant violence. For example, aggressive driving can lead to road rage, and has been known to lead to injury and death, and so, aggression can be a very serious matter.
In sports, violence is any behavior that causes harm, occurs outside of the rules of the sport, and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport (Terry and Jackson, 2). Leonard has pointed out two forms of aggression in sports, instrumental aggression reactive aggression. (Terry and Jackson, 2) Instrumental aggression is task-oriented and non-emotional while reactive aggression is goal oriented, the goal being to intentionally cause harm. It is an intentional and emotional act. Wann also refers to two kinds of aggression, hostile aggression and instrumental. Like Terry and Jackson, Wann defines instrumental aggression as being driven by something other than causing harm, usually for the purpose of winning, and he defines hostile aggression as aggression motivated by anger and intended solely to cause harm. The perpetrator wants the victim to suffer. So, in looking through the literature on aggression, the reader might be warned to look for "hostile" aggression and "reactive" aggression as the same thing.
In outlining and structuring this report on the influence of aggression in sports performance, we have followed and barrowed from the general outlines of Buss and Ismat Abdal-Haqq. Buss outlines some general concepts for aggression that are germane to the subject of the occurrence of aggression in general and in sports. Ismat Abdal-Haqq takes these same concepts one-step further by focusing them and applying them to how aggression impacts sports.
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