Aims and objectives;
Describe the nature of aggression and
Define channeled aggression
Explain the causes of aggressive behaviour
Evaluate critically theories of aggression
(instinct theories; frustration-aggression
hypothesis; aggressive-cue hypothesis
(Berkowitz); social theories);
Describe methods of eliminating aggressive
tendencies of performers.
Definitions. . .
‘Any behaviour that is intended to harm
another individual by physical or verbal
means’ (Bull, 1990)
‘Is any form of behaviour directed
toward the goal of harming or injuring
another living being who is motivated to
avoid such treatment’ (Baron)
The term aggression is used to
describe forceful behaviour in sport . .
These imply that aggression is socially
unacceptable and so does not have a place
While this is true, questions must be asked
about the crash tackle in rugby or the toshi
throw in judo.
Both these skills have the capacity to injure,
but they are recognised as being a legitimate
part of the sport.
The term aggression needs to be
clearly defined. . .
To understand the term it is necessary to
divide aggression into 2 categories
(referred to as Channelled Aggression)
Hostile (or reactive) aggression:
Outside the rules of the game
Prime motive is to harm and inflict injury
Involves anger and often an aggressive
player will disrupt the team’s performance
and spoil cohesion of the group
Needs to be eliminated from sport
e.g Throwing a punch at an opponent in football
Within the rules and spirit of the game
Prime motive is to execute the skill
Anger is not evident
e.g. The attacking rugby player running hard at
the defence; primary intention is to break
through the tackle, secondary intention is to
inflict a painful experience so the defender is
reluctant to tackle next time
Aggression is referred to as hostile aggression if it is defined as
deliberate intention to harm or injure another person
e.g. Deliberate high tackle in rugby.
Channelled aggression is often referred to as assertion and
involves robust play which is directed towards completing the
skill successfully and is not primarily involved with inflicting
e.g. A legitimate tackle in rugby
The Causes or Antecedents of aggressive
A prior event which can lead to
aggression. Note that an
antecedent is a cause and not a
theory of aggression
For a short period watch a number of
sporting videos and look at a number of
sports that include physical contact.
Identify the acts of assertion and the
acts of aggression and try to allocate a
cause for this behaviour. . .
Elimination of Aggression
Methods to eliminate aggression come under 2 headings:
1.COGNITIVE techniques which involve psychological
2.SOMATIC techniques which involve physiological
Relating to mental of psychological process
Relating to physical processes such as increases in breathing
rate, heart rate and sweating
Methods to Eliminate Aggressive
•A coach must negatively reinforce aggressive behaviour
•Punish aggression i.e. with fines, benching
•Substitute an aggressive player or remove him from the
•Reinforce non-aggression, eg. Give a fair play award
•Emphasis non-aggressive role models
•Lower arousal levels
•Stress performance rather than outcome goals
•Implement stress management techniques
•Change the athletes perception of the situation
Theories of Aggression
Instinct Theory – trait perspective
The social learning theory – social
Aggressive Cue Hypothesis (Berkowitz)
– interactionist perspective
Task 2 -
You will be given a theory to study . . .
Prepare a short presentation of this
You may use power point, flip chart or
poster presentation or another form of
presentation of your choice.
Your presentations will take place next
So. . . Is Aggression learned or is
it instinctive? Discuss!