Social and Environmental Psychology - Paper on the Article Brutal Sports and Brutal Fans by Daniel Goleman

Social and Environmental Psychology - Paper on the Article Brutal Sports and Brutal Fans by Daniel Goleman

This paper is about “Brutal Sports and Brutal Fans” by Daniel Goleman. It appeared in The New York Times on August 13, 1985.The article discusses two points of view regarding the relationship between aggressive sports and violent behaviour in the fans and those who watches. Psychologists and sociologists believe that violence occurs as a result of the interaction between the fans and the games. However, sport figures argue that violence in the field is due to the violence present in society and has nothing to do with the game itself.

The article discusses a survey, and this research method is best defined as the practise of administering questionnaires to many subjects in order to determine their opinions and beliefs. It can be used for political prediction, consumer marketing, business management, fashion merchandising, or even musical composition . The article also includes parts of interviews done with some sport figures and psychologists, and briefly presents their point of views regarding the topic. Psychologists and sociologist say that there is a connection between aggressive sports and violence that occurs in the field. They also believe that violence occurs as a result of the interaction between the fans and the games, so they basically put the blame on both the aggressiveness of the game and the fans, they also claim that one implies the other : Aggression on the games leads to
violence on the field .However, sport figures denied this theory saying that the violence among fans is linked and due to the violence present in the society.

The textbook defines aggression as actions done consciously with the intention of harming others, either physically or psychologically. So aggression is an intentional action aimed at doing harm and causing pain. The textbook states that philosophers and scientists do not agree on whether individuals are born aggressive or if they simply learn violent acts from society. The textbook also claims that social psychologists are interested in the different situations that may produce and result in an aggressive behaviour. It may be produced through imitation of aggressive models ,like watching violent shows or movies, or by provocation and social exclusion. Aggression behaviour may also increase due to the presence of an object associated with aggressive responses ,such as a gun or a knife. The textbook discusses sport and aggression, and argues that uniforms, especially the colors, increase violence in players. Teams wearing black uniforms are more likely to be aggressive than those who wear a non black uniforms. The textbook claims also that people tend to imitate violence seen in television.

The textbook discusses what causes violence in sports, giving the example of the uniform and its color, whereas the article did not explain what may cause violence in players. It basically says that participants in more combative sports, such as hockey and football, are quicker to anger than athletes in noncontact sports such as swimming. In addition, the article included the opinion of Olympic officials , athletes, and sport administrators who claim that sports limits human aggression and violence in both the players and fans.

Whereas the textbook discusses the topic only form the social psychological view, saying that aggressive behaviour may be produced through imitation of aggressive models like watching violent shows and movies, by provocation and social exclusion, or by wearing black uniforms . However, both the textbook and the article agree that television amplifies aggressiveness in watchers. The article points out that researchers also found twice as many instant replays of exceptionally rough plays than of those judged to be mild , and the textbook claims that people te
imitates violence seen in televise. Both agree that men, especially young men are more likely to be violent.

National sports tend to amplify violence and aggressiveness in the fans. When a sport becomes a national event and part of the local culture, people take it seriously and are more likely to show violent actions. Sports is also one way for the citizens to release their anger. The national sport in Morocco is soccer, and in every game there is quite a few people who die or get injured . People take this sport so seriously to the point where if their team loses, they will protest on the street by smashing cars, attacking buses, and throwing rocks at public property. Some of them want to show that they are upset because their team has lost, but others participate for fun.

Overall, the article presents two different points of view: The psychological view says that violence occurs as a result of the interaction between the fans and the games, and the sport figures’ view argues that violence in the field is due to the violence present in society. The reader has the freedom to agree with the view he or she judges the most rational. The ideas are not presented appropriately. I believe that stating one point of view at a time would have been much better for the reader instead of stating them simultaneously. Discussing one view at a time, like the
psychological views and then moving to the sport figures’ point of view, is important in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.