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Social learning Essay

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Aggressive acts has its effects, McCarthy and Kelly (1978), (http://www1.appstate.edu/~beckhp/aggsociallearning.htm) research suggests that aggression improves performance. For example a rugby player has to be aggressive to a certain extent in order to avoid harm to themselves, if a performer was to play half heartedly the likelihood of them become injured is high, due to concentration not fully being on, for example making a tackle. However, it has been suggested that aggression could hinder performance in that attention is focuses away from the task at hand, or arousal has increased past the optimal level

The diagram below shows a diagram of the inverted U theory The diagram above shows the inverted U theory, which suggests that there, is an optimal performance at a certain time during an exercise and if this optimal arousal level is breeched, due to frustration, or anger towards another player or to highly motivated then performance of the activity or game will decrease. This can then lead to frustration due to the fact the goal has not been reached. It is therefore the job of the coach within the rugby team to find out how to reach and what reaches the optimal arousal of each playing in order to increase team’s performance.

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When we come to link personality and behaviour with sports performance, we can see a link between a persons personality/behaviour and there performance. For instance Eysenck said “extroverts need increased levels of stimulation to maintain optimum levels of attention and brain functioning. They could become bored very easily and would tend to seek out and be happier in new and challenging situations.” (Wesson et al 2000) extroverts according Eysenck do not have much arousal and need to find sports which stimulate them. Extroverts achieve optimum performance at high levels of arousal preferably in team orientated activities or involving large movements. For example extroverts would strive in a football game were they are playing with their team mates and it involves gross movements, the game is exciting and competitive. This would suit their personalities. Activities such as long-distance running or triathlon which has a large continuous element could be demotivating and boring.

On the other hand Introverts “have high levels of excitation naturally occurring within them (over aroused). So therefore they have no need to seek excitement in order to function at an optimum level.” (Wesson et al 2000) Introverts according to Eysenck achieve high levels of performance at lower levels of arousal, sports such as shooting or long-distance running. How we deal with a sports situation can be linked to trait theories and our personalities, for example if you were assessed as being angry and easily loose your temper. Then this is how you would respond in a given situation. Such as, if your losing you will start being aggressive towards other people and might lash-out.

According to the Instinct theory, it is a natural occurrence for humans to act in an aggressive way. Sport can be seen a back to the instinctive ways of humans were it could not be allowed to happen in society because of laws. The nature of sport has a competitive and some time physical element. Human’s natural instinct can come out to win and not to be defeated in sports. Social- learning theory does not agree with the above, it suggests that we act aggressively because we have seen a significant other do so, and we see those actions as acceptable and good.

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