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Group Display ­ Sports
Group display in sport can be seen as having replaced tribal warfare, where one identifiable
tribal team goes into ritualised battle against another. Sports involve displays and trials of
strengths and skill, behaviours attractive to females who select winning males in the basis of
their display of genetic fitness. With its highly ritualised nature, sport allows much competition
between males without incurring the risk of serious injury (though this can occur).…read more

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MacDonald ­ suggests that from an evolutionary perspective, it is adaptive to
exaggerate negative stereotypes about outsiders, as the over perception of threat is
less costly than its under perception.
Application ­ An important issue that the research into the evolutionary explanations of
aggression as group display in sports is the knowledge obtained regarding the power of
xenophobia. This research into xenophobia and how it evokes violence has motivated football
clubs to take steps to minimise its influence.…read more

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Wolfson's research clearly highlights the potential role of environmental factors. Furthermore,
a more eclectic approach towards understanding group display is needed taking into account
our ancestors, biochemistry, environment and other social psychological factors ­ thus
reflecting the complexity of human aggression.
Supporting Research ­ Evan and Rowe provide supporting research for the evolutionary
explanation of sporting group display, finding more aggression associated with the English
National football games than the English Club games.…read more

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Costly displays signal commitment promotion of group solidarity, particularly in
times of collective action. Irons ­ costliness of permanent displays such as scars and
mutilation means that they serve as honest signals of commitment to the group. By
engaging in such displays, individuals demonstrate their commitment and loyalty to
the group, so can benefit from the profits of warfare against another group.…read more

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Brown found
that Belgian soldiers whom wore hoods actually became more selfconscious rather than
aggressive. Furthermore, both explanations logically explain group display, having face
validity, but there is no concrete evidence as to why this behaviour arises, therefore
neither the evolutionary theory, nor the social psychological theory accurately explain the
complexity of group display in warfare.…read more


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