Discuss one or more evolutionary explanation of Group Display in Humans: Sport

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  • Created by: EClou
  • Created on: 31-03-16 10:40

AO1 - explanations of group display in humans: Spo

  • Evolutionary explanations = based on adaptive value of group display - suggested that sport = replaced tribal warfare - teams
  • sport = ritualised form of agg - less chance of harm but the rewards of success (resources/higher quality/quantity of mates/allies/status) are still present - beneficial for the survival of you + your offspring + therefore = adaptive
  • one explanation of group display = Territoriality - territory = imp. for survival + rep success - provides space for nesting sites/food/water/mates/nesting materials - therefore it must be protected - 
  • in some species females choose males w/ best territory - therefore males must compete agg.
  • agg group displays shown pre-match by sports teams relate to this - eg Samoan 'Manu siva tou' war chant intended to intimidate opposition and incr. agg of home side (e.g. threats of agg/actual agg
  • this is bc we have inherited gene from our ancestors which cause s to use agg to defend our territory
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AO2 - explanations of group display in humans: Spo

  • ++ Home advantage does exist - therefore defending territory (T) w/ group displays of agg incr competition + success - may be die to agg fans/team mates - Lewis et al (2005) football fans rate crowd support as mist sig. factor in home advantage  - BUT fans belief doesn't = fact - subjective - psuedo-scientific  - hard to be sure if agg displays of home fans have an effect 
  • -- Pollard + Pollard - home advantage is unrelated to crowd size which would suggest that it is not group display that causes home advantage as when it is decr. home advantage still occurs.  - also unclear if group displays inspire home team or intimidate opposition  -  therefore home advantage cant be clearly linked to original adaptive function - agg territoriality  - may just be culture/tradition that explain fan beh. 
  • ++ Neave + Wolfson - football teams playing at home = more likely to win - players have surge of Testosterone before home match that doesn't happen at training/away matches  - suggests biological basis of home advantage - link to territoriality clearer --> players who feel more responsibility for defending the territory (eg goalies) had more testosterone  -supports evolutionary theory of group display


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AO3 - explanations of group display in humans: Spo

  • theory assumes sport + its ritualised displays by players/fans are types of group agg beh - dk if sport is agg or beh like football chants = agg
  • subcultural diffs in beh in different sports - e.g  only football where fans are agg. and only Rugby where there are pre-match agg group displays (eg Haka) - questionable whether other sports if home ground always represents territory that must be defended by group display 
  • Cultural bias - many cultures have no expectation of agg beh - suggests its not universally adaptive to show territory-defensive group display - which means it cant be evolutionary
  • Gender Bias: - research not carried out on female sporting activities/female dominated crowds  - therefore theory prone to beta bias  - as research that inspired theories only examined male beh - gender diffs are v important in evolutionary theories  - could be the lack of female group displays of agg that support that the cause of group displays is territoriality as in the EEA women wouldn't have territories to defend - they are the choosy sex - don't need resources to attract a mate
  • Alternative theory: Social Identity Theory - ppl boost self-esteem by identifying with group  ---> hostility/discrimination/aggressive group displays against outgroup members - nature/nurture can't be resolved as group displays suggest genetic instinct to protect against outsiders
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