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When Feuds Really Are Feuds - The Fundamental Attribution Error

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When Feuds Really Are Feuds Upon studying my article I have found 3 complex psychological assumptions. The first is that the chemistry between team mates [in sport] can be a volatile brew of contradictions and each mans performance acts as a yardstick for the other. Norman Triplett (1897) suggests that the presence of another person competing in the same field psychologically stimulates the other competitor to perform better. The second assumption is that the slower competitor needs to salvage his bruised ego so begins to find fault with his equipment to console himself. Here the Fundamental Attribution Error (Fritz Heider 1958) is made by the slower competitor where he or she looks to outer variables (like the blaming of equipment) to explain poor performance rather than their own individual characteristics. Finally the assumption that the mutual dislike between two fierce competitors can turn into a silent hatred, which is a natural occurrence in sport, can be made. ...read more.


However this only happens with ourselves and we do not apply the same theory with other people and therefore insinuate that they aren't capable or competent enough and in this way take the situation at face value rather than give them the benefit of the doubt. The final assumption is based on the studies of Sheriff et al. The assumption is that within sport there is inevitably a prize and with it comes fame and of course money. Naturally this goal is desired by all competitors in the same field or even within the team ,so the potential for hostility is therefore greatly increased. The Robber's Cave experiment of 1961 is an example of conflict between two parties with the same goal where two male groups of 11 participated in a number of scout activities such as pitching tents, treasure hunting etc. Towards the end of the first week a competitive streak had emerged, possibly a by-product of their needs to keep pace with one another. ...read more.


The driver could be told to develop his imagery skills when without distractions and try and build a clear target within the mind set and how to achieve these targets in a step by step process by using mental components. This would provide a welcome distraction from the paranoia exhibited by the driver and if done right provide optimum performance from him. A possible way to deal with 'internal' silent or even open hatred within a team could be through the concept of attributional retraining. This could possibly be done with the team principal telling his drivers that success should be viewed as a positive and stable factor due to him (the driver) ,without such elements of luck creeping in to it, and his ability. The weaker driver could be taught that losing was due to something unstable or circumstances outside of his control. The 'retraining' methods would encourage the performer to accept responsibility for performance and not see himself as a failure thus maintaining self esteem and not promote a silent hatred of the other because of the new 'lessons' they have learnt. ...read more.

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