Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: More closely matched sports teams play dirtier.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflSeptember 7, 2012 4:00 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

3241119115_5a73c715c4.jpg

Increased aggression during human group contests when competitive ability is more similar. "Theoretical analyses and empirical studies have revealed that conflict escalation is more likely when individuals are more similar in resource-holding potential (RHP). Conflicts can also occur between groups, but it is unknown whether conflicts also escalate more when groups are more similar in RHP. We tested this hypothesis in humans, using data from two professional sports competitions: football (the Bundesliga, the German first division of football) and basketball (the NBA, the North American National Basketball Association). We defined RHP based on the league ranks of the teams involved in the competition (i.e. their competitive ability) and measured conflict escalation by the number of fouls committed. We found that in both sports the number of fouls committed increased when the difference in RHP was smaller. Thus, we provide what is to our best knowledge the first evidence that, as in conflicts between individuals, conflicts escalate more when groups are more similar in RHP."

competition_aggression.png

Photo: flickr/ Alasdair Middleton

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Sport fan identification in obituaries.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: World Cup Week: Choose wisely, rooting for the winning team DOES make you more manly.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Superbowl special: 5 funny football-related studies!

NCBI ROFL. Real articles. Funny subjects. Read our FAQ

!

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In