The regulatory role of emotion in antisocial behaviour in sport

Stanger, Nicholas D. (2012). The regulatory role of emotion in antisocial behaviour in sport. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examined the regulatory role of emotion in antisocial behaviour using Bandura’s (1991) social cognitive theory of moral thought and action as a framework. In Chapter 2, moral disengagement was associated with reduced, and empathy with increased, negative affective reactions to unpleasant images depicting players hurt or mistreated. In Chapter 3, an initial study yielded a positive link between moral disengagement and antisocial behaviour which was partially mediated by anticipated guilt. In a second study, manipulating attribution of blame (mechanism of moral disengagement) led to reduced unpleasant affective reactions to images depicting aggressive content. Moreover, attribution of blame led to greater likelihood to aggress which was partly mediated by a reduction in anticipated guilt. Chapter 4 revealed that inducing empathy led to more unpleasant affective reactions to antisocial conduct as well as reduced the likelihood to aggress, which was mediated by an enhancement in anticipated guilt. In the final experiment, empathy reduced aggression following provocation during a competitive reaction time task that was partially mediated by guilt, but not anger. Collectively, these results provide support for the role of emotion in regulating antisocial behaviour, and indicate that moral disengagement may negate and empathy may enhance this self-regulatory mechanism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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