Tag Archive for 'pregiudizi'

Pre-race athletes’ biases

In the mind of every athlete before a major competition many thoughts arise. They are like salesmen who want you to buy their products, but not always this merchandise is the best to face the competition. Sometimes the athletes manage to buy only the ideas they need while in other occasions they buy the first one that comes to them and let them occupy their mind.

It is certainly not a problem that negative and anxious ideas pop up in the mind, it only becomes one if the athletes choose and magnify them.
Because it is really a matter of choice, there is no imposition. The athletes accept one thought (with its associated feeling ) and allow it to spread through the mind.

Some pre-race biases of athletes:

  1. “Let’s hope everything goes well.”
  2. “Just now I had to find myself in trouble”
  3. “It will be the race of a lifetime”
  4. “I did everything I was supposed to, now let’s see how it goes”
  5. “Hopefully it won’t be like last time”
  6. “The important thing is to start well”
  7. “I don’t have to relax/angry/beating myself up”
  8. “I’m in such good shape that I have to win”
  9. “With this opponent I have to win, otherwise…”
  10. “Important is that at some point I don’t start thinking about the result”

Aware of our preconceived thoughts, delete them

Every day we try to explain our performances and what is happening around us. This trend is particularly perceived when we have to explain unexpected events to ourselves.

The pandemic we are experiencing this year is an event that falls in this last situation. One wonders how it was possible for this virus to spread. Who could have ever imagined that we were living in this situation as it was like the cholera and plague epidemics of the past centuries, and that science and our health care systems were completely unprepared.

In these times, we too often fall into providing explanations based on our own prejudices. We told ourselves that it was the fault of the Chinese and that the virus had been built in the laboratory or that it was the fault of the migrants who spread it because they are dirty. Others have chosen different explanations, the deniers have chosen the defense mechanism that is called denial. Still others thought that the virus was a justification for governments to control people’s lives, so they also rebelled against the rules of their governments, so they did not put on the mask and did not wash their hands.

How to change? How to accept reality? It would take a period of re-attributive training to learn how to shift the origin of our explanations from a superficial, selfish and prejudiced interpretation to one based on reality analysis, on data and not on subjective impression.

We would need this approach to regain control of our emotions, bringing our attention to those favoring the acquisition of self-control and not based on fear but on the responsibility that everyone has towards everyone.

Speaking to confirm our sport biases

On Monday we are all soccer coaches and, therefore, at the bar or in the office we speak about players, teams and results with the fervor of those who really could solve the teams’ problems. On the other hand, in Italy we have three sport newspapers, that every day must fill a hundred pages, read by millions of people. So the rule is that every sigh of externalization of a player or a coach are placed well in evidence to give arguments to our bar-reasoning. All this talk would be fine if the main effect was to develop a bar sport culture that runs out in the space of a coffee. Unfortunately, most of those who participate in these discussions are also the parents or grandparents of children, boys, playing football. With the same ease with which they express opinions on the coaches of professional teams, they consider themselves competent to criticize the coaches of their children and the children themselves. When they believe to have this right, they also begins to attack the referees because they are against their team and yell advice on how to play.
There is not  a happy ending to this story, because the sport newspapers will continue to enhance  the soccer in all its forms since people want to read exactly this kind of news. Luckly always it will always exist clubs, journalists and parents which make sport and soccer culture, but most people want to know every sigh of Icardi or Eto, because they play in the “big” teams and not how Sassuolo and Empoli succeed in the task of playing a good soccer. Not complain then for the spread of violence or fraud in football, because they are the extreme result of this non-sport culture.

Pygmalion Effect: the bias damage & trust benefits

A lot of coaches have children a little bit slower to learn than the others, perhaps less dynamics and less coordinated. How they are treated by the coach and teammates? He is given them the same opportunities of the others?
In psychology  have been carried out studies on what it’s called the “Pygmalion Effect” resulting from the reserches about the self-fulfilling prophecy. The underlying assumption of these studies is easily applicable to the field of sport learning: if the coach believes that a child is not able as the others, even unknowingly, he may be will coach him differently from the others; the child internalize the judgment and act accordingly; consequently establishing a vicious circle in which the child will tend over time to become just like her coach had imagined. In practical terms, we can say that often the lack of confidence in the ability of the children learning blocks the learning itself and pushes the children to satisfy their coach getting exactly what she expects, the prophecy comes true.

We can imagine the kind of result that this coach attitude may have on the children development.
Children motor development, but also their psychological development is constantly changing and a moment of stasis may be followed by others of fast change. The Pygmalion Effect when linked to a negative judgment binds the children progresses to the judgment of their teachers. This behavior is attributed to the fact that the children act the behavior elicited by the adult expectations: therefore low expectations solicitate low learning results.

If you accept the notion that acoach will face a clear idea of the athletes according to this pre-judgment, it’s easy to understand the relevance of the prophecies and positive expectations about the success of the children within their learning process. Coaches having positive expectations of their students can, in turn, create a  warmer socio-emotional climate around them, provide more feedback about the quality of their sessions, they seem to give more information and expect better results in addition to giving more opportunities for questions and answers. According to the Rosenthal’s observations, the teachers who believe they have good students in front of them smile more often, they make approval movements with the head, stopping over them looking longer in the eyes, they speak with a positive body language. They are more likely to praise and correct errors without taking a critical stance. “In essence, a professor who believes he has to do with gifted students teaches more and better” (Rosenthal, 1976).

Understanding the Pygmalion Effect in its negative and positive aspects allows us to understand the importance of the dynamic effect of trust in the development of the children full potential. Trust is a very important part in our lives, it’s a means by which we can enrich our lives and the lives of others. The lack of confidence, to the contrary, produces frustration and paralysis.

Trust is able to open up a world of endless possibilities.

(by Daniela Sepio)

The journalists bias

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.