A Competitive Atmosphere With No Authority Figure Regulate Behavior

1682 Words Jan 27th, 2015 7 Pages
Introduction: The purpose of this research was to answer the question: “How do people act in a competitive atmosphere with no authority figure to regulate behavior?” I approached this question by observing the actions and behavior of people who played recreational basketball at the University of Connecticut. I chose recreational basketball because, while basketball has a formal and well known set of rules, recreational basketball does not necessarily have to follow them. It subjective and relies on the participants’ self-regulation. There are no officials, coaches, or captains to take control of the game. I sought to answer the question with both passive and participant observation. By observing how the players interacted before, during, and after the game, I was able to get a greater comprehension of the culture around the game. In order to make the research manageable, I focused on a few main issues. First, was how the game was started? Who started it and how teams were decided? Next, I focused on fouls. Which ones were enforced, who called them, and what were the penalties? My final focus was on the gameplay. How did it differ from professional and collegiate games? Finding the answers to these questions led to a greater understanding of human behavior. Because of the egalitarian aspects of recreational basketball, it is a suitable medium for which to observe how people would interact in an egalitarian society. How does one’s behavior change when they…

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