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Examining Psychological Aspects of Sports

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The human organism is an extremely complex structure with unimaginable complex functions. Nowadays more and more emphasis is being laid on the study of psychological factors, which control, condition and modify human behavior. Psychologists from all over the world are critically and enthusiastically examining psychological aspects of sports, applying research from related areas to athletic situations, and attempting to make sense out of sparse factual material, considering the popularity of sports, its length of existence and its impact in society, relatively little research has been done with athletes. Consequently how much is really known about aspects of psychology as they related to sports.

On the other hand, we are by no means still in the Dark Ages. Orderly laws of behavior can be applied to the athletically gifted so as to understand and predict performance. Studies in athletic environment, with athletes, can and are occurring more frequently now than ever before. In fact, a sport, in the wider perspective means pleasure as well as competition.

As in other fields of human activity so in sports, competition has become very intense and all individuals and nations are striving very hard to gain supremacy over others. Olympics and other world competitions may stand testimony this fact. Sports psychology is an application of principles, methods and techniques of analysis, appraisal and enhancement for optimizing human sport or human athletic behavior. Sports psychology as an area of study involves many individuals of diverse backgrounds with a common interest that of knowing more about athlete and sport.

Newspaper accounts reflect psychology employed prior to or during competition and radio and television sports announcers and analysts delve in to the mysteries of explaining unexpected athletic performances. Coaches and athletes do likewise as do sports fans. But the major direction of the intellectual pennant, sport psychology has led to the recognition of the science of ‚Äúhuman behaviors‚ÄĚ as a replacement for practices, heretofore based on common sense, popular belief and half-truths.

Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology (AAASP), one of the professional societies representing sport psychologists, gives a comprehensive and generally accepted definition. According to the AAASP, Sports psychology is ‚Äú(a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by participation and performance in sports, exercise, and physical activity, and (b) the application of the knowledge gained through this study to everyday setting. Sports psychology professionals are interested in how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity may enhance personal development and well- being throughout the life span‚ÄĚ.

Historically, the coaching of athletes has largely emphasized the development of technical ability and physical fitness to the neglect of critical psychological factors. Although it is widely appreciated that mental and emotional states can make the difference between winning and losing, the role of psychology in sports has largely been restricted to pre-match advice and instruction. This is likely to be of little value.

The demands of competition are such that the psychological preparation of sport people needs to be carried out over a prolonged period of time for it to be effective. Sports psychology is a relatively young discipline, and sports psychologists are only beginning to provide answers to some of the many questions about sports and exercise behavior. During the past two decades sports psychology has emerged as a legitimate field of scientific enquiry.

Researchers are afforded ample opportunity to observe, describe and explain the various psychological factors that influence diverse aspects of sport and physical activity. Sport involves extremely complex behavior issues. As a consequence of intense competition a sports man‚Äės behavior may undergo important changes. Physical education scientists and coaches have not be expert only in the matter of skill training but also be engineers who understand the mechanism of human behavior or the playfield, under extremely divers situation.

Sports psychology, as an applied psychology has taken giant strides. The knowledge in all fields of human endeavor, especially of behavior, has expanded to such an extent that it is difficult to discuss one aspect of behavior without reference to others. In the field of competitive sport, training of the athletes is incomplete without psychological training of the competition. Psychological readiness and mental health play a decisive role as to determine whether or not an athlete in competition and in training responds to their optimum potentials. Interestingly, the need for sport psychology seems to be increasing in two contradictory ways. First, athletes and coaches, in search of the ‚Äúwinning edge‚ÄĚ, are looking to sport psychologists for a mental advantage. They are asking for techniques and procedures that will make the good athlete even better.

As physical skills, training techniques and work-loads reach their maximal levels, the remaining frontier is the mind. It is now being claimed that “regardless of how much ability, skill or fitness a person possesses for a particular task or sport, the success or quality of his performance will in the final analysis probably depend on his particular psychological make-up. Certain psychological characteristics and personality features facilitate participation in physical activities and acquiring proficiency and skills which intern may enhance desirable psychological dimensions. A minimum level of I. Q, Emotional intelligence, and mental health is necessary to achieve superiority in sports endeavor. People with the low intelligence experience difficulty in acquiring skills. Certain personality traits such as freedom from agitation, high need for social approval, lack of hostility to the environment are predictive of superior performance in sports endeavor.

Coffer and Johnson suggested that athletes are a special breed in terms of personality and their special attributes sort out the champions from those who are blessed with similar physical abilities. On the basis of the large number of observation and evaluation of individual sportsman, a number of personality profiles related to high sports achievement, have been determined. These profiles are drive, determination, intelligence, emotional intelligence, aggression, leadership, emotionality, self-confidence, mental toughness, quality of life, and conscience development. One of the earliest areas of study to receive systematic attention in the field of sports psychology was the study of personality. Too many researchers and coaches it seemed reasonable to assume that consistencies in behavior; or dispositions to behave in a particular manner (traits), could influence one’s athletic ability.

Understanding the relationship between personality and sport is indeed a complex and often confounding area of enquiry. Personality is the result of a number of influences i. e., physical, personal and socio-cultural. Physical influences are the inherited biological characteristics that cause people to differ from each other. Personal influences are the unique events experienced by the individual that cause lasting effect on him. Socio-cultural influences are internalizations from the environment that surround the individual. These influences are absorbed from parents, educators, social institutions and media, and are the product of the society in which the person lives. If a society is highly competitive and sanctions the expression of aggression, comparable behavior will be supported by parents and educators and reflected in the child. Thus when child performs well in socially sanctioned activity, such as sports, he will usually receive reinforcement in the form of support from parents and others.

The career of most athletes reveals that were strongly reinforced early in life and encouraged to devote their energies to sports. The study of personality and the role it may play in performance has interested sports psychologists for decades. Perhaps this is because contributions that enhance our understanding of personality have the potential to be more than passing academic interests considers that many individuals involved in the sport environment have written and spoken about ‚Äúborn winners‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúborn losers‚ÄĚ. Such statements imply that in addition to physical talents there is a certain psychological mix chemistry that successful athletes have and unsuccessful athletes do not.

The study of psychology as a predictor and determinant of success in athletic competition is an interesting, although inconclusive, area of research in sport psychology. Psychological profile studies are conducted on athletes, male and female, in individual sports and team sports. Football, basketball, track and field, volleyball, soccer and baseball are investigated in an effort to determine the psychological variables that specific sports seem to attract or produce, and the subsequent differences in the degree to which specific psychological variable manifest themselves differentially in successful athletes and unsuccessful athletes.

Certain psychological characteristics such as ‚Äúwithdrawal‚ÄĚ may favor proficiency in individual sports and certain psychological traits such as ‚Äúgregariousness‚ÄĚ may favor proficiency in team sports. Certain personality traits such as, freedom from agitation, high needs for social approval, lack of hostility to the environment are predictive of superior performance in sports endeavor. In the case of competition it is basically an emotionally healthy person who tends towards extroverts, tough mindedness, self-assertive and self-confident with a high capacity to endure the stress of high level of competition and can operate a very high level of anxiety, who will be successful as a sportsman.


The Indigenous sports purely originated or invention or occurring naturally in a particular region or country or native according to their environment. The game is developed based on the needs, locality availability of resource and interest of the local people. India is home to a diverse population playing many different kinds of sports across the country.


Kho kho¬†is a popular¬†tag¬†sport from¬†India. It is played by teams of 12 nominated players out of fifteen, of which nine enter the field, who try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team. It is one of the two most popular traditional¬†games in the¬†Indian subcontinent, the other being¬†Kabaddi.[footnoteRef:1]¬†Apart from the Indian subcontinent, it is also played by the¬†Indian community in South Africa.[footnoteRef:2] Kho-kho, traditional Indian sport, a form of tag that is one of the oldest forms of outdoor sport dating back to prehistoric India. Kho-kho, traditional Indian sport, a form of tag that is one of the oldest forms of outdoor sport dating back to prehistoric India. It is one of the two most popular games. [1: Peter A. Hastie (1 July 2010).¬†Student-Designed Games: Strategies for Promoting Creativity, Cooperation, and Skill Development.¬†Human Kinetics. pp.¬†52‚Äď.¬†ISBN¬†978-0-7360-8590-8. Retrieved¬†7 March2012.] [2: A trip through SA’s indigenous games. sowetanlive.co.za 14 March 2012.]

The word kho seems to be derived from the Sanskrit verb root syu-meaning ‚Äėget up go‚Äô.

The origin of Kho-Kho is very difficult to trace, but many historians believe, that it is a modified form of ‘Run Chase’, which in its simplest form involves chasing and touching a person. With its origins in Maharashtra, Kho-Kho in ancient times was played on ‘raths’ or chariots and was known as¬†Rathera Kho kho is a popular tag sport from India. It is played by teams of 12 nominated players out of fifteen, of which nine enter the field, who try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team. It is one of the two most popular traditional tag games in the Indian subcontinent.[footnoteRef:3] [3: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/295079807 To develop a tapping skill test for kho-kho female players]

The present appearance of the game was an adoption about the time of World War I in 1914. But at that time, there were neither any dimensions of the playground nor the poles which demarcate the central line. The time factor was also missing.

Each team consists of twelve players, but only nine players take the field. A match consists of two innings with each inning consisting of chasing and running turns of 9 minutes each. One team sits on their knees in the middle of the court, in a row, with adjacent 8 members facing opposite directions. The runners play in the field, three at a time and the team that takes the shortest time to touch all the opponents in the field, wins. There is a pole on each end and the runner can go between two players who are sitting in zig-zag manner, but the chaser is not allowed to turn back while running and go between the players. However, the chaser can go to the pole and touch it and can go back or towards the other side.no advance lifting


There are usually two referees standing on the opposite sides of the rectangular field. Both carry a stopwatch and each of them is responsible for giving a decision on their opposite side of the field (because they can watch the game play in front of them more clearly than when it is on their same side).


Kabaddi is a¬†contact¬†team sport. Played between two teams of seven players, the object of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a ‘raider’, to run into the opposing team’s half of a court, tag out as many of their defenders as possible, and return to their own half of the court, all without being tackled by the defenders, and in a single breath. Points are scored for each player tagged by the raider, while the opposing team earns a point for stopping the raider. Players are taken out of the game if they are tagged or tackled, but can be ‘revived’ for each point scored by their team from a tag or tackle.

It is popular in the¬†Indian subcontinent¬†and other surrounding and¬†South Asian¬†countries, such as¬†Iran¬†and¬†Pakistan. Although ancient accounts of kabaddi appear in the histories of both modern-day India and Iran, the game was popularized as a competitive sport in the 20th century by India; it is the state game of the¬†Indian states¬†of¬†AndhraPradesh,¬†Bihar,¬†Haryana,¬†Karnataka,¬†Kerala,¬†Maharashtra,¬†Punjab,¬†Tamil Nadu,¬†Telangana, and¬†Uttar Pradesh. It is also the national sport of¬†Bangladesh.[footnoteRef:4] [4: ‘A tale of kabaddi, Bangladesh’s national sport’.¬†Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved¬†31 July¬†2017.]

Two major disciplines of kabaddi exist;¬†Punjabi kabaddi, also known as ‘circle style’, refers to traditional styles of the sport that are played on a circular field outdoors. The ‘standard style’, played on a rectangular court indoors, is a discipline played in major professional leagues, and competitions such as the¬†Asian Games.

The game is known by its regional names in different parts of the¬†Indian subcontinent, such as¬†kabaddi¬†or¬†chedugudu¬†in¬†Andhra Pradesh,¬†kabaddi¬†in¬†Karnataka,¬†Kerala¬†and¬†Telangana,¬†hadudu¬†in¬†Bangladesh,¬†bhavatik¬†in¬†Maldives,¬†kauddi¬†or¬†kabaddi¬†in the¬†Punjab region,¬†hu-tu-tu¬†in Western India,¬†hu-do-do¬†in Eastern India,¬†chadakudu¬†in South India,¬†kapardi¬†in Nepal and¬†kabaddi¬†or¬†saduguda¬†in Tamil nadu. The word ‘kabaddi’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘kai-pidi‚ÄĚ (‘to hold hands’).[footnoteRef:5] [5: ‘Everything you need to know about Kabaddi’.¬†The Indian Express. 2016-01-30. Retrieved¬†2017-10-29.]

The exact origins of Kabaddi are disputed, with theories suggesting that Kabaddi originated from either the¬†Vedic period¬†of Indian history, or the¬†Sistan¬†region of present-day Iran. The game was said to have been popular among the¬†Yadava¬†people, an¬†abhang¬†by¬†Tukaram¬†stated that the god¬†Krishna¬†played the game in his youth, while the¬†Mahabharata¬†contains an account of¬†Arjuna¬†being able to sneak into hostile areas and take out enemies unscathed‚ÄĒwhich parallels the gameplay of kabaddi. There are also accounts of¬†Buddha having played the game recreationally. Despite these conflicting claims, India has been credited with having helped to popularize Kabaddi as a competitive sport, with the first organized competitions occurring in the 1920’s, their introduction to the programme of the¬†Indian Olympic Games¬†in 1938, the establishment of the All-India Kabaddi Federation in 1950, and being played as a¬†demonstration sport¬†at the¬†inaugural 1951 Asian Games¬†in¬†New Delhi. These developments helped to formalize the sport, which had traditionally been played in villages, for legitimate international competition.[footnoteRef:6] [6: Sen, Ronojoy (2015-10-27).¬†Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India. Columbia University Press.¬†ISBN¬†9780231539937.]


Ball badminton¬†is a sport originated in¬†India. It is a¬†racket¬†game, played with a yellow ball made of¬†wool, on a court of fixed dimensions (12 by 24 meters) divided by a net. The game was played as early as 1856 by the royal family in¬†Tanjore, the capital of¬†Thanjavur¬†district in¬†Tamil Nadu, India. It enjoys the greatest popularity in India. Ball badminton is a fast-paced game; it demands skill, quick reflexes, good judgment, agility, and the ability to control the ball with one’s wrist.

Games are usually played outdoors during the day. As a result, weather conditions wield a considerable influence, and ball badminton’s rules allow the effects of weather conditions to be distributed more-or-less evenly between both teams. More recently, indoor versions of the game have been played under artificial lighting. All-India tournaments are conducted regularly using floodlights in¬†Tamil Nadu,¬†Puducherry,¬†Andhra Pradesh,¬†Telangana¬†and¬†Karnataka. Ball Badminton sport is managed by ‚ÄúBall Badminton Federation of India’ Now Ball badminton game is officially recognized game in India. Total 34 units are affiliated to ‘Ball badminton federation of india ‘ in which 26 are States units including Bihar, jharkhand, Nagaland etc 5 Public sector units and 3 provisional affiliated units.


Ball badminton originated in Tanjore, in Tamil Nadu. It became popular, commanding the interest of the Maharaja of Tanjore. The game has attracted many players from southern India.

Previously, ball badminton was an attractive game for rural boys since it required a minimum of equipment. The game drew a large number of students from South India, resulting in the formation of the Ball Badminton Federation of India in 1954. The BBF was among the first three sports federations along with the Indian Athletic Federation and the Indian Hockey Federation to form the Indian Olympic Association in 1961. Ball badminton eventually spread to¬†Andhra Pradesh, and the first national championship was conducted at Hyderabad in 1956. It was later introduced at the junior and sub-junior levels.[footnoteRef:7] [7: ‘Game history’ on Ball Badminton Federation of India website]



Volleyball¬†is a¬†team sport¬†in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team’s court under organized rules.[footnoteRef:8]¬†It has been a part of the official program of the¬†Summer Olympic Games¬†since 1964. [8: ‘Volleyball’.¬†International Olympic Committee. Retrieved¬†2007-03-21.]

The complete¬†rules¬†are extensive, but simply, play proceeds as follows: a player on one of the teams begins a ‘rally’ by serving the ball (tossing or releasing it and then hitting it with a hand or arm), from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, and into the receiving team’s court.[footnoteRef:9]¬†The receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively.¬†Typically, the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court. [9: Joel., Dearing, (2003).¬†Volleyball fundamentals. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.¬†ISBN¬†0736045082.¬†OCLC¬†50643900.]

The rally continues, with each team allowed as many as three consecutive touches, until either (1): a team makes a¬†kill, grounding the ball on the opponent’s court and winning the rally; or (2): a team commits a¬†fault¬†and loses the rally. The team that wins the rally is awarded a point and serves the ball to start the next rally. A few of the most common faults include:

¬∑ Causing the ball to touch the ground or floor outside the opponents’ court or without first passing over the net;

· Catching and throwing the ball;

· Double hit: two consecutive contacts with the ball made by the same player;

· Four consecutive contacts with the ball made by the same team;

· Net foul: touching the net during play;

· Foot fault: the foot crosses over the boundary line when serving.

A number of consistent techniques have evolved in volleyball, including spiking and blocking (because these plays are made above the top of the net, the vertical jump is an athletic skill emphasized in the sport) as well as passing, setting,

In the winter of 1895[footnoteRef:10], in¬†Holyoke, Massachusetts¬†(United States),¬†William G. Morgan, a¬†YMCA¬†physical education director, created a new game called¬†Mintonette, a name derived from the game of¬†badminton,¬†as a pastime to be played (preferably) indoors and by any number of players. The game took some of its characteristics from other sports such as¬†tennis¬†and¬†handball.[footnoteRef:11]¬†Another indoor sport,¬†basketball, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles (sixteen kilometers) away in the city of¬†Springfield, Massachusetts, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport, less rough than basketball, for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort. [10: ‘The International Association Training School Notes (vol. 4 no. 8), October, 1895’.] [11: ‘Bet You Don’t Know Where Volleyball Came From’.¬†ThoughtCo. Retrieved¬†2018-08-04.]


Football¬†is a family of¬†team sports¬†that involve, to varying degrees,¬†kicking¬†a¬†ball¬†to score a¬†goal. Unqualified,¬†the word¬†football¬†is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears. Sports commonly called¬†football¬†in certain places include¬†association football¬†(known as soccer in some countries);¬†gridiron football¬†(specifically¬†American football¬†or¬†Canadian football);¬†Australian rules football;¬†rugby football¬†(either¬†rugby league¬†or¬†rugby union); and¬†Gaelic football.[footnoteRef:12]¬†These different variations of football are known as¬†football codes. [12: ‘Editorial: Soccer ‚Äď or should we say football ‚Äď must change’. 12 June 2014.¬†New Zealanders on the way to their local rugby grounds should still be talking of ‘going to the football’]

There are a number of references to traditional, ancient, or prehistoric ball games played by indigenous peoples in many different parts of the world.[footnoteRef:13]¬†Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to¬†the codification of these games at English public schools¬†during the nineteenth century.¬†The expansion of the¬†Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside the directly controlled Empire.[footnoteRef:14]¬†By the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage.¬†In 1888,¬†The Football League¬†was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.[footnoteRef:15] [13: ‘History of Football – The Origins’. FIFA. Retrieved¬†29 April¬†2013.] [14: Perkin, Harold¬†(1989). ‘Teaching the nations how to play: sport and society in the British empire and commonwealth’.¬†The International Journal of the History of Sport.¬†6¬†(2): 145‚Äď155.¬†doi:10.1080/09523368908713685.] [15: Bale, J. (2002).¬†Sports Geography. Taylor & Francis. p.¬†43.¬†ISBN¬†978-0-419-25230-6.]

· Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.

· A clearly defined area in which to play the game.

¬∑ Scoring¬†goals¬†or¬†points¬†by moving the ball to an opposing team’s end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line.

· Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.

· The goal or line being defended by the opposing team.

¬∑ Players being required to move the ball‚ÄĒdepending on the code‚ÄĒby kicking, carrying, or hand-passing the ball.

· Players using only their body to move the ball.

In all codes, common skills include passing, tackling, evasion of tackles, catching and kicking.[11] In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside, and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts.

There are conflicting explanations of the origin of the word ‘football’. It is widely assumed that the word ‘football’ (or the phrase ‘football’) refers to the action of the foot kicking a ball.[footnoteRef:16]¬†There is an alternative explanation, which is that football originally referred to a variety of games in¬†medieval Europe, which were played¬†on foot. There is no conclusive evidence for either explanation. [16: ‘Football’. Etymology Online. Retrieved¬†14 December¬†2015.]

A Chinese game called cuju has been recognized by FIFA as the first version of the game with regular rules. It existed during the Han dynasty and possibly the Qin dynasty, in the second and third centuries BC. The Japanese version of cuju is kemari and was developed during the Asuka period. This is known to have been played within the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto from about 600 AD. In kemari several people stand in a circle and kick a ball to each other, trying not to let the ball drop to the ground (much like keepie uppie).

The¬†Ancient Greeks¬†and¬†Romans¬†are known to have played many ball games, some of which involved the use of the feet. The Roman game¬†harpastum¬†is believed to have been adapted from a¬†Greek¬†team game known as (Episkyros)[footnoteRef:17]¬†or (phaininda),¬†which is mentioned by a Greek playwright,¬†Antiphanes¬†(388‚Äď311¬†BC) and later referred to by the Christian theologian¬†Clement of Alexandria¬†(c. 150 ‚Äď c. 215¬†AD). These games appear to have resembled¬†rugby football.¬†The Roman politician¬†Cicero¬†(106‚Äď43¬†BC) describes the case of a man who was killed whilst having a shave when a ball was kicked into a barber’s shop. Roman ball games already knew the air-filled ball, the¬†follis.[footnoteRef:18]¬†Episkyros¬†is recognised as an early form of football by FIFA. [17: The New Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, 2007 Edition: ‘In ancient Greece a game with elements of football, episkuros, or harpaston, was played, and it had migrated to Rome as harpastum by the 2nd century BC’.] [18: William Smith: ‘Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities’, 1857, p.777]

The word¬†football, when used in reference to a specific game can mean any one of those described above. Because of this, much friendly controversy has occurred over the term¬†football, primarily because it is used in different ways in different parts of the¬†English-speaking world. Most often, the word ‘football’ is used to refer to the code of football that is considered dominant within a particular region. So, effectively, what the word ‘football’ means usually depends on where one says it.

Several of the football codes are the most popular team sports in the world.[footnoteRef:19]¬†Globally, association football is played by over 250 million players in over 200 nations,¬†and has the highest television audience in sport,¬†making it the most popular in the world,¬†American football, with 1.1¬†million high school football players and nearly 70,000 college football players, is the most popular sport in the United States, with the annual¬†Super Bowl¬†game accounting for nine of the top ten of the¬†most watched broadcasts in U.S. television history. Australian Rules football has the highest spectator attendance of all sports in Australia. Similarly, Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance, and the¬†All-Ireland Football Final¬†is the most watched event of that nation’s sporting year. [19: Bale, J. (2002).¬†Sports Geography. Taylor & Francis. p.¬†43.¬†ISBN¬†978-0-419-25230-6.]


Hockey¬†is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to man oeuvre a ball or a¬†puck¬†into the opponent’s goal using a¬†hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as¬†bandy,¬†field hockey¬†and¬†ice hockey.

In most of the world, hockey refers to field hockey. However, in Canada, the United States, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, hockey usually refers to ice hockey.

The first recorded use of the word¬†hockey¬†is in the 1773 book¬†Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education¬†by Richard Johnson (Pseud. Master Michel Angelo), whose chapter XI was titled ‘New Improvements on the Game of Hockey’.¬†The belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by¬†King Edward III of England¬†is based on modern translations of the proclamation, which was originally in Latin and explicitly forbade the games ‘Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam’.[footnoteRef:20]¬†The English historian and biographer¬†John Strype¬†did not use the word ‘hockey’ when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating ‘Canibucam’ as ‘Cambuck’; this may have referred to either an early form of hockey or a game more similar to golf or croquet.[footnoteRef:21] [20: Scott, Sir James Sibbald David (1868).¬†The British Army: Its Origin, Progress, and Equipment. Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Company. p.¬†86.] [21: Birley, Derek (1993).¬†Sport and the Making of Britain. Manchester University Press. p.¬†36.¬†ISBN¬†9780719037597.]

The word¬†hockey¬†itself is of unknown origin. One supposition is that it is a derivative of¬†hoquet, a¬†Middle French¬†word for a¬†shepherd’s stave.[footnoteRef:22]¬†The curved, or ‘hooked’ ends of the sticks used for hockey would indeed have resembled these staves. Another supposition derives from the known use of cork bungs, (stoppers) in place of wooden balls to play the game. The stoppers came from barrels containing ‘hock’ ale, also called ‘hockey’. [22: ‘Hockey’. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved¬†2011-06-18.]

Games played with¬†curved sticks¬†and a ball can be found in the histories of many cultures. In Egypt, 4000-year-old carvings feature teams with sticks and a projectile,¬†hurling¬†dates to before 1272 BC in¬†Ireland, and there is a depiction from approximately 600 BC in¬†Ancient Greece, where the game may have been called¬†kerńďt√≠zein¬†or because it was played with a horn or horn-like stick.[footnoteRef:23]¬†In¬†Inner Mongolia, the¬†dour people¬†have been playing¬†beikou, a game similar to modern field hockey, for about 1,000 years.[footnoteRef:24] [23: Oikonomos, G. (1920).¬†őöőĶŌĀő∑ŌĄőĮő∂őŅőĹŌĄőĶŌā.¬†6. Archaiologikon Deltion. pp.¬†56‚Äď59. Retrieved¬†2011-06-18.] [24: McGrath, Charles (August 22, 2008).¬†‘A Chinese Hinterland, Fertile with Field Hockey’.¬†The New York Times. Retrieved¬†2008-08-23.]

Most evidence of hockey-like games during the¬†middle Ages¬†is found in legislation concerning sports and games. The¬†Galway¬†Statute enacted in Ireland in 1527 banned certain types of ball games; including games using ‘hooked’ (written ‘hockie’, similar to ‘hooky’) sticks.[footnoteRef:25] [25: Birley, Derek (1993).¬†Sport and the Making of Britain. Manchester University Press. p.¬†309. Retrieved¬†2014-06-22.]

By the 19th century, the various forms and divisions of historic games began to differentiate and coalesce into the individual sports defined today. Organizations dedicated to the codification of rules and regulations began to form, and national and international bodies sprang up to manage domestic and international competition.

Field hockey is played on gravel, natural grass, or sand-based or water-based artificial turf, with a small, hard ball approximately 73 mm (2.9 in) in diameter. The game is popular among both males and females in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina. In most countries, the game is played between single-sex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.

The governing body is the 126-member¬†International Hockey Federation¬†(FIH). Men’s field hockey has been played at each¬†Summer Olympic Games¬†since 1908 except for 1912 and 1924, while women’s field hockey has been played at the Summer Olympic Games since 1980.

Modern¬†field hockey sticks¬†are constructed of a composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre (sometimes both) and are J-shaped, with a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side and a curved surface on the rear side. All sticks are right-handed ‚Äď left-handed sticks are not permitted.

While field hockey in its current form appeared in mid-18th century¬†England, primarily in schools, it was not until the first half of the 19th century that it became firmly established. The first club was created in 1849 at¬†Black heath¬†in south-east¬†London. Field hockey is the¬†national sport¬†of¬†Pakistan.[15]¬†It was the national sport of¬†India¬†until the¬†Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports¬†declared in August 2012 that India has no national sport.[footnoteRef:26] [26: ‘Hockey is not our national game: Ministry’.¬†The Times of India. Retrieved¬†2013-05-03.]


Psychology¬†isthe¬†science¬†of¬†behavior¬†and¬†mind,including¬†conscious¬†and¬†unconscious¬†phenomena, as well as¬†feeling¬†and¬†thought. It is an¬†academic discipline¬†of immense scope and diverse interests that, when taken together; seek an understanding of the emergent properties of¬†brains, and all the variety of¬†epiphenomena¬†they manifest. As a¬†social science¬†it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.[footnoteRef:27] [27: Fernald LD (2008).¬†Psychology: Six perspectives(pp. 12‚Äď15). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.]

In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including¬†perception,¬†cognition,¬†attention,¬†emotion¬†(affect),¬†intelligence,¬†phenomenology,¬†motivation¬†(conation),¬†brain functioning, and¬†personality. This extends to interaction between people, such as¬†interpersonal relationships, including¬†psychological resilience,¬†family resilience, and other areas. Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the¬†unconscious mind.¬†Psychologists employ¬†empirical methods¬†to infer¬†causal¬†and¬†correlational relationships between psychosocial¬†variables. In¬†addition, or in¬†opposition, to employing¬†empirical¬†and¬†deductive methods, some‚ÄĒespecially¬†clinical¬†and¬†counseling¬†psychologists at times rely upon¬†symbolic interpretation¬†and other¬†inductive¬†techniques. Psychology has been described as a ‘hub science’ in that¬†medicine¬†tends to draw psychological research via¬†neurology¬†and¬†psychiatry, whereas social sciences most commonly draws directly from¬†sub-disciplines within psychology.

While psychological knowledge is often applied to the¬†assessment¬†and¬†treatment¬†of¬†mental health¬†problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of¬†human activity. By many accounts psychology ultimately aims to benefit society.¬†The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in¬†clinical,¬†counseling, or¬†school¬†settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, and typically work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings (e.g., medical schools, hospitals). Some are employed in¬†industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas[footnoteRef:28]¬†such as¬†human development and aging,¬†sports,¬†health, and¬†the media, as well as in¬†forensic¬†investigation and other aspects of¬†law. [28: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010‚Äď11 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at¬†bls.gov¬†(visited 8 July 2010).]

Etymology and definitions

The word¬†psychology¬†derives from Greek roots meaning study of the¬†psyche, or¬†soul¬†(¬†psychńď, ‘breath, spirit, soul’ and logia, ‘study of’ or ‘research’).¬†The¬†Latin¬†word¬†psychologia¬†was first used by the¬†Croatian¬†humanist¬†and¬†Latinist¬†Marko Marulińᬆin his book,¬†Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae¬†in the late 15th century or early 16th century.[footnoteRef:29]¬†The earliest known reference to the word¬†psychology¬†in English was by¬†Steven Blankaart¬†in 1694 in¬†The Physical Dictionary¬†which refers to ‘Anatomy, which treats the Body, and Psychology, which treats of the Soul.’ [29: ‘Classics in the History of Psychology ‚Äď Marko Marulic ‚Äď The Author of the Term ‘Psychology”. Psychclassics.yorku.ca. Retrieved¬†10 December¬†2011.]

In 1890,¬†William James¬†defined¬†psychology¬†as ‘the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions’. This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as¬†John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior. Also since James defined it, the term more strongly connotes techniques of¬†scientific experimentation.[footnoteRef:30]¬†Folk psychology¬†refers to the understanding of¬†ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals.[footnoteRef:31] [30: Derek Russell Davis¬†(DRD), ‘psychology’, in Richard L. Gregory (ed.),¬†The Oxford Companion to the Mind, second edition; Oxford University Press, 1987/2004;¬†ISBN¬†978-0-19-866224-2¬†(pp. 763‚Äď764).] [31: The term ‘folk psychology’ is itself contentious: see Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.),¬†Folk Psychology Re-Assessed; Dorndrecht, the Netherlands: Springer, 2007;¬†ISBN¬†978-1-4020-5557-7]


The ancient civilizations of¬†Egypt,¬†Greece,¬†China,¬†India, and¬†Persia¬†all engaged in the¬†philosophical¬†study of psychology. Historians note that¬†Greek philosophers, including¬†Thales,¬†Plato, and¬†Aristotle¬†(especially in his¬†De Anima¬†treatise), addressed the workings of the mind.[15]¬†As early as the 4th century¬†BC, Greek physician¬†Hippocrates¬†theorized that¬†mental disorders¬†had physical rather than supernatural causes.[footnoteRef:32] [32: T.L. Brink. (2008) Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach. ‘Unit One: The Definition and History of Psychology.’ pp 9¬†[1].]

In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of¬†Laozi¬†and¬†Confucius, and later from the doctrines of¬†Buddhism. This body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, and interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power. An ancient text known as¬†The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine¬†identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on¬†yin yang¬†balance, and analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the¬†Qing Dynasty¬†with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi (1611‚Äď1671),¬†Liu Zhi¬†(1660‚Äď1730), and Wang Qingren (1768‚Äď1831). Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and¬†insomnia, and advanced a theory of¬†hemispheric lateralization¬†in brain function.[footnoteRef:33] [33: Yeh Hsueh and Benyu Guo, ‘China’, in Baker (ed.),¬†Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology¬†(2012).]

Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by¬†Hinduism. A central idea of the¬†Upanishads¬†is the distinction between a person’s transient mundane self and their¬†eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, and Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher awareness.¬†Yoga¬†is a range of techniques used in pursuit of this goal. Much of the¬†Sanskrit corpus¬†was suppressed under the¬†British East India Company¬†followed by the¬†British Raj¬†in the 1800s. However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the¬†Theosophical Society, a¬†New Age¬†group which became popular among Euro-American intellectuals.[footnoteRef:34] [34: Anand C. Paranjpe, ‘From Tradition through Colonialism to Globalization: Reflections on the History of Psychology in India’, in Brock (ed.),¬†Internationalizing the History of Psychology¬†(2006).]

Psychology was a popular topic in¬†Enlightenment¬†Europe. In Germany,¬†Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz¬†(1646‚Äď1716) applied his principles of calculus to the mind, arguing that mental activity took place on an indivisible continuum most notably, that among infinity of human perceptions and desires, the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness is only a matter of degree.¬†Christian Wolff¬†identified psychology as its own science, writing¬†Psychology empirical in 1732 and¬†Psycho logia rationalism¬†in 1734. This notion advanced further under¬†Immanuel Kant, who established the idea of¬†anthropology, with psychology as an important subdivision. However, Kant explicitly and notoriously rejected the idea of¬†experimental psychology, writing that ‘the empirical doctrine of the soul can also never approach chemistry even as a systematic art of analysis or experimental doctrine, for in it the manifold of inner observation can be separated only by mere division in thought, and cannot then be held separate and recombined at will (but still less does another thinking subject suffer himself to be experimented upon to suit our purpose), and even observation by itself already changes and displaces the state of the observed object.’ Having consulted philosophers¬†Hegel and¬†Herbart, in 1825 the¬†Prussian¬†state established psychology as a mandatory discipline in its rapidly expanding and highly influential¬†educational system. However, this discipline did not yet embrace experimentation.¬†In England, early psychology involved¬†phrenology¬†and the response to social problems including alcoholism, violence, and the country’s well-populated mental asylums.[footnoteRef:35] [35: Alan Collins, ‘England’, in Baker (ed.),¬†Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology¬†(2012).]


Psychologists take human behavior as a main area of study. Much of the research in this area began with tests on mammals, based on the idea that humans exhibit similar fundamental tendencies. Behavioral research ever aspires to improve the effectiveness of techniques for behavior modification.

Early behavioral researchers studied stimulus‚Äďresponse pairings, now known as¬†classical conditioning. They demonstrated that behaviors could be linked through repeated association with¬†stimuli¬†eliciting¬†pain¬†or¬†pleasure.¬†Ivan Pavlov known best for inducing dogs to salivate in the presence of a stimulus previous linked with food became a leading figure in the Soviet Union and inspired followers to use his methods on humans.¬†In the United States,¬†Edward Lee Thorndike¬†initiated ‘connectionism’ studies by trapping animals in ‘puzzle boxes’ and rewarding them for escaping. Thorndike wrote in 1911: ‘There can be no moral warrant for studying man’s nature unless the study will enable us to control his acts.'[footnoteRef:36]¬†From 1910‚Äď1913 the American Psychological Association went through a sea change of opinion, away from¬†mentalism¬†and towards ‘behaviorism’, and in 1913¬†John B. Watson¬†coined the term¬†behaviorism¬†for this school of thought.¬†Watson’s famous¬†Little Albert experiment¬†in 1920 demonstrated that repeated use of upsetting loud noises could instill¬†phobias¬†(aversions to other stimuli) in an infant human.¬†Karl Lashley, a close collaborator with Watson, examined biological manifestations of learning in the brain.[footnoteRef:37] [36: Leahey,¬†History of Modern Psychology¬†(2001), pp. 212‚Äď215.] [37: J.B. Watson & R. Rayner, ‘Conditioned emotional responses’,¬†Journal of Experimental Psychology3, 1920; in Hock,¬†Forty Studies¬†(2002), pp. 70‚Äď76.]

Embraced and extended by¬†Clark L. Hull,¬†Edwin Guthrie, and others, behaviorism became a widely used research paradigm.¬†A new method of ‘instrumental’ or ‘operant’ conditioning added the concepts of¬†reinforcement¬†and¬†punishment¬†to the model of behavior change.¬†Radical behaviorists¬†avoided discussing the inner workings of the mind, especially the unconscious mind, which they considered impossible to assess scientifically.¬†Operant conditioning was first described by Miller and Kanorski and popularized in the U.S. by¬†B.F. Skinner, who emerged as a leading intellectual of the behaviorist movement.

Noam Chomsky¬†delivered an influential critique of radical behaviorism on the grounds that it could not adequately explain the complex mental process of¬†language acquisition.¬†Martin Seligman¬†and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes (‘learned helplessness’) that opposed the predictions of behaviorism.[footnoteRef:38]¬†Skinner’s behaviorism did not die, perhaps in part because it generated successful practical applications.¬†Edward C. Tolman¬†advanced a hybrid ‘cognitive behavioral’ model, most notably with his 1948 publication discussing the¬†cognitive maps¬†used by rats to guess at the location of food at the end of a modified maize. [38: Overmier J.B.; Seligman M.E.P. (1967). ‘Effects of inescapable shock upon subsequent escape and avoidance responding’.¬†Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology.¬†63¬†(1): 28‚Äď33.¬†doi:10.1037/h0024166.¬†PMID¬†6029715.]

The¬†Association for Behavior Analysis International¬†was founded in 1974 and by 2003 had members from 42 countries. The field has been especially influential in Latin America, where it has a regional organization known as ALAMOC:¬†La Association Latino Americana de Analysis y Modification del Comportamiento. Behaviorism also gained a strong foothold in Japan, where it gave rise to the Japanese Society of Animal Psychology (1933), the Japanese Association of Special Education (1963), the Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research (1973), the Japanese Association for Behavior Therapy (1976), the Japanese Association for Behavior Analysis (1979), and the Japanese Association for Behavioral Science Research (1994).¬†Today the field of behaviorism is also commonly referred to as¬†behavior modification¬†or¬†behavior analysis.[footnoteRef:39] [39: Ruben Ardila, ‘Behavior Analysis in an International Context’, in Brock (ed.),¬†Internationalizing the History of Psychology¬†(2006).]


Psychoanalysis¬†comprises a method of investigating the mind and interpreting experience; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a form of psychotherapy to treat psychological or emotional distress, especially conflict originating in the¬†unconscious mind. This school of thought originated in the 1890s with Austrian medical doctors including¬†Josef Breuer¬†(physician),¬†Alfred Adler¬†(physician),¬†Otto Rank¬†(psychoanalyst), and most prominently¬†Sigmund Freud¬†(neurologist). Freud’s psychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods,¬†introspection¬†and clinical observations. It became very well known, largely because it tackled subjects such as¬†sexuality,¬†repression, and the unconscious. These subjects were largely taboo at the time, and Freud provided a catalyst for their open discussion in polite society.[49]¬†Clinically, Freud helped to pioneer the method of¬†free association¬†and a therapeutic interest in¬†dream interpretation.

Swiss psychiatrist¬†Carl Jung, influenced by Freud, elaborated a theory of the¬†collective unconscious a primordial force present in all humans, featuring¬†archetypes¬†which exerted a profound influence on the mind. Jung’s competing vision formed the basis for¬†analytical psychology, which later led to the¬†archetypal¬†and¬†process-oriented¬†schools. Other well-known psychoanalytic scholars of the mid-20th century include¬†Erik Erikson,¬†Melanie Klein,¬†D.W. Winnicott,¬†Karen Horney,¬†Erich Fromm,¬†John Bowlby, and Sigmund Freud’s daughter,¬†Anna Freud. Throughout the 20th century, psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought which could be called¬†Neo-Freudian. Among these schools are¬†ego psychology,¬†object relations, and¬†interpersonal,¬†Lacanian, and¬†relational psychoanalysis.

Psychologists such as¬†Hans Eysenck¬†and philosophers including¬†Karl Popper¬†criticized psychoanalysis. Popper argued that psychoanalysis had been misrepresented as a scientific discipline, [footnoteRef:40]¬†whereas Eysenck said that psychoanalytic tenets had been contradicted by¬†experimental¬†data. By the end of 20th century, psychology departments in¬†American universities¬†mostly marginalized Freudian theory, dismissing it as a ‘desiccated and dead’ historical artifact. H

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