Weinberg & Gould (2007) and Jarvis (2006) propose the idea that the psychological instinct theory is a concept of aggression that is based on the genetic pre-disposition of athletes to exhibit aggression behaviour. Cox (1998) states that this theory was researched by Sigmund Freud (1950) who suggests that aggression is an innate behaviour, as opposed to a learnt behaviour, that is an instinctive drive essential for survival. Gadsdon (2001) introduces the idea of Freud’s theory and its popularity in the twentieth century. Gadsdon (2001) continues that Freud (1950) suggests the existence of a death instinct, Thanatos, which motivates people towards self-destruction. In conflict with this is the life instinct, Eros. As a result of the two conflicting instincts, the aggressive energy created needs to be resolved consequently it is turned outwards onto others. Gadsdon (2001) states that Freud’s research was supported by Lorenz (1974) who agreed that aggression was innate but argued that this is only triggered by specific environmental stimuli. Jarvis (2006) continues that aggression can be released through competing in sport as it is cathartic; therefore instinct theory states that aggression is reduced within society.
Frustration-aggression is another theory behind aggression. Kamlesh (2011) suggests that aggression is a general consequence of frustration. Sanderson (2010) suggests that in frustration-aggression theory all aggression is caused by frustration and all frustration leads to a craving to aggress. Sanderson (2010) continues that aggression caused by frustration leads to an aggressive desire towards the object of the frustration, in sporting terms this is often regarding other players, managers or officials. When the object of frustration is unavailable, any aggression is transferred to other available people or objects, this is known as displacement. Jarvis (2006) suggests that frustration builds up when a route to a goal is blocked. If catharsis does not occur then an overload of frustration leads to aggression. Kamlesh (2011) stresses that the frustration-aggression theory is down to environmental stimuli and for aggression to continually occur; cues that facilitate aggression must be present. An example of this theory is a football player who is repeatedly and unfairly being called offside by the officials. This is blocking the player’s route to goal, for the team to score a goal, resulting in frustration. If presented with an opportunity the frustration may lead to an aggressive act by the player to act as catharsis.