Doping, Bad Referees And More: 9 Weird Things Psychology Explains About Sports

There’s no denying that psychology is a huge part of sports. Indeed, it sometimes seems as though athletes, spectators, and even referees are just pawns in a giant psychological experiment. Here are nine common actions from players and fans alike that, although odd on the face of it, actually have a legitimate explanation from sports psychology.

1. Why you can’t ditch that lucky baseball cap

Sports Psychology Superstition

Image Source: Wikipedia (en)

In sports, psychologist B.F. Skinner’s operative conditioning has its own name – superstitious conditioning. It sounds fancy, but the term can be seen in action any time an enthusiastic sports fan insists on wearing their “lucky” hat for a game, refuses to wash a jersey after it’s been worn during a win, and so on.

However misguided, the thinking behind such actions is dictated by a past event, wherein the clothing item is associated with a particularly consequential outcome such as winning or losing a game.

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60 U.S. Penis Transplants Set To Happen Soon

Penis Transplant

Image Source: Pixabay

Sixty wounded veterans are in line for the first round of an experimental penis transplant procedure at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. The operations haven’t yet been scheduled, but they are already stirring up both medical and ethical debates.

The number of people dying in war has been decreasing since World War II. Part of that is due to a drop in the number of international wars, as well as advances in medicine that allow people to survive injuries that would have been fatal in the past.

While people are surviving more grave injuries, however, they are still losing parts of their body that have been damaged in those once-fatal injuries — including the penis.

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What We Loved This Week, Mar. 13 – 19

The witch doctors of Sierra Leone, tiny structures built by insects, Texas’ female gun owners, European border photography, history’s most famous betrayals.

Witch Doctors Sierra Leone Teeth

Image Source: VICE

Spending A Week With The Witch Doctors Of Sierra Leone

Witch Doctors Sierra Leone

Image Source: VICE

When an American thinks of a physician, images of stethoscopes and syringes often come to mind. In Sierra Leone, at least among self-proclaimed witch doctors, things are a bit different. These unconventional medics often use black magic and herbal medicines to cure the sick, and claim that they can curse or even kill their enemies.

Intrigued by their practices, a VICE reporter went down to Sierra Leone to visit these doctors, all of whom are members of the National Council of Traditional Healers, and learn more about their craft. Check out her photographic documentation of the trip at VICE.

Witch Doctors Sierra Leone Pointing

Image Source: VICE

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