Jimmy Butler’s Authoritarian Personality and Catharsis

Alex Kennedy

On Monday, November 12th, 2018, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded away Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless. This trade was a culmination of many different issues on conflicts within the Minnesota organization, all stemming from either the actions, or frustrations of Butler. From yelling at teammates, to his frustrations with the Timberwolves’ performance in the 2018 playoffs, Butler was never opposed to voicing his concerns and causing problems between he and his teammates. The main problems and roots of conflict found here in this situation are Jimmy Butler’s authoritarian personality as well his catharsis.



An authoritarian personality is defined as a personality type in which one has an obsession with respecting authorityand views people of outgroups as inferior. In the situation of Butler and the Timberwolves, he views himself as the authority figure. Someone who is authoritarian will often talk down unto someone of a separate group or, for the case of Jimmy Butler, people they view as lesser than them. Butler viewed his teammates as all lesser than them, specifically star center Karl-Anthony Towns and starting wing Andrew Wiggins. Towns and Wiggins were both first overall picks who came into this league with a sense of confidence from their peers due to their natural talents. Both were dominant college players who had everything handed to them in the NBA from massive contracts to immense fame. Everything that is, except for wins on the court. Butler was a very different tale. He was the 30th overall pick and had a lot to prove since not many fans knew him and even expert draft analysts such as Tyler Ingle were at best comparing him to an average role-player such as Wesley Matthews. This is why, as an authoritarian, he not only sees himself as superior but also views his teammate, Towns and Wiggins, as members of an outgroup. Wiggins and Towns have all of the God-given talent in the world and did not have to put in as much effort as Butler did to be in the situation they currently are. Jimmy Butler worked for every opportunity he got beginning on the Chicago Bulls. In his first season he only averaged 2.6 points per game in not even 9 minutes of play time. Towns on the other hand was averaging 18 points in 32 minutes per contest and the year before that, Wiggins was averaging almost 17 points in 36 minutes for his rookie campaign. Butler had to improve every year, to the point that he even won the 2014-2015 NBA Most Improved Player award and made his first All-Star team. Because of his insane work ethic due to the chip on his shoulder, Butler viewed himself as a superior player to his fellow Timberwolves.  They were members of an outgroup that he did not respect because they never had to put in as much effort as him. Rather than being handed his opportunities, Butler worked for every chance he ever received and successfully made a name for himself. These are the reasons why Butler developed and authoritarian personality.

Catharsis is defined as expressing one’s emotions with the intention of providing significant emotional relief. For some people, catharsis is not a destructive thing. For many people airing out their emotions can be a therapeutic experience for not just themselves but for those around them as well because they can come to an understanding of what a problem may be and work together in order to improve the situation. For the Minnesota Timberwolves, the catharsis of their star forward was nothing less than detrimental. This was not the first time that Jimmy Butler airing his grievances got him in trouble. Back in 2017 when he was still a member of the Chicago Bulls he was fined and benched for criticizing his teammates saying that they “don’t play hard all the time”. This is just one of the earliest examples of his catharsis causing tension between himself and the organization he played for. Things really came to a major conflict in the summer of 2018 after he had approached the organization and requested that he be traded. Mere minutes after voicing his request, an unnamed person approached him demanding that he still attend practice. Jimmy detailed this altercation on an episode of his teammate JJ Redick’s podcast on December 10th, 2018. He noted how after being told to attend practice he responded by sayingyou’re not going to tell me what I’m gonna do. If I choose to practice, I’ll choose to practice”. After a back-and-forth Jimmy eventually did end up attending practice but it quickly became one of the most infamous practices in the history of the NBA. At this practice, Jimmy barged in and quickly assembled a scrimmage game where he took the third string players of the Timberwolves onto his team and they went against the starters including Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague, and of course Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Butler’s team dominated this game even though Butler himself “only shot once”. Throughout this scrimmage Butler would repeatedly yell at and reprimand players of the other team and even at one point started proclaiming to their GM “you fucking need me” and “you can’t win without me”. He expressed an obscene amount of emotion and although it may have temporarily relieved his emotional tension, it only made the situation on the Timberwolves so much more tense. Jimmy Butler’s catharsis was a major reason as to why his tenure on the Timberwolves was controversial and short-lived. Had he not been such a hothead and kept himself under control he could have become a proper mentor to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and they could be a perennial team in the Western Conference.

            Before the trade on November 12th, the Timberwolves had a poor record of four wins and eight losses. Since then, they have improved to nine wins and six losses for a total record of 13 and 14, a record that has them just two games out of making the playoffs and will likely improve as the season goes on. This team has begun to work together better and perform as a unit. They did not add any players that are more talented than Jimmy Butler, but by adding roster pieces who are willing to work hard and cooperate with everyone, the Timberwolves are becoming a solid team that have to be respected whenever another team has to play against them. By simply removing an authoritarian personality that has a strong leaning towards embracing catharsis, the Minnesota Timberwolves are a better, and happier organization. As for Jimmy Butler, he’s doing well in Philadelphia and the team has been performing well with him on the roster. There are yet to be any incidents reported in Philadelphia so clearly his authoritarian personality and his catharsis have either not taken form in the City of Brotherly Love or he’s finally learned to calm down and play his role without insulting anyone or bringing them down.










Myers, D.G. (2015). Exploring Social Psychology: 8th Edition.


The JJ Redick Podcast [Audio blog interview]. (2018, December 10).


Weinstein, A. (2017, January 28). Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade benched, fined for remarks. Retrieved pppfrom http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/jimmy-butler-dwyane-wade-rajon-rondo-pppinappropriate-remarks-chicago-bulls/1cd98k1ymwc5813bqau0o894td


Wojnarowski, A. (2018, October 11). Jimmy Butler rips into Wolves front office, teammates during ppppractice. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/24950981/jimmy-butler-heated-ppppractice-timberwolves

Tumblr Soon to Ban all NSFW Content on its Platform

Out of all of the more recent news stories regarding media and the internet, the one that would probably have the biggest and most immediate effect on people would have to be what has recently happened in Tumblr, a very popular social media website. What was essentially an attempt to get rid of pedophiles and underage material is being turned into a complete purge of all pornographic and not save for work material on the website as well as the blogs that produce them. Virtually all social media platforms have measures that are taken in order to prevent such a thing, but Tumblr wend to a completely different level. Most people feel that this might have been a bit overkill for the issue compared to what other social media platforms do when encountering this type of problem. It was stated, from Jeff D’Onofrio the CEO of Tumblr, that the major pros and cons of the decision were closely looked at and it was decided that the ban was the best thing for the website to do for this specific issue. The goal, he said, was to help make a “better, more positive Tumblr” where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the vast number of artists and sex involved workers would be able to express themselves freely like the other users.  This way that Tumblr is dealing with the problem and threat of underage pornographic is in complete disregard of the many, many sex workers and artists who make a living easily because of the website. Because of the complete disregard to those who might be adult content creators and use Tumblr to help make a living for themselves, this act is completely discriminatory to these people. Those who are in charge of Tumblr are showing that they don’t actually care for a very large percentage of their site’s population by doing this sort of thing.

Along with the mass exodus of artists and sexual workers, a very large number of pedophiles are moving to different social media platforms, primarily Twitter. Many of them are attempting to change their labels by calling themselves minor attracted people (M.A.P.) and saying that they are non-contacts well as claiming that pedophilia is a valid sexuality. These people have even faked that members of the LGBT had added a P to represent pedophiles, but this was quickly shown to be a lie. This is a tactic that these people are using in order to be accepted to the in-group. They may believe that, if they are able to become part of the in-group, pedophilia might be normalized and thought of as a valid sexuality so that they can be left to their own devices with this sort of thing.


Tumblr to ban all adult content. (2018, December 8). Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/tumblr-ban-all-adult-content-n943226

Discrimination in the Georgia Primaries


The southern state of Georgia is a well known red state and has been known a such for quite a while. This affiliation simply means that the state is more likely to have a majority vote for the republican party. Typically when we think of a state being red or blue we think of this in terms of the electoral college which is the system that determines federal elections by taking into account the vote of an elected representative(s) from each state. This standing can also have an effect on the local elections within a state though, there are many states that have not seen a democrat in office for decades.  Georgia is one of these states, but Stacey Abrams sought to change this in November when she ran for Secretary of State against Brian Kemp this November. Unfortunately for her and for the Democrats of Georgia she did not win, but there are many people who are suspicious that discrimination, in group bias, and an authoritarian personality played factors in her loss. (Stracqualursi, 2018)

There are rumors of discrimination within the voter laws during this past election in Georgia. Discrimination is unjustified negative behavior toward a group or its members. While there is no direct proof of racial or gender profiling, there are some suspicious factors that play into this idea. Brian Kemp, who ran against Abrams in this election, very passionately worked to weed out voters by taking many voters off of the voter registery for “the crime of not voting enough”  says Joan Walsh. (Walsh,  2018) He was also reported to fight to get may absentee ballots invalidated if they were not completely identical to their signature on record. While this sounds reasonable many voters were invalidated by simply a missing initial or hyphen in their name. Discrimination is seen in this situation in an unusual way, instead of discriminating by race or national origin- though it could be argued that those with foreign names could be easily taken off the roster due to misspellings- there was discrimination based on things like frequency of voting. New voters or different voters were discriminated against by having their rights taken away simply because they did something different. For clarification “ingroup “Us”—a group of people who share a sense of belonging, a feeling of common identity.” The ingroup in this situation could be the typical voter. Someone who votes in almost every election and votes in person. This is not only the person who a politician already in office would most likely relate to, but it is also the group that most likely voted for him in the last election. These are his people so under the guise of protecting their rights he can reasonably take people off of the voter registry that are in the out group, maybe they are new to voting or only vote when someone they particularly like is running. This would not only make them a threat to his campaign, but also something that he neither relates to or understand garnering them no sympathy when it comes time to decide how best to judge absentee ballots.

Authoritarian Personality is another theory that could have played a part in Abrams’ loss this November. Authoritarian personality is a personality that is disposed to favor obedience to authority and intolerance of outgroups and those lower in status. Because Kemp was already in a position of power and had a majority of votes without the inclusion of absentee ballots he had an aura of authority over Abrams. This led to his opinion about how absentee ballots should be weighed being taken more seriously and therefore taking precedent over hers. This shows the dangers of authoritarian personality in politics- if a personality is too authoritative then its ideas may overshadow those with a more reasonable approach. Just because Kemp was in a position of authority did not give him the right to take voters off the registry, but because of his position he commanded respect and obedience. Whereas Abrams who could have changed the game for voting rights in Georgia went unheard. Even when she backed another candidate who had less authority than her, their voices combined could not overwhelm that of Kemp. Kemp also had the power of the law behind him, those with Authoritarian Personality have a great respect for rule following as well as authority. Though the Georgia court had ruled to allow voters to send in absentee ballots despite their signatures not corresponding with those on record, Kemp had such a firm respect for the pre established rules that this did not strike him as correct therefore he fought even harder to change this. This shows Authoritarian personality because of his need to abide by the rules as well as his need for respect due to his position of authority.



Stracqualursi, V. (2018, November 07). Stacey Abrams refuses to concede Georgia governor’s race, hoping for runoff. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/politics/georgia-governors-race-stacey-abrams/index.html

Walsh, J. (2018, December 05). Georgia Voters Lose Out on a Secretary of State Who Would Have Protected Their Voting Rights. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.thenation.com/article/georgia-voting-stacey-abrams-john-barrow/

Myers, D. G., & Twenge, J. M. (2018). Exploring social psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

-Isabelle Murphy










Effects of Providing Support via Social Media Platforms -Blog II

In the weeks since my last blog post, Dr. Gosnell and I have made several amendments to our original research plan. Currently, much of our time has been focused on a study we began in the Spring of 2018 which focused on the effects of interpersonal experience. During the “in lab” portion of this study two participants are invited to take an online survey assessing the participants initial mood. After the survey, the participants take part in two interactive conversations. The first conversation focuses on an impersonal topic, and the participants are expected to maintain the conversation for three minutes. The second conversation requires one of the participants to share a personal experience and for the second participant to relate to their partner, offering support or asking follow up questions. This conversation is then coded based upon the participant’s conversation; their world count, word choice and general participation are all accounted for.

This study serves as a basis for our Spring 2019 study. We are currently proposing a study based on the effects of support provision via social media, specifically Facebook. Similarly to our Spring & Fall study, students will have the opportunity to provide support “in the moment.” Where the new project differs is its focus on memory and retention of prior support that is both shared and received. Facebook, in addition to other social media, serves as an archive of shared information. Ultimately, Facebook serves as a sort of repository for information sharing and the exchange of support. This will allow us to track the effects of provisional support over a period of time, rather than just assessing the support provided during one, hypothetical conversation.

Dr. Gosnell and I communicate each day via email, meeting in person every few weeks to discuss progress made on the IRB proposal. This coming January Dr. Gosnell and I will meet weekly to narrow the focus of our study and enumerate the in-lab portion of the study. Thus far, communication has been one of the most necessary steps in making continuous progress in this study. We plan to continue to revitalize this study to incorporate any additional stimulus, while narrowing the scope to allow for the most accurate and concentrated area of study.

Winter Nationals Are Coming

USA Swimming announced in March that Winter Nationals would take place from November 28th to December 1st in Greensboro, North Carolina (2018 Winter). The meet will be swum long course meters instead of short course yards in order to let the maximum amount of swimmers gain a chance to reach a 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut. This is very different than most years at Nationals because previously Winter Nationals was not supposed to count towards Olympic Trial qualifications. Winter National is a long course meters’ event twice before, once in 2011 and again in 2015 (2018 Winter). Winter Nationals marks the opening of the qualifying period for Olympic Trials in 2020, the dates are still to be determined but will again take place in Omaha, Nebraska (2018 Winter). This is considered a big meet for any swimmer trying to get a head start on getting a trials cut from ages 15 and over, and a lot comes with this meet such as stress, lack of sleep and pushing their bodies to the limit, it is highly competitive.

When looking at the articles being written about the up and coming swimmers as well as the more well-known swimmers there is a common theme in the articles written. Those who are writing the articles are guilty of confirmation bias as well as availability heuristic, confirmation bias can be defined as the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of ones existing beliefs or theories (Confirmation bias).

Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inference toward confirmation of the idea being looked at. It actively has the decision maker seek out and assign evidence that confirms their ideas and ignore evidence that could disprove their idea (Confirmation bias). While looking at Winter Nationals the writers of many articles use confirmation bias to speak about swimmers who have been around longer verse the up and coming swimmers; such as, in swimswam.com it speaks about how Katie Ledecky is going to make a splash at Nationals because that’s what they believe but Destin Lasco is portrayed as a questionable racer for the meet (5 Storylines). These beliefs are because people truly believe in Ledecky due to her long lasting career in the swim industry unlike Lasco who only joined a couple years ago. The writer also does not put any rebuttal or questioning when it comes to Ledecky versus Lasco where the tone is very different (5 Storylines).

Availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on the immediate examples of a situation that come to mind when looking at a topic, decision or concept (Cherry, K). The way availability heuristic works is that if something can be recalled then it must be important or at least more important than the alternative solutions or judgments. Under the availability heuristic people tend to heavily weigh their judgments towards more recent information making new opinions biased towards the latest news (Cherry, K). We can see this again when looking at articles written about Winter Nationals, many people are talking about the swimmers who did very well at the last Olympics instead of speaking about swimmers who are up and coming who are very obviously going to demolish the competition. This is because in many people’s minds they only remember the big names like Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, when really there are many more talented swimmers competing at this meet (5 Storylines).

Confirmation bias and availability heuristic are very prominent within the swimming industry and many other sports, due to Nationals being this week it has become more prominent on what the effects of these terms really have on how the swimmers will do. Confirmation bias can affect the athlete’s heads and truly change from getting a cut time to losing the race, this is because when confirmation bias occurs an athlete will begin to believe what is being said about them and will do better or worse based on what is said. An example outside of swimming would be giving a math test if you say that girls usually do worse than boys, the girls are actually less likely to do well (Confirmation bias). Availability heuristic works very closely with confirmation bias working against most up and coming swimmers, since these swimmers have no preconceived ideas written about them there is more room to question their abilities verse an Olympic swimmer who has won gold medals. Overall these two terms create a unique situation for the swimmers going to Winter Nationals this year. The question is, will they prove the bias to be right or will they fight against these ideas and do well? We shall see!



2018 Winter Nationals Will Be in Greensboro (in Long Course). (2018, September 25). Retrieved from https://swimswam.com/2018-winter-nationals-will-be-in-greensboro-in-long-course/

5 Storylines To Watch At the 2018 U.S. Winter Nationals. (2018, November 28). Retrieved from https://swimswam.com/5-storylines-to-watch-at-the-2018-u-s-winter-nationals/

Cherry, K. (n.d.). How the Availability Heuristic Affects Your Decision-Making. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/availability-heuristic-2794824

Confirmation bias. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/confirmation_bias.htm

The importance of Gender Identity and the ramifications of misrepresenting them forcibly.

David Ipavich (primary author)
Isabelle Murphy
Samantha Delgrosso
Blog Post 2
October 29, 2018

As of mid-October, the trump administration has taken an alarming stance on the transgender community. As reported by the New York Times, by redefining scientifically accepted beliefs about gender fluidity, they intend to make the ability to refer to ones’ gender identity as transgender impossible, and the self-identifying as anything other than the sex you were determined as at birth unlawful. This blatant infringement of American citizens’ rights to free speech, protection from discrimination, and freedom of expression are egregious enough as is, yet this pales in comparison to the psychological harm that will come from Trumps inaccurate misrepresentation of these people’s genders. Gender is the collection of characteristics we associate a person with given their sex, this means that while one’s sex is uniform, and may be defined by genitalia and hormones, gender is a construct, an artificial boundary created through ideology, rather than biology, and that as humans, we define what is stereotypically male and female. Through millennia of growth we have defined what is and isn’t acceptable of people to do and say given their sex, creating gender norms that people fear breaking. These norms are needless restrictions on people, and are oppressive to all people, and their abilities to express themselves and how they feel, which is an important part of life that we as a society are finally exploring after years of scrutiny. The way in which one wishes to express their gender is part of their own unique identity, and scientifically proven to be unrelated to mental illness or psychological trauma, and in many cases, is a disposition the person in question developed or was born with naturally. There are innumerable cases in which a person’s gender identity strongly reflects the norms of the opposite sex, and in these cases, we see many people seeking professional aid in the process of transitioning into the opposite sex. This provides incredible relief and freedom to the individual, and allows true and honest self-expression of a person and of their emotions. Professor D. Swaab’s autopsies on the cadavers of deceased transgendered women showed that their BNST (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis), a crucial structure in the brain which aids in the prompting of sexual behavior, resembled that of ciswomen, rather than that of cisgender men. These findings would later be corroborated by Professor Julie Bakker, of the VU University Medical Center, in a study where the brain activity of specific portions of the brain were studied and recorded separately during a special reasoning test. During these tests different sections of men and women’s brains were primarily active, however when the men who had transitioned, or were in the process of transitioning to the female sex, their brain activity closely resembled that of the cisgender women, not that of the men. This proves that it is not simply a choice one makes, or the upbringing of a given person, but the disposition they are born with, or develop naturally given the structure of their brain at birth.
President Donald Trump’s leadership style is one without compromise. His radically conservative ideas and lack of filter create very polarized and aggressive policies which often ignore the opinions and needs of many individuals in the name of protecting the collective. This greatly entices those who support his views, while further angering those who refute his positions. This is why Trump embodies an incredible transformational leadership; those in favor in his ideals wish to peddle his policies for the sake of longstanding and religious views, while those against him wish to consider the progressive new ideas that science and society have begun accepting as fact. Transformational leadership is the result of our most charismatic leaders, who through their policies, speeches and propaganda, gets a rise to action from their citizens. While many transformational leaders encourage change by inspiring their citizens, Trump inspires change by justifying close minded and selfish viewpoints. This specific issue is no different; for years people have viewed the self-identification as transgendered as a symptom of mental illness, or as some sinful act, and despite the scientific proof refuting this, and the success the process of transitioning has had, he continues to push for the suppressing of the rights of private citizens with no concern for the effects suppressing their identity, gender, and true sex, will surely have.

By Erica L. Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear. ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html : The New York Times; 2018

Mike Colagrossi. Transgender brains more closely resemble brains of the sex they align with, rather than what they were born with.
https://bigthink.com/community/mike-colagrossi : Big Think; 2018



After a decade at Fox News, Megyn Kelly was lured by a contract estimated to be worth $20 million per year and the show was debuted in September of 2017. Many articles were talking about the Megyn Kelly issue that was on national television at the end of October. I picked the article from Cosmopolitan titled “[UPDATED] Megyn Kelly’s Show ‘Today’ Has Been Canceled After Blackface Comments.” Kelly was the former host of NBC Today show, she recently got fired by defending blackface Halloween costumes. It had caused massive backlash that led to her to apologize for her comments the next day. It all started as a discussion about a proposed ban of offensive Halloween costumes. To that discussion topic she said, “isn’t the whole purpose of Halloween to dress up and pretend your something other than yourself.”These commentaries were made on national television which embarrassed herself and probably others. During the round table discussion with other people Megyn had a lack of self-awareness because she mentions the blackface Halloween and how she doesn’t see anything wrong about she is saying. She should be more aware on what she says while being video tapped because there is supposed to be an increase of self-control, and their actions more clearly reflect their attitudes.It might not have such an effect on her since she has been on television for so long that she censors things less and she is more comfortable around the cameras. What is racist?” she said. “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character.” She acted like everything that she was talking about was completely normal and it was just like any other regular topic. She also kept defending and making excuses on her end for a discussion that turned into more than it was actually supposed to be.

We humans want to evaluate our opinions and abilities by comparing our views with others and this is social comparison. Megyn has a poor sense of social comparison because she sounded like she wasn’t thinking about her replies to others it just came out without hesitation. “I’ve never been a ‘pc’ kind of person but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age,” she said in an email to her colleagues. By how she wrote the email, it sounds a bit sarcastic and still stands by her beliefs. After the fact that everything went down she realized she needed to apologize on television which is always a point from the viewers perspective if you are meant to believe it or not. Although we think that she has a poor sense of social comparison, her inner circle might have the same beliefs or on the same page as her. So, I think she believed that everyone else that she was talking to had her same viewpoint. If she talked to her colleagues beforehand about the topic she would’ve knew that what she was saying was wrong and would not have made the mistake on saying it.

With everything you have to be aware of what you are saying around people because at the end of the day it can disrespect someone. From what Megyn Kelly did, it cost her job and future in which this is a lesson to learn if others are in this situation because you have to make sure everyone is on the same page as you before you say anything. Everyone has diverse viewpoints. 


Baty, E. (2018, October 26). [UPDATED] Megyn Kelly’s Show ‘Today’ Has Been Canceled After Blackface Comments. Retrieved from https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a24112684/megyn-kelly-blackface/



Khabib’s Aggression vs McGregor’s Social Comparison

Aggression is a very common behavior to have in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or otherwise known as UFC. Aggression is the physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone, not only in the ring but also outside of it, and we as spectators see the aggression build up before the match and sometimes even after. There are also different types of aggression such as Emotional aggression which refers to aggression with small amount of forethought or intent and that is determined primarily by impulsive emotions (Stangor, 2014). Another example would be instrumental or cognitive aggression this is the intentional and planned aggression (Stangor, 2014). Social comparison is also a very common behavior to see in the UFC. Social comparison is when an individual evaluates one’s abilities and opinions by comparing oneself to others (Social Comparison). It is important in this type of sport to look at your opponent and compare oneself to them. By doing this the athletes are able to use their strengths to attempt to beat their competitor’s weaknesses.

This year all eyes were locked in on October 6th when Conor McGregor was getting ready to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov (MMA, 2018). As many know McGregor is perceived as having very high self-confidence and made it very clear he “knew” he was going to win this fight, Khabib on the other hand was seen as the underdog. There was a lot of aggression building up to this fight. Verbally, McGregor made multiple announcements about how he knew he would win (Official, 2018). Khabib was able to use social comparison to understand why he was going to be the true winner. Khabib started wrestling at a very young age and knew that McGregor didn’t have the same advantages or talents in the wrestling aspect of fighting (Official, 2018). Khabib was able to use this advantage in the fight to take control and win. The ability to size up your competition and then view your own abilities is a key aspect when trying to win in the UFC.

Aggression is seen throughout the UFC during fights but after the actual competition is when the aggression became even more prominent, it no longer became about the sport but about the athletes own personal aggression. After Khabib had won against McGregor, Khabib jumped out of the ring and kicked one of McGregor’s trainers in the face to celebrate his win (Official, 2018). This is a very obvious example of physical aggression. There were also many instances in this match where verbally abusive and aggressive behavior was used as well.

In this match there are many prime examples of verbal and physical aggression; from McGregor verbally telling the world he was going to beat Khabib, to Khabib kicking one of McGregor’s trainers in the face after his victory. Social comparison made a large impact on the results of this match as well, in the instance of McGregor, he was unable to accurately compare himself to Khabib which resulted in his loss. Khabib, on the other hand, was able to view his own abilities and McGregor’s and make an accurate comparison. Khabib then used his own strengths to fight McGregor’s weaknesses and win the match.

This type of behavior is unsportsmanlike and should be discouraged, as of October 2018 there was disciplinary action taken and it was announced that both fighters received a suspension for ten days and half of Khabib’s payout be released and appear for a hearing in December (MMA, 2018). It is important that poor and unsportsmanlike behavior be called-out and offenders are held accountable. The sports world in general, needs to be a role model for society and for the youth of society to take part in sports that are ethical and have boundaries.

-Leigha Kosakowski


MMA Fighting Newswire. (2018, October 07). Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor full fight video highlights. Retrieved from https://www.mmafighting.com/2018/10/7/17946604/khabib-nurmagomedov-vs-conor-mcgregor-full-fight-video-highlights-ufc-229’

Official, W. (2018, October 18). Khabib Vc Conor McGregor Highlights. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmzMPcdmnQI.

Social Comparison Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/social-comparison-theory

Stangor, C. (2014, September 26). Principles of Social Psychology – 1st International Edition. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/defining-aggression/

You Know How You Feel About Nike… Have You Ever Thought of Why?

Have you ever been to a Super Bowl party or been in a bar when rival teams are squaring off? Have you ever been to Boston and worn Yankee apparel? I strongly suggest you don’t do the latter if you’re not secure with yourself. Part of America’s charming culture is its indelible connection to athletics and the passion people have when partaking. Journalist Kim Ann Zimmerman wrote, “The United States is a sports-minded country… football has eclipsed the poll in America’s favorite pastime.” Being such an essential part to so many people’s lives, athletics can enact certain social psychological behavior without the mass majority realizing.

Recently there has been uproar, both positive and negative, about the Colin Kaepernick Nike ad. Colin Kaepernick was stripped of his football career after protesting police violence on black Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. Across America millions took offense and started protesting the NFL for “allowing” him to do that. It ended in the NFL enforcing their players stand, Colin Kaepernick getting fired from the 49ers, and no other team extending an offer. Since then, the issue had mostly been quiet until Nike hired Kaepernick to be the face of their new television ad.

Fundamental Attribution Error is common place in society. We attribute characteristics to something based off of our perspective on the subject without factoring in the past or situational circumstance. This situation with Nike has newly awoken both the people who were angered at the kneeling and those who supported him. Enraged people are attributing characteristics to the Nike brand that aren’t necessarily there making them act in ways of dissent. At first, this made Nike’s stock drop a bit until people who supported the movement went out and started buying. As more people dissented the ad, more videos of sneaker burning and Nike cursing were posted. Protesters against Nike were cutting the checks off of their socks, burning their sneakers, and posting things on line degrading the brand of Nike because they attributed ignorance and disloyalty that went against their morals to the brand. They are fundamentally attributing ignorance and unpatriotic behavior to the Nike Brand. It is evident their use of fundamental attribution error when they say how Nike is choosing Colin Kaepernick’s “side” and disrespecting America. The dissenters “stand with their country” unlike the brand of Nike who is “forcing them to choose between their favorite brand and their country”. They are attributing what themselves and other people who agree with them as moral people and true Americans. The people who dissent attribute disloyalty and hatred for our country to the brand of Nike and act according to their rage due to this attribution. It is more comfortable for people to attribute something to a person’s trait rather than their situational influences because that means we could possibly act in such a way. (Dr. Joel Frederickson and Zachariah Berry, 2015, p.47). Their identity as unproblematic patriot may be challenged which can cause severe anxiety they would rather avoid. Jimmy Kimmel even had a skit dedicated to it on his talk show where he reenacted actual angered peoples.


Doctoral student Zachariah Berry and Dr. Joel Frederickson from Bethel University wrote an article to explain this fundamental attribution error. The write about and discuss the explanations for its place in society and the implications it can have. One explanation is people comfortability with categorizing and separating from themselves because they would feel anxiety if they think about it situationally. What struck me as particularly interesting was an implication in their report of fundamental attribution error affecting moral development and judgement. Berry explains, “We tend to rely first on our intuitions when making a judgment of a situation… information received regarding an event, however, may be corrupt when committing the FAE. In situations where the behavior observed requires a moral judgment, committing the FAE may cause us to form moral judgments using inaccurate information…” (p.52-53). This is exactly what is going on in most cases with the Kaepernick backlash. Certain citizens feel Nike is against their morals and acting in unfavorable behavior based on inaccurate information therefore leading to the fundamental attribution that Nike hates America and believes you shouldn’t stand when hearing the national anthem.

The ability to fundamentally attribute characteristics incorrectly is available in all human beings. According to Berry, this is the innate way people make judgements. We want to automatically categorize which leads to insufficient reasoning.  Is Nike an America hating, flag burning company? Most likely, not. Their message was “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike always serves to inspire through athletics in all of their “Just Do It” ad campaigns. In 2002, Nike won an Emmy for their ad that year showcasing amateur and professional athletes in a moving video with gracious and beautiful motions that would bring tears to any sport participator’s eyes. The brand is about inspiration, not hatred for America.



·       Dr. Joel Frederickson and Zachariah Berry. “Explanations and Implications of the Fundamental Attribution Error: A Review and Proposal.” Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015, pp. 44–57.

·       Harris, S. J. (2018, September 04). Reactions to Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad range from applause to burning shoes. Retrieved from http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/colin-kaepernick-nike-advertisement-reactions-burning-shoes-social-media/fzb4dh8x6bpr1nqv3wph15bb7


“The Difficult Journey of Women in Medicine”

The medical field is full of highly-skilled and demanding occupations that require strong mental health and acuity. Using social psychological concepts we can understand that this requirement for women, in a profession that’s predominantly made up of and tailored for men, needs extra strength and resilience. All newly-minted doctors have a significant amount of depression and anxiety due to the demanding and exhaustive work they do, but according to JAMA Internal Medicine it is far more difficult and present in women (Khullar).

One of the reasons behind this is that a woman, even though a medical professional, still shoulders the majority of household duties. Still fulfilling gender and societal norms women endure a work-home conflict that their male colleagues don’t experience. The medical field today promotes equal opportunity by law, but the institution, even though not driven by prejudices, exhibits sexism within the institutionalized practices that subordinate women (Myers, 254). Arguments for this is in the article by Dhruv Khullar. She states that little has changed in medical training procedures. Its reminiscent of days passed when almost all residents were men with few household duties. “Support for those trying to balance home and work life hasn’t kept pace with changing demographics, nor has the division of domestic labor shifted to reflect the rise of women in the medical work force. “(Khullar). The trend of accepting of women in the medical field has drastically changed, but unfortunately gender attitudes towards women have done little to support their personal lives which in turn affect their professional lives.

Our next reason and concept is implicit prejudices that usually occur automatically from preconceived notions about women. On many occasions in the article women are subjected as in-subordinates, not only by their male colleagues, but by patients alike. Women doctors who acknowledge their male counterparts formally don’t receive the same acknowledgement or aren’t called by their titles. Even women doctors who lead panels and studies with male counterparts are often referred to by their first name. Furthermore, women doctors in full medical assemble (white lab coat, professional attire, etc.) are called nurses or assumed to be medical assistants by patients. Another strong example of the implicit biases towards women was detailed by Heather Sarsons, Ph.D. who did a study to find out if surgeons’ gender affects their referrals after a good or bad patient outcome:

Ms. Sarsons finds that physicians are much less likely to refer patients to a female surgeon after a patient death, but barely change their referrals to a male surgeon. A bad experience with one female surgeon also makes physicians less likely to establish referral relationships with other female surgeons. There was no similar effect for men. (Khullar)

Not only does this show a prime example of implicit prejudices towards women but gives light to the fact that prejudices tend to over-generalize groups of people with stereotypes.

More than a third of medical physicians are women compared to just 7% of women back in the 1960s (Khullar). The opportunity in our time and day are abundant and encouraged for women, but the medical field was designed for men and remains implicitly and even possibly explicitly sexist towards women. We have to evaluate every action and policy to balance the odds, generate awareness, and create a supportive and enriching journey for women doctors everywhere. -FRANK JAMES CASILLAS III

Khullar, Dhruv. (2017, Dec 7). Being a Doctor Is Hard. It’s Harder for Women. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/upshot/being-a-doctor-is-hard-its-harder-for-women.html

Myers, D. G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology (Seventh Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.