In the article, Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports, Tubby Smith argues that the fans at high school sports events should calm down on their “taunts and foul language.” He believes that the fans at these events are using language that is too profane for these games, and that the fans have to be more civil in their chanting and rooting for their team. Based on the article, Smith has many biases about the profanity of the fans of high school sports, including the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis and the Fundamental Attribution Error.
The Defensive Attribution Hypothesis is a bias that puts more blame on the harm-doer as the outcomes of certain events become more severe. In the article, Smith shows this bias. Tubby Smith is putting a lot of blame on the fans at these events. He believes that the fans are screaming profane language towards the opposing team many times throughout the course of the game. His belief is that these exclaims of profane language is causing violence within these high school games. Smith has seen an increase in the number of altercations between high school teams, and he thinks this is happening because fans are screaming foul language at the opposing team, even though this might not be the real reason. The reader can see through this example that Tubby Smith shows that he is biased against fans who shout bad language at high school games.
The Fundamental Attribution Error is a bias when a person over-emphasizes personality-based explanations for behaviors while underestimating situational influences. The reader can see that Tubby Smith shows this type of bias. Smith believes that the people attending the game are “potty-mouths.” He argues that this group of people is influencing the violence on the field since these people are the ones who are screaming the inappropriate language at the games. However, Smith under-emphasizes the fact that the game itself could influence the responses of the fans. These games are very important to the student-athletes and sometimes the parents who are in the stands, and the intensity and importance of the game could cause a parent to yell foul language unintentionally. Tubby Smith does not mention this explanation, making him under the umbrella of the Fundamental Attribution Error.
Tubby Smith, in his article Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports, shows the biases of the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis and the Fundamental Attribution Error. After looking through the biases that are present in this article, it appears that the biases of Tubby Smith decrease the strength of his argument. Not all biases are negative, but in this case, Smith’s biases make the reader believe that Smith has a strong opinion towards calming down the profanity of fans at high school sports but that he does not have a strong argument to support his opinion. The biases shown in this editorial, and biases in any article, have an effect on the argument of the writer.
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