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They crack under the pressure. But the authors make it clear that your biology doesn't determine your destiny. Some of the findings in the book feel wildly counterintuitive.

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For example, Bronson and Merryman point out that competition is not necessarily divisive because participants mutually agree to follow the same set of rules. And because it "uncouples the delta brainwaves of emotion from the beta brainwaves of cognitive thought," testosterone actually makes you a more rational competitor. Perhaps most surprisingly, "Top Dog" describes how positive thinking can be detrimental to an athlete's performance. The better technique, Bronson and Merryman say, is to review your past performances in terms of "additive counterfactuals.

Competition, "Top Dog" reminds us, has been bringing out the best in humans for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks believed that only through competition could one achieve aretas - a supreme state of physical and moral virtue. Later, the book describes how competition, through the concept of paragone - "placing creative endeavors right next to one another, in a head-to-head competition" - drove Renaissance masters.

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The book is filled with colorful trivia and anecdotes. You'll sample - or gape in terror at - a set of math problems from a Taiwanese 10th-grade admission test. You'll understand why Honus Wagner's fearlessness on the base paths tells you something about his birth order.

And you'll learn how FedEx, on the eve of its collapse, was saved by a hot streak at a Las Vegas blackjack table. But perhaps the most important aspect of "Top Dog" is the way it defuses stereotypes about women and competition. It's baseball, the SAT, sales contests, and Linux.


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How before da Vinci and FedEx were innovators, first, they were great competitors. It's in briefcases of Wall Street traders and Madison Avenue madmen.

Risk takers from Silicon Valley to Vegas race to implement its ideas, as educators debate it in halls of academia. Now see for yourself what this game-changing talk is all about. Place a Hold You must be logged in first.

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Pickup at. The information below is included in your interlibrary loan request. Competition is often the key to outstanding achievement.

But what is it that makes the difference between rising to the challenge and buckling under pressure? Using groundbreaking studies in diverse scientific fields, Bronson and Merryman demonstrate that understanding how to harness our competitive fire means we can perform our best — whether the contest is sporting, academic or in the workplace. Why do some less talented students consistently outperform their smarter class mates in crucial exams?

Why do higher levels of testosterone actually make you less selfish and more cooperative and cognitively astute?

Top Dog, The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson | | Booktopia

Why do so many market-leading companies cede their top position because they become risk averse at the wrong times? The answer to all this and more is in New York Times no. I am not convinced. To oversimplify: the authors of this book divide people into two groups, each with two subgroups.