Top Dog. The science of winning & losing
Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman. Ebury Press. €12.99
Po Bronson , Ashley Merriman
Sub-titled The science of winning and losing , this is a book about how to harness your competitive fire to perform to the best of your abilities, whether that is in sporting, academic or workplace environment.
Bronson and Merriman say research proves that most of us do improve our performance in competition as it spurs motivation either because we want to win or because we don’t want to come at the bottom. Competition also increases creative motivation.
While society upholds the idea that creative genius is most prolific when it’s untainted by outside forces such as deadline or rewards, the authors argue that competition facilitates creative output by supplying motivational drive.
Competition also teaches people to be comfortable with conflict and opposition, which is a necessary building block for developing the creative psyche.
Women choose to compete less than men, not because men are bigger risk-takers per se, but because men tend to be overconfident of their abilities and are thus blind to some of the risk. This gets men into more contests but it doesn’t necessarily make them win.