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October 31, 2018

The Winner Effect: How Our Brain Changes During A Competitive Journey

Competitive behaviour is something that we all will probably experience at some point in our lives. Whether it’s whilst playing a particularly challenging game, vying with a colleague for a work promotion or simply playing a sport with your friends. So, why is it that you can be accused of being too competitive? Competitiveness is not something that we can control ourselves; it’s something that our bodies take note of and respond to, but what causes the surge in emotion that we feel when partaking in a competitive activity? If this is something that you’ve wondered, then this article is for you – and even if it isn’t, you’ll probably be surprised behind the reasons why.

the winner effect infographic

Infographic Credit: Betway

The four stages towards success

Each time you embark on a competitive journey, your brain goes through stages to remember the result of the journey – success. Four main stages contribute to a ‘successful’ result. The first begins with a spike in testosterone levels, increasing hyperactive and more aggressive behaviour, which puts us in a competitive mood. This then sets off neurons which assess the risk versus reward of the competition to measure how intense the reaction should be to this. A reward network is then created, which links certain behaviours to rewards in a bid to replicate the successful feeling in the future. Finally, the behaviours that it takes to achieve a victory are remembered so that the successes can be achieved again.

Have a read of the infographic above to find out more.

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