Success can be attributed to various things – hard work, knowing the right people and even luck. Whatever success can be attributed to, there can be no denying that the feeling of being successful is one of the best out there. But, have you every stopped to think what is behind the motivation to be so successful? There are the obvious answers – personal and professional goals, a simple desire to be better – but is there also a deeper meaning at the root of the yearning?
Psychologist and neuroscientist Ian Robertson attributes this yearning to something called ‘the winner effect’, which he explains as a chemical reaction in the brain that registers how we feel when we win – more confident, more outgoing and generally happier. All of which are feelings that we want to replicate, creating an addiction to winning.
Winner Effect: a chemical reaction in the brain that registers how we feel when we win – more confident, more outgoing and generally happier.
Online gaming company Betway have compiled a useful infographic which looks further into the science behind the journey that we go through to try and be successful. This infographic highlights some key factors in our brains at this stage:
- An assessment of how competitive we should be
- An increase in testosterone levels which increases feelings of selfishness
- Recognising the link between behaviours and rewards to recreate positive feelings
- Dopamine feedback is used to imitate previous behaviours to win again
The below infographic covers this winner effect in more detail, highlighting the way in which our brains respond.