The Winner Effect

Exploring the neuroscience of success and failure

A New Pharaoh and the Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff conflict may annoy us but democratic checks and balances act as antidotes to the inevitable effects of power on leaders' brains. Unfettered power's neurological effects include reduced self-awareness as well as a loss of judgment, narcissism and a belief in one's indispensability. Egypt's President Morsi is at risk of this illness. Read More


This is really fascinating to me. Can you speak to what is known about causality and predisposition? For instance, has it been proven that the brain actually changes, or just that this brain activity is associated with power, and therefore people with this type of physiology are more likely to seek positions of power and are perhaps exacerbated by it? I also wonder if narcissists (with or without real power) actually simulate a bit of this condition in their brains by simply thinking they are invincible and all powerful, even raging to restore their sense of power? Sorry for all of the questions, just very intrigued by the topic.

Thanks for the great blog!

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Ian Robertson, Ph.D., the author of The Winner Effect, holds the Chair in Psychology at Trinity College Dublin.


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