Essential Reads

Does Testosterone Really Just Make Men Aggressive?

The conventional wisdom about testosterone is that it drives aggressiveness and competition. But new research reveals that social rank is also important.

Social-Emotional Development in a Hyper-Competitive Age

Our current political situation is a logical conclusion of many years of celebrating competition and success that are achieved at the expense of others.

Great Performers Are Born AND Made

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Different pursuits have specific neurological, physiological, and musculoskeletal requirements and if you're not born with those, all of the training in the world won't help.

Psychology of Peak Performance, Continued

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on June 02, 2017 in Boundless
Endurance athletes teach lessons about mental toughness for everyone.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Sedentary Lifestyle May Undermine Boys’ Academic Performance

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
The combination of excessive sedentary time and limited physical activity is linked to lower odds of young boys' success in elementary school.

Study: Aerobic Exercise Leads to Remarkable Brain Changes

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A revolutionary neuroimaging technique reaffirms that aerobic exercise significantly increases brain volume and improves cognitive function.

The Best Advice For Handling Concussions

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on November 23, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Concussion misinformation continues in the sports world. So, I asked athletic trainers, who assess / treat concussions daily, to offer their top tips, along with a few of my own.
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4 Keys to Consistently Great Athletic Performances

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Consistency is one thing that separates the very best in every sport from the rest. The best athletes in the world are able to perform consistently well day in and day out.

Batman & Brain Injury

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on November 20, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
How much concussion exposure does big screen Batman actually have?

Winning the Battle Inside Your Mind

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on November 16, 2016 in All about Anxiety
It’s 35 degrees this morning, and partway through a 3,000-meter race, I go into panic mode. I can’t breathe. Suddenly, the battle is not on the water but is inside my own mind.

Three Cheers for Female Athletes!

Today, more girls and young women are playing sports than ever before.

What Is the Secret to Hillary Clinton's Grit and Resilience?

By Christopher Bergland on November 13, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Regardless of your politics, Hillary Clinton's resiliency cannot be denied. How does she do it? In this post, I've unearthed one fundamental root of Clinton's tenacity and grit.

Muscle Tone Is Sexy, But You Don’t Want To Look Too Buff

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on November 12, 2016 in Fit Femininity
Women athletes need to be fit and strong. Are they happy with their bodies?

What Can We Tell Our Children About the Bully Who Won?

There simply are no answers to our children's questions. What there are, though, are responses—responses that break the collusive silence that tacitly endorses bullying.

A New Term: Human Performance Specialists

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on November 10, 2016 in Seeing What Others Don't
This new concept integrates the different fields that try to improve mental and physical performance.

The Rise of Daily Fantasy Sports

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 10, 2016 in In Excess
Fantasy sports have changed dramatically over the last few years and now include daily versions where people pay to play. But is it a form of gambling or a game of skill—or both?

Memory for Chaos

By Fernand Gobet, Ph.D., and Morgan H. Ereku on November 09, 2016 in Inside Expertise
A hallmark of experts is that they recall domain-specific meaningful material better than non-experts. A new study shows that this superiority extends to meaningless material.

6 Reasons Why the World Series Matters

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in Laugh, Cry, Live
The fate of the nation does not rest on the outcome, but here's why the World Series is such a meaningful contest, and how it makes us better and even improves our country.

The Wage Gap and Sexual Competition

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in The Human Beast
A persistent wage gap in pay between men and women is often interpreted as clear evidence of gender discrimination. Another interpretation looks at job choice.
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10 Pop-Science Books to Challenge Your Views on Expertise

By Fernand Gobet, Ph.D., and Morgan H. Ereku on November 02, 2016 in Inside Expertise
Want to know the secret to becoming an expert? 10 of the best page-turners mapping out the road to mastery.

Martial Arts Training Can Help Autism

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on October 29, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Evidence shows that martial arts training--and activities like horseback riding--focused on physical and mental integration can be effective in improving communication in autism.
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Ten Laws of Prime Training for Athletes

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 27, 2016 in The Power of Prime
How you use your training time may very well determine how well you perform and whether you achieve your sports goals for the season.

Four Ways to Help Your Kid to Be the Best Player on the Team

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on October 24, 2016 in The New You
You are your kid's most important coach. Learn how performance psychologists and mental conditioning coaches help youth athletes and parents to work together to develop talent.
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Teach Your Child Athlete Healthy Perspectives

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 24, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Despite all that so many parents do for their children’s athletic pursuits, they often fail to provide them with the foundation of all of their efforts: perspective.

Music Can Be Rocket Fuel for Turbocharging Your Workouts

By Christopher Bergland on October 21, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you need a source of motivation that inspires you to exercise more and at a higher intensity? If so, a new study confirms that listening to music makes exercise more enjoyable.

The Ageless Inspiration of Activity

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Ever thought you were too old for something? Aging doesn't mean we have to get old. Getting old comes with all sorts of baggage that isn't a requirement of aging.

Do Uniform Colors Matter in Sports?

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Attitude Check
Does the color of a sports team's uniforms influence how they are perceived and how they behave? A look using archival data from professional sports.

Political Persuasion: Aim for the Heart, Not the Head

So long as a message is emotionally congruent and consistent, both fear and hope can be equally pervasive.

Risky Teenage Behavior Linked to Imbalanced Brain Activity

By Christopher Bergland on October 20, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study from Dartmouth pinpoints the brain mechanisms linked to risk-taking and impulse control during adolescence. This discovery explains why teenagers are often reckless.
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Five Ways to Get Coaches and Parents on the Same Side

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Across the many sports in which I work, when I ask coaches what their biggest challenge and source of stress is, the overwhelming response is parents.

Your Amygdala May House Both Positive and Negative Memories

By Christopher Bergland on October 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Positive and negative memories may be housed in specific regions of the amygdala, according to a new mice study. These findings offer many clues for overcoming negativity and fear.

Coping With Hormonal Ups and Downs

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in How We Do It
Major hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle may influence a woman’s mood, well-being and performance. But apart from PMS side-effects are milder than often thought.

A Presidential Headache: The Concussion Generation

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on October 12, 2016 in Brain Trauma
The massive numbers of concussions are adding up to a generation of mental health problems. An opportunity awaits the next president, and ironically, it's not that expensive.

The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in What the Luck?
Is success a curse?