Summary of Top Dog

The Science of Winning and Losing

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Top Dog book summary
Some people wilt under the pressure of competition, but others flourish and shine. Why?


8 Overall

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8 Innovation

7 Style


Besides his extraordinary skills and daunting work ethic, Michael Jordan forged a reputation as the most competitive player in the National Basketball Association. When the spotlight was brightest, Jordan was at his best, leading the Chicago Bulls to six world championships. How do athletes like Jordan thrive under pressure while others wilt? Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s intriguing book examines the various factors that separate winners from losers, and shows how physiology, psychology and social conditioning all influence people’s competitive nature. getAbstract believes readers will learn a great deal about victory and defeat, and will gain valuable insights into their own competitive makeup. The authors’ conclusions will be of special interest to entrepreneurs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why practice and experience have little to do with performance under pressure,
  • How “gain-oriented” and “prevention-oriented” competitive styles differ, and
  • How men and women compete in similar and different ways.


Feeling the Pressure
Performers typically devote countless hours to practicing and perfecting their crafts. Yet their success does not depend on preparation, but on how they react to pressure. A study held at a German ballroom dance competition revealed through chemical analysis of saliva...
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About the Authors

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, co-authors of the best-selling NurtureShock, have won nine national awards for their reporting.

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