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Message Subject Testosterone makes you cocky, confident and ready to go balls out
Poster Handle Sea Reef
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When things go well our biology responds. We all know what winning feels like—we’re floating through the Elysian fields and we’ve just been told (cue the orchestral violins) that we are the son or the daughter of the gods. And then, we might become overconfident, even euphoric, believing we will keep winning, and our risk-taking becomes, as Coates says, “increasingly foolish.” According to Lord David Owen, a British politician and neuroscientist, winning or “possession of power…which has been associated with overwhelming success” can lead to “hubris syndrome,” a condition where repeated winning leads to “messianic zeal, excessive self-confidence, contempt for others, losing contact with reality and resorting to…recklessness and impulsive actions.”

And what about losing? We know what losing feels like. We are sickened, hollowed out and feel less worthy than the lowest cockroach on the cockroach totem pole. When filled with cortisol, Coates explains, “we find danger where none exists” and we have what he calls “irrational risk aversion.” Just as the testosterone primes us to keep winning, cortisol primes us to prematurely quit.
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