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This is Your Brain on Sports

Cover of This is Your Brain on Sports

This is Your Brain on Sports

The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon
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This is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them. Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports. Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives.
In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature.
In short, this book is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games.
— Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Sports
This is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them. Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports. Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives.
In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature.
In short, this book is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games.
— Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Sports
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About the Author-
  • L. Jon Wertheim is the executive editor of Sports Illustrated. A sports journalist with a passion for psychology and economics, he is the author of such New York Times bestsellers as Scorecasting (written with Toby Moskowitz) and You Can't Make This Up (written with Al Michaels). A huge sports fan, Sam Sommers is an experimental psychologist at Tufts University who studies the psychology of everyday life. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Situations Matter.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine The authors peel back the layers of science underlying so many aspects of sports, using various analyses and data. Narrator Keith Szarabajka describes the action, so to speak, in a comfortable tone. When someone is quoted, he shifts into a generic imitation, which fits the bill here, separating the authors' words from the well-placed quotes from athletes. What's covered is a myriad of topics: how emotional decisions are made, whether quarterbacks really are the best-looking players on a team, sexual mores and sports, and why crowds go crazy over the ever-popular T-shirt cannon. It's a good listen for anyone who wants to delve into the scientific and psychological side of sports beyond the diagrams of Xs and Os. M.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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This is Your Brain on Sports
This is Your Brain on Sports
The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon
L. Jon Wertheim
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