Could the 10 year illness be afflicting Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan?

The Winner Effect

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan has held power for 10 years, during which period his country has experienced unprecedented economic growth and international prestige.

Power and success are two of the biggest brain-changing drugs known to mankind, however, and no human being’s brain can survive unchanged such large infusions of these two drugs. Edrogan’s response to this week’s demonstrations in Turkey show that he may not be an exception.

Power’s effects on the brain have many similarities to those of drugs like cocaine: both significantly change brain function by increasing the chemical messenger dopamine’s activity in the brain’s reward network. These changes also affect the cortex  and alter thinking, making people more confident, bolder – and even smarter.

But these same changes also make people egocentric, less self-critical, less anxious and less able to detect errors and dangers. All of these conspire to make leaders impatient with the…

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