- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 11/28/10 edition (December 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307474860
- ISBN-13: 978-0307474865
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 192 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute Paperback – December 28, 2010
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"This is a self-help book, but with a difference: almost everything in it is underpinned by peer-reviewed and often fascinating research."
— New Scientist
"For all those who are tired of the usual self-help formula--homespun anecdotes, upbeat platitudes, over-the-top promises--Richard Wiseman's 59 Seconds is just what the PhD ordered."
— The Wall Street Journal
"Seemingly perfect for this age of short attention spans and instant gratification."
— The Chronicle Herald
"At last, a self-help guide that is based on proper research. Perfect for busy, curious, smart people."
— Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Enigma
“Wiseman is a brilliant name for a psychologist, and this book proves the professor is not misnamed. . . . [59 Seconds] contains dozens of fascinating and useful nuggets, and they all have science on their side.”
— The Independent
About the Author
Richard Wiseman is based at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and has gained an international reputation for research into offbeat areas of psychology, including deception, humor, and luck. He is the author of The Luck Factor, Quirkology, and numerous other books. A passionate advocate for science, Wiseman is well-known for his media appearances, high-profile talks, live demonstrations, and mass-participation studies. Wiseman also regularly acts as a creative consultant for print, broadcast, and new media.
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What I find to be most interesting is the WHY. For each topic, Wiseman shares a number of fascinating research experiments (both his own and ones done by others) and then offers a number of specific suggestions on how to make it work in your own life.
The first time, I read it from cover to cover. I found that it's better the second time around where you pick it up, read a section, then put it down, and try it out. Some of of the suggestions I don't really need (e.g.how to build instant rapport on a first date) but are interesting, nevertheless. Some of my favorite stories or suggestions?
- Musical Chairs. "There are two schools of thought relating to group dynamics and creativity. One believes in not changing team membership, arguing that people then feel more comfortable with one another and so are happier to suggest the kinds of weird and wonderful ideas that are the hallmark of creativity. In contrast, the other point of view holds that it is better to generate new patterns of thinking by constantly mixing up the membership." Which is better? Weisman cites a study conducted by Charlan Nemeth and Margaret Ormiston at the University of California that concludes mixing it up is better.
- Choose the Middle Way. If you want to increase your chances of making a good impression in a meeting, sit toward the middle of the table. Psychologists Priya Raghubir and Ana Valenzuela analyzed episodes of the TV game show, The Weakest Link, and found that the contestants in the center of the semi-circle won the game more frequently than those on the extremities. (Reminds me of the presidential primary debates!)
- The Most Reliable Cues to Lying. Pay attention to the words that people use. "Liars tend to lack detail, use more "ums" and "ahs," and avoid self-references ("me,” "mine," "I"). In addition, people are about 20% less likely to lie in an email than in a telephone call, because their words are on record and are more likely to come back and haunt them!"
P.S. One part of the book I really enjoyed was when the author exhorted you to smile. Just try it now! Smile for 10 seconds. Even if you don't feel happy, force yourself to physically smile.
How did you feel? Happier? Wiseman explains that phsyically smiling actually makes you psychologically believe that you are happy, and does wonders to your move. I never knew that before!
Thus 59 seconds was born. This intriguing and highly practical book is replete with scores of studies on a wide range of topics that are the targets of the self-help, pop psychology industry, notably happiness, persuasion, motivation, creativity, attraction, relationships, stress, decision making, parenting and personality. Wiseman combines solid research with whimsy and practical activities to aid the reader in executing the subtitle of the book - Change your life in under a minute.
The author closes the book by providing Sophie with ten techniques that can, on a good day (according to Wiseman), be explained in under a minute (say, 59 seconds?).
Here they are:
1. Develop the gratitude attitude.
2. Be a giver.
3. Have a mirror in your kitchen.
4. Buy a potted plant for the office.
5. Touch people lightly on the upper arm.
6. Write about your relationship.
7. Deal with potential liars by closing your eyes and asking for email.
8. Praise children's effort over their ability.
9. Visualize yourself doing, not achieving.
10. Consider your legacy.
Do yourself a favor and don't just copy and try these ten techniques. Read the book and apply them.