Synopses & Reviews
The 59 Seconds quiz
Do you know the best way of making yourself happy, motivating your children or boosting your creativity? To help find out, simply answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following seven questions……
1) Suppressing negative thoughts is good for you.
Yes – No
2) Visualizing your perfect future helps you achieve your goals.
Yes – No
3) Group brainstorming is the best way of generating new ideas.
Yes - No
4) Punching a pillow helps you alleviate anger and frustration.
5) Praising a child’s achievements is good for their self-esteem and future success.
6) People tend to shift around nervously when they lie.
Yes - No
7) Playing music by Mozart to a baby boosts their intelligence.
Yes - No
How many times did you choose ‘yes’? Most people believe that all of the ideas in the quiz are true. In reality, there is no convincing scientific evidence to support any of them. According to research, punching a pillow is likely to make you more angry not less, trying to suppress negative thoughts will increase the likelihood of them popping into your mind, and, if anything, liars tend to be more static than truth tellers.
59 Seconds is all about the science behind self-help. It exposes these types of mind myths as well as revealing fast acting tips and techniques that really do make a difference to people’s lives.
A psychologist and best-selling author gives us a myth-busting response to the self-help movement, with tips and tricks to improve your life that come straight from the scientific community.
Richard Wiseman has been troubled by the realization that the self-help industry often promotes exercises that destroy motivation, damage relationships, and reduce creativity: the opposite of everything it promises. Now, in 59 Seconds, he fights back, bringing together the diverse scientific advice that can help you change your life in under a minute, and guides you toward becoming more decisive, more imaginative, more engaged, and altogether more happy.
From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, resilience to relationships, Wiseman outlines the research supporting the new science of rapid change and, with clarity and infectious enthusiasm, describes how these quirky, sometimes counter-intuitive techniques can be effortlessly incorporated into your everyday life. Or, as he likes to say: Think a little, change a lot.
About the Author
Richard Wiseman is based at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK and has gained an international reputation for research into quirky areas of psychology, including deception, humor, luck and the paranormal. He has written The Luck Factor
— a bestselling book exploring the lives and minds of lucky people.
His book Quirkology, explores the curious science of everyday life, including the psychology of lying, love, and laughter. A passionate advocate for science, Wiseman is well-known for his media appearances, high-profile talks, live performances, and large-scale studies. He also regularly acts as a creative consultant for print, broadcast and new media.
Table of Contents
Self-help exposed, Sophie’s question, and the potential for
Why positive thinking often fails and how the real route to
happiness involves a pencil, keeping the perfect diary, small
acts of kindness, and developing the gratitude attitude
Why rewards fail, how to give the flawless interview,
improve your social life by making mistakes, never lose your
wallet again, and convince anyone of anything by using
your pet frog
The dark side of visualization, how to achieve absolutely
anything by creating the ideal plan, overcoming procrastination,
and employing “doublethink”
Exploding the myth of brainstorming, how to get in touch
with your inner Leonardo merely by glancing at modern art,
lying down, and putting a plant on your desk
Why you shouldn’t play hard to get, how the subtle art of
seduction involves the simplest of touches, roller-coaster
rides, and avoiding artificial Christmas trees
The perils of “active listening,” why Velcro can help couples
stick together, words speak louder than actions, and a
single photograph can make all the difference
Why not to kick and scream, how to reduce resentment
in seconds, harness the power of a four-legged friend, and
think your way to low blood pressure
Why two heads are no better than one, how never to regret
a decision again, protect yourself against hidden persuaders,
and tell when someone is lying to you
The Mozart myth, how to choose the best name for a baby,
instantly divine a child’s destiny using just three marshmallows,
and effectively praise young minds
Why not to trust graphology, how to gain an apparently
magical insight into other people’s personality from their
fingers and thumbs, their pets, and the time they go to bed
Sophie’s answer: Ten techniques in 59 seconds