59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot

( 28 )

Overview

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...

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59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot

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Overview

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 counterintuitive techniques can be effortlessly incorporated into your everyday life. Or, as he likes to say: “Think a little, change a lot.”

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Psychologist and best-selling author Wiseman (Quirkology) draws on scientific research to help people achieve their dreams and ambitions in a matter of minutes rather than months. Contrary to popular thinking, he says, playing hard to get, visualizing the ideal plan, and offering rewards for achievement don't work. Instead, the author suggests bonding over dislikes, imagining the achievement of a goal, and praising effort over the finished product. Although some of Wiseman's findings would definitely improve one's life if adopted, others seem far-fetched. Wait for the paperback. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/09.]
From the Publisher
"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

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307273406
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/29/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 726,945
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet 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 latest 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

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.
Yes- No
5) Praising a child's achievements is good for their self-esteem and future success.
Yes- No
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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Self-help exposed, Sophie’s question, and the potential for rapid change
 
Happiness
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
 
Persuasion
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
 
Motivation
The dark side of visualization, how to achieve absolutely anything by creating the ideal plan, overcoming procrastination,
and employing “doublethink”
 
Creativity
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
 
Attraction
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
 
Relationships
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
 
Stress
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
 
Decision making
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
 
Parenting
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
 
Personality
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
 
Conclusion
Sophie’s answer: Ten techniques in 59 seconds
 
Acknowledgments
Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A waste of my time and money

    The author presents no really new information for the reader. These techniques in similar form have been around for a long time. Instead of spending his writing time on relevant issues he pokes fun at George Bush, revealing his Euro-style socialist-progressive origins. These gratuitous comments are hidden in his book and are as welcome as my finding some horse excrement in a Cornish pasty. If I want to buy tripe I will purchase it at a butcher shop, not from Barnesandnoble.

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Activities based on real people, real brain mechanics, real situations BUY this!

    Meditations, imaging, mindful behaviors are traditionally taught through painful positions and hours of focus - the author has sliced through all that and using solid research shows how the brain actually works.
    Procrastination - two simple exercise to do on the run that work
    Reduce stress sitting in your car at a red light
    Just two of the ideas that I put to use immediately.
    Simple to read and works.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Not Wiseman's best, but still a great read

    I loved Wiseman's "Quirkology," so I was looking forward to reading this book. While it didn't quite match that book's brilliance, 59 Seconds is still worth reading. It takes real scientific research and converts it into America's favorite reading - "self-help." So now you get tips from an actual expert, using actual scientific facts, giving you advice, rather than any old crackpot who decided to write a book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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