Lena's Reviews > 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot

59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman
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Jul 24, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction, how-the-brain-works
Read in July, 2009

Professor Richard Wiseman has long been dubious about the self-help industry, feeling that many of the popular books promoting techniques for personal change have at best no evidence to support them and at worst can actually make you to feel bad about yourself when following their instructions fails to produce the promised results. Over lunch with a friend who had just bought one of these kinds of books, he got to thinking about what the research actually says are effective ways to create personal change in a short period of time. This book attempts to bring together the best of that research in a way that's actually useful for laypeople.

The topics covered include happiness, persuasion, motivation, creativity, attraction, stress, relationships, decision making, parenting and personality. Each section begins with a discussion of the relevant research into the subject at hand and ends with practical suggestions for how to make use of the findings to improve your own life.

Though each section is well-grounded in some very interesting psychological and sociological research, not all of it is necessarily cutting edge. In fact, the book got off to a bit of a slow start for me as I had already read about many of the studies in the opening chapter in other books. As I got further into it, however, I learned quite a few things I didn’t know and came to appreciate Wiseman's odd sense of humor. So if you are looking to find out what science says is the best way to think more creatively, encourage your children, get your lost wallet returned, make a good decision or find out which sport is the most likely to make you attractive to the opposite sex (hint: it’s not golf) you'll find a lot of value in this book.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Trevor (new) - added it

Trevor It is a stretch, but perhaps for women my best guess would be boxing and for men something like jelly wrestling? I've never really understood sports and so the words attraction and sport are two circles on a venn diagram that I generally don't imagine intersecting. All the same, these would be my best guesses. No one finds golf sexy, even I can see that.

Lena Jelly wresting? Hmmmm. Maybe once it hits the Olympics. Sadly, the results are a bit more stereotypical. Women seem to be most attracted to men who are into climbing and extreme sports, whereas men seem to prefer women toned by aerobics and yoga.

I'm not sure what evolution had in mind when programming in that extreme sports fondness-macho and testosterone fueled, perhaps, but the golfer strikes me as more likely to return home. But maybe that's just because I live in an age when having a husband who can fix my computer is much sexier than having one who can bring down an elk.

message 3: by Trevor (new) - added it

Trevor And the categories are all getting mixed up, wasn't the only attraction of that Palin woman that she could field dress a moose?

Lena Who knew that was such an important vice-presidential skill? How Joe Biden gets by I'll never know...

message 5: by Carol (last edited Sep 22, 2010 11:46AM) (new) - added it

Carol Neman Trevor said "No one finds golf sexy, even I can see that." I think maybe Lesbians do, there's several Golf Classics that are very well attended...Dinah Shore is one I can think of...I don't golf myself, so I'm not a good judge. (Just sayin')

PS I'm adding this book to my TBR list.

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