Tag Archives: Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman

We like people who help us, and we help people we life. However, in terms of favours, it is surprising how little it takes for us to like a person, and how much we give on the basis of so little. It seems that if you want to help yourself, you should help others first.

Richard Wiseman, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, London, 2009, p. 75

Richard Wiseman

Researchers have spent a great deal of time looking at the link between people’s scores on these types of questionnaires and happiness. The findings are as consistent as they are worrying –high scores tend to be associated with feeling unhappy and unsatisfied with life. Of course, this is not the case with every single materialist and so, if you did get a high score, you might be one of the happy-go-lucky people who buck the trend. (However, before assuming this, do bear in mind that research also suggests that whenever we are confronted with negative results from tests, we are exceptionally good at convincing ourselves that we are an exception to the rule.)

Richard Wiseman, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, London, 2009, pp. 25-26

Richard Wiseman

The differences between the lives of the lucky and unlucky people are as consistent as they are remarkable. Lucky people always seem to be in the right place at the right time, fall on their feet, and appear to have an uncanny ability to live a charmed life. Unlucky people are the exact opposite. Their lives tend to be a catalogue of failure and despair, and they are convinced that their misfortune is not of their own making. One of the unluckiest people in the study is Susan, a 34-year-old care assistant from Blackpool. Susan is exceptionally unlucky in love. She once arranged to meet a man on a blind date, but her potential beau had a motorcycle accident on the way to their meeting, and broke both of his legs. Her next date walked into a glass door and broke his nose. A few years later, when she had found someone to marry, the church in which she intended to hold the wedding was burnt down by arsonists just before her big day. Susan has also experienced an amazing catalogue of accidents. In one especially bad run of luck, she reported having eight car accidents in a single fifty-mile journey.

Richard Wiseman, Quirkology: the Curious Science of Everyday Lives, London, 2007, pp. 26-27