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Extended Audio Sample 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, by Richard Wiseman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,365 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Wiseman Narrator: Jonathan Cowley Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2009 ISBN: 9780307707550
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • “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.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “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

  • “Seemingly perfect for this age of short attention spans and instant gratification.”

    Chronicle Herald

  • 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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Bray | 1/29/2014

    " Great decisions on goal setting and also making decisions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C. | 1/26/2014

    " This has some really intriguing research--sometimes surprising in what it reveals and then again what it does NOT substantiate. Some scenarios offer new ways of looking at a common situation and how to base decisions on what research has shown to be effective. A book easy to read by sections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Redshirt Knitting | 1/26/2014

    " Evidence-based self help! A surprisingly revolutionary concept. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Derek Bridge | 1/9/2014

    " This was not what I'd expected. The blurb from the usually excellent Simon Singh on the rear cover led me to expect a debunking of self-help manuals and armchair psychology similar to Singh's own debunking of alternative medicines (Trick or Treatment by Singh & Ernst). There was a little of this, and some of it was fun and interesting. But all too often the debunking relied on experiments that seemed equally suspect (riddled with assumptions, speculation and small sample sizes). On these flimsy foundations was then built yet another self-help manual, only a little less trite than those it dismisses. A disappointment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dorian | 12/24/2013

    " Interesting read on "hacking" happiness. I liked it and found some of the techniques interesting but found it also a little too "doesnt everybody know that already." I would recommend this to someone who is just starting in their self-development/acknowledgement journey. Great for beginners, a little pedestrian for novices. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeroen | 12/16/2013

    " The premise of the book is interesting, and though there are some fun nuggets in it, I found them to be too few and far between. I like Wiseman's approach, though he could have forgone using the book itself as a self-help book. His scientific insight would have sufficed to make it interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine Nelson | 12/2/2013

    " Started reading in ebook, and enjoyed it so much that I actually bought a copy. (At Borders in downtown Seattle at 30% off, FWIW.) Condenses lots and lots of psychology research that I've read elsewhere combined with plenty that was new to me. For the practical person, includes exercises, quizzes, tips...which was why I wanted a copy, since those bits were tough to read on my phone, and I wanted to write in the margins! A quick read in an engaging tone. Each chapter covers a different area of human psychology (motivation, relationships, happiness, etc), looks at the most current research on what works and doesn't, and then makes specific recommendations for how to use that research in your own life. Liked it a lot, planning to reread it, probably fairly regularly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 11/24/2013

    " Only self-help book you 'll ever need "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Pederson | 10/29/2013

    " Want a book that's full of tested ways to help yourself? Well, here you go! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 10/19/2013

    " Nothing new or particularly interesting here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha Fondren | 9/14/2013

    " Quick changes, real results based on scientific evidence. Good read. If you read it fast. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 7/29/2013

    " Really enjoyed it...learned lots of great tips from it too!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maddy | 7/22/2013

    " I enjoyed this a lot better than Freakonomics. A self-help book that isn't fluffy but based on actual studies/experiments. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ivan | 4/12/2013

    " The book is a great overview of various approaches in self help industry recommended to help us with reaching common goals. Coolest thing is that you could skip to the last chapter to get all the stuff straight away - in 59 seconds:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Huma Rashid | 12/30/2012

    " A collection of really interesting studies and how to apply them, and the writing style is quite engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 1/26/2012

    " I enjoyed this. It backs up theory with nice facts and dispells some of the positive thinking myths. Yes, thinking positive works, but there's more to it than that and you will also learn what you need to do to become successful with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 snikitha | 11/22/2011

    " I'm a fan of Richard Wiseman and follow his work; this book was a nice, quick read. Reminded me a lot of his other book, Quirkology. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pete | 10/9/2011

    " Some good ideas, but kind of long and scattered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie Garvey | 9/5/2011

    " What a fascinating book. It debunks a lot of "truths" that I read about throughout the years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ella | 6/29/2011

    " Possibly one of 5 "self-help" books that truly belong in that category that does a WONDERFUL job of showing why self-help is rarely helpful and often very damaging. His best 'pop' book by far. Recommended to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 3/9/2011

    " Loved it. Wish I had this book back when I was reading tons of self-help books. It would have saved me a lot of ineffective fuss and bother. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gemma | 3/3/2011

    " Good, grounded and evidence. Wish I had made notes of some of it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken | 1/27/2011

    " The most interesting book I have ever read. I would recommend everyone read this book. There is something of interest in it for everyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 1/16/2011

    " Pretty interesting look at the research behind human behavior and how it relates to commons self-help themes. I wouldn't call it life changing by any stretch of the imagination and I'm not sure the 59 seconds "exercises" were all that practical. However, a very insightful read overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carlo | 1/14/2011

    " Great book, so far, I'm halfway through and enjoy every bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Missthomas | 1/10/2011

    " Amazing! Learnt so much from the studies cited "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mae | 1/3/2011

    " I enjoyed this! It was interesting, always backed up with scientific studies, quite funny, and mostly relevant. It's the kind of book you can dip in and out of, or only read the relevant chapters. Recommended! "

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