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59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Richard Wiseman
4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit



Self-help exposed, Sophie’s question, and the potential for rapid change

Do you want to improve an important aspect of your life? Perhaps lose weight, find your perfect partner, obtain your dream job, or simply be happier? Try this simple exercise….

Close your eyes and imagine the new you. Think how great you would look in those close-fitting designer jeans, dating Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, sitting in a luxurious leather chair at the top of the corporate ladder, or sipping a piña colada as the warm waves of the Caribbean gently lap at your feet.

The good news is that this type of exercise has been recommended by some in the self-help industry for years. The bad news is that a large body of research now suggests that such exercises are, at best, ineffective and, at worst, harmful. Although imagining your perfect self may make you feel better, engaging in such mental escapism can also have the unfortunate side effect of leaving you unprepared for the difficulties that crop up on the rocky road to success, thus increasing the chances of your faltering at the first hurdle rather than persisting in the face of failure. Fantasizing about heaven on earth may put a smile on your face, but it is unlikely to help transform your dreams into reality.

Other research suggests that the same goes for many popular techniques that claim to improve your life. Attempting to “think yourself happy” by suppressing negative thoughts can make you obsess on the very thing that makes you unhappy. Group brainstorming can produce fewer and less original ideas than individuals working alone. Punching a pillow and screaming out loud can increase, rather than decrease, your anger and stress levels.

Then there is the infamous “Yale Goal Study.” According to some writers, in 1953 a team of researchers interviewed Yale’s graduating seniors, asking them whether they had written down the specific goals that they wanted to achieve in life. Twenty years later the researchers tracked down the same cohort and found that the 3 percent of people who had specific goals all those years before had accumulated more personal wealth than the other 97 percent of their classmates combined.

It is a great story, frequently cited in self-help books and seminars to illustrate the power of goal setting. There is just one small problem—as far as anyone can tell, the experiment never actually took place. In 2007 writer Lawrence Tabak, from the magazine Fast Company, attempted to track down the study, contacting several writers who had cited it, the secretary of the Yale Class of 1953, and other researchers who had tried to discover whether the study had actually happened. No one could produce any evidence that it had ever been conducted, causing Tabak to conclude that it was almost certainly nothing more than an urban myth. For years, selfhelp gurus had been happy to describe a study without checking their facts.

Both the public and the business world have bought into modern-day mind myths for years and, in so doing, may have significantly decreased the likelihood of achieving their aims and ambitions. Worse still, such failure often encourages people to believe that they cannot control their lives. This is especially unfortunate, as even the smallest loss of perceived control can have a dramatic effect on people’s confidence, happiness, and life span. In one classic study conducted by Ellen Langer at Harvard University, half of the residents in a nursing home were given a houseplant and asked to look after it, while the other residents were given an identical plant but told that the staff would take responsibility for it. Six months later, the residents who had been robbed of even this small amount of control over their lives were significantly less happy, healthy, and active than the others. Even more distressing, 30 percent of the residents who had not looked after their plant had died, compared to 15 percent of those who had been allowed to exercise such control. Similar results have been found in many areas, including education, career, health, relationships, and dieting. The message is clear—those who do not feel in control of their lives are less successful, and less psychologically and physically healthy, than those who do feel in control.

A few years ago I was having lunch with a friend named Sophie. Sophie is a bright, successful thirtysomething who holds a senior position in a firm of management consultants. Over lunch Sophie explained that she had recently bought a well-known book on increasing happiness, and she asked me what I thought of the industry. I explained that I had serious reservations about the scientific backing for some of the techniques being promoted, and described how any failure to change could do considerable psychological harm. Sophie looked concerned and then asked whether academic psychology had produced more scientifically supported ways of improving people’s lives. I started to describe some of the quite complex academic work in happiness, and after about fifteen minutes or so Sophie stopped me. She politely explained that interesting though it was, she was a busy person, and she asked whether I could come up with some effective advice that didn’t take quite so much time to implement. I asked how long I had. Sophie glanced at her watch, smiled, and replied, “About a minute?”

Sophie’s comment made me stop and think. Many people are attracted to self-development and self-improvement because of the lure of quick and easy solutions to various issues in their lives. Unfortunately, most academic psychology either fails to address these issues or presents far more time-consuming and complex answers (thus the scene in Woody Allen’s film Sleeper, in which Allen’s character discovers that he has awakened two hundred years in the future, sighs, and explains that had he been in therapy all this time he would almost be cured). I wondered whether there were tips and techniques hidden away in academic journals that were empirically supported but quick to carry out.

Over the course of a few months I carefully searched through endless journals containing research papers from many different areas of psychology. As I examined the work, a promising pattern emerged, with researchers in quite different fields developing techniques that help people achieve their aims and ambitions in minutes, not months. I collected hundreds of these studies, drawn from many different areas of the behavioral sciences. From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, resilience to relationships, together they represent a new science of rapid change.

There is a very old story, often told to fill time during training courses, involving a man trying to fix his broken boiler. Despite his best efforts over many months, he simply can’t mend it. Eventually, he gives up and decides to call in an expert. The engineer arrives, gives one gentle tap on the side of the boiler, and stands back as it springs to life. The engineer presents the man with a bill, and the man argues that he should pay only a small fee as the job took the engineer only a few moments. The engineer quietly explains that the man is not paying for the time he took to tap the boiler but rather the years of experience involved in knowing exactly where to tap. Just like the expert engineer tapping the boiler, the techniques described in this book demonstrate that effective change does not have to be time-consuming. In fact, it can take less than a minute and is often simply a question of knowing exactly where to tap.

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"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

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1622 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 369 pages
  • Editeur : Pan; Édition : Main Market Ed. (3 juillet 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°20.487 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Richard Wiseman est un génie. Il n'a donc aucun mérite à écrire des chefs d'oeuvre et moi encore moins à les apprécier.

Après avoir notamment décodé la psychologie de l'illusion (Magic in Theory), étudié pendant des années le facteur chance (The Luck Factor) et recensé toutes les études scientifiques menées sur des sujets insolites (Quirkology), Wiseman s'attaque aux mythes du développement personnel.

Sa posture consiste à ne donner que des conseils :
- fondés sur des expériences scientifiques sérieuses
- applicables en moins d'une minute.

Ca fait deux sacrées différences avec tous les bouquins sur ce genre de sujet, dont beaucoup semblent écrits par des charlatans.

Certes, on peut critiquer telle ou telle de ses prises de position ou regretter l'absence de vision générale du sujet. Ce n'est probablement pas un livre qui vous fera progresser sur le plan personnel. Mais la lecture en est un régal : c'est parfois instructif, souvent surprenant et toujours léger et spirituel.

Gloire à Richard Wiseman ! Vous pouvez aussi découvrir son blog, largement consacré à son activité de prestidigitateur : [...]
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Zyx
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
As someone with more than a passing interest in psychology, I found this very interesting. A brief review of studies supporting or refuting what we think we know about how to change and improve our lives.

Very easy to read and full of very practical advice. Worth reading twice!

Comme quelqu'un qui a plus qu'un intérêt passager en psychologie, j'ai trouvé cela très intéressant. Un bref examen des études à l'appui ou de réfuter ce que nous croyons savoir sur la façon de modifier et d'améliorer nos vies.

Très facile à lire et plein de conseils très pratiques. Mérite d'être lu deux fois
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 Mouais 16 janvier 2015
Par Blue
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Le livre est bien mais l'experience de lecture aurait été bien meilleure si le livre ne se décomposait pas à chaque page tournée. J'ai mis un moment avant de me mettre a lire donc je ne pourrai pas le renvoyer !
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very interesting read 31 octobre 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
There is a lot to learn about us and above all - tips are very easy to apply in every day life
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  136 commentaires
358 internautes sur 365 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Please drink a cup of coffee before reading this review 11 juillet 2009
Par Julia Flyte - Publié sur
This is an easy and enjoyable book to read - the kind that you can dip in and out of, picking up interesting tips along the way. For each topic, Wiseman discusses a number of research experiments (both his own and ones done by others) and then gives a number of concrete suggestions on how you can quickly implement these findings (although 59 seconds is often a stretch). And why the title of this review? Because one of the things I learned from reading this book was the fact that if you've just had a caffeinated drink, you are far more likely to be swayed by someone else's opinion!

The book is based on the premise that quick techniques can sometimes be surprisingly effective at helping us to change and explains (based on research studies) which ones work and which don't. Some examples that I found interesting were:
- a simple five day writing exercise that can lift your mood for several weeks
- how to create the perfect plan to achieve almost any goal
- how spending money on experiences is a far more effective way to make yourself happy than spending it on things
- how punching a pillow to relieve anger actually increases your anger, while sitting quietly and thinking about how you benefited from the experience has the opposite effect
- conversational techniques that can build instant rapport on a first date
- exercises to stimulate the unconscious mind that lead to better decision making
- simple tests to assess your child's emotional intelligence.

Like Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives, the book also has lots of facts that seem to have been included just because they're interesting. So we learn that people with bumper stickers are more aggressive drivers, that having a photo of a baby in your wallet significantly increases the chance of it being returned if you lose it, that your initials can influence your life expectancy and that adding plants to an office increases the number of creative ideas that employees will have.

The chapter list gives a good indication of the subjects covered in the book:
1. Happiness
2. Persuasion
3. Motivation
4. Creativity
5. Attraction
6. Stress
7. Relationships
8. Decision Making
9. Parenting
10. Personality
60 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Self-help theories laid bare! 13 avril 2011
Par Barry L. Davis - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Subtitled "Change Your Life in Under a Minute," this fascinating book resulted from a conversation the author had with his friend Sophie, who was questioning a recently purchased self-help book she had on happiness. She asked him what he thought of the whole self-help industry. As he opined on his professional opinion of many of the techniques touted by these "experts," Sophie asked if he had some information that would be more helpful in less time. After all, she is a busy, successful professional. When Wiseman asked how much time he had, she glanced at her watch, smiled and said, "About a minute?"

Thus 59 seconds was born. This intriguing and highly practical book is replete with scores of studies on a wide range of topics that are the targets of the self-help, pop psychology industry, notably happiness, persuasion, motivation, creativity, attraction, relationships, stress, decision making, parenting and personality. Wiseman combines solid research with whimsy and practical activities to aid the reader in executing the subtitle of the book - Change your life in under a minute.

The author closes the book by providing Sophie with ten techniques that can, on a good day (according to Wiseman), be explained in under a minute (say, 59 seconds?).

Here they are:
1. Develop the gratitude attitude.
2. Be a giver.
3. Have a mirror in your kitchen.
4. Buy a potted plant for the office.
5. Touch people lightly on the upper arm.
6. Write about your relationship.
7. Deal with potential liars by closing your eyes and asking for email.
8. Praise children's effort over their ability.
9. Visualize yourself doing, not achieving.
10. Consider your legacy.

Do yourself a favor and don't just copy and try these ten techniques. Read the book and apply them.
113 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 SO helpful, SO useful -- I am floored! 14 janvier 2010
Par Fox in a Box - Publié sur
Depressed? Overweight? Angry? Failed every which way but loose? No accident, my friend, but help is here. Pour a cup of tea, grab a comforter and thank god.

I have some grounding in the study of psychology and much of its clinical research over the past 20 years, and know that Wiseman knows whereof he speaks. In addition to my academic study, I've so many books on these subjects that at a garage sale starring my self-help library, someone asked me if I was a psychiatrist. No, I said, I'm just nuts.

Yes, it's true that Wiseman offers jokey (and political) asides that might annoy some readers, but that is nothing compared to the enormously helpful distillation of psychological research offered here and the ease of application to one's own life.

The book is well organized, well written and lucid. It explains in lay terms why common and familiar "self-help" directives simply don't work, have never worked and are really no more than endlessly reiterated (and successfully marketed)myths. He then prescribes remedies that not only work fast, but have been proven by scientific study to provoke lasting change. Some are counterintuitive, some make immediate sense, all are easier than I had any right to expect.

I was quite surprised, not only by how quickly Wiseman's recommendations work, but by the holding power of the changes that ensue. Good work, good book, badly needed and it's about time.
30 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Advice with a background in Science, not BS. 18 février 2011
Par kath - Publié sur
I appreciate this book on several levels.

The first, and most important to me, is that all of the advice has scientific studies to back it up. There are plenty of advice books out there who will tell you to do this or that, because it was something that worked for the writer, or it was something that just felt right to them, etc. etc. To me, someone who's been so inspired in their life to write a book without having read an advice book themselves doesn't really seem like the best person to be getting advice from. I'm much more comfortable putting into practice advice that's been drawn out of scientific studies, where every-day people are the test subjects, and the author has presented all of those studies for us to explore ourselves if we so choose (instead of just relying on hearsay).

The second is that the advice is straight forward and practical; there are simple steps to take to make huge changes. It really would only take a few seconds a day to try out the advice in the book, and you'll see changes in yourself and how others respond to you.

And finally, it's an easy read and not repetitive in nature. There are plenty of other advice books out there that will give you 400 pages to reiterate what could be summed up in a paragraph or two; this book is just the opposite. Even if you're not in it for the advice, it's still a fascinating read. I've been inspired to look to the appendix and find out more about several of the studies listed in the book.

In the end, I learned a lot from this book, not just what actions to practice more in my own life, but so much about human nature as a whole.
30 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very helpful real science 25 mars 2010
Par John - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I have already used this book to rid myself of a very stubborn and bad habbit. It works ! If you follow the techniques in the section called "Motivation", you will too. I particularly like the Gabriele Oettingen technique called "double-think", which is to think of an optimal future for yourself in some are (eating less, etc.) and then picturing where you are now, but then holding both images in your mind. Then you come up with two reasons you would be better if you were in your "optimal" place, and two things holding you back. I found this technique particularly powerful in ridding me of a habit. It reminds me of the "Stockdale technique", which was developed by Vietnam POWs in Vietnam. Stockdale noticed that the POWs who were the first to succumb to despair were those too optimistic, and who only pictured their homecoming. Those who pictured coming home, but also pictured where they currently were and fully realized how tough it would be were far more resilient and were able to make it out at far higher rates. So, hopeful thinking can not only be ineffective, it can be counterproductive.
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