Richard Wiseman's book, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot is based entirely on psychological studies. That makes it dramatically different from most self-help books. These are things that people actually do, even when it seems counterintuitive. I was surprised by almost everything in this book, and that made it a compelling read.
Here are a few findings:
"Low self-esteem causes materialistic tendencies," and can be countered by writing lists of "nice things about me."
Weaknesses in a resume should be addressed at the beginning of a job interview, rather than
People who are embarrassed believe they are far more noticeable than they actually are.
When someone criticizes someone else, people associate the negative traits with the critic.
Imagining yourself doing something from a third-person perspective makes you much more
likely to carry out the task.
When trying to overcome a hurtful event from the past, it can be helpful to think about positive
aspects that arose from it, such as strength, wisdom, or compassion. Another method is to think of three benefits of your current situation and three negative consequences if the hurtful event had gone the way you wanted. (For instance, if I had stayed in my first marriage, I never would have met my current husband, I never would have met any of my Californian friends, and I am very doubtful that I ever would have gotten fit or run a marathon).
Between 60-90% of drugs "depend, to some extent, on the placebo effect." (!)
"Being in a group exaggerates people's opinions, causing them to make a more extreme decision than they would on their own. Compared to individuals, groups tend to be more dogmatic, better able to justify irrational actions, more likely to see their actions as highly moral, and more apt to form stereotypical views of outsiders."
The book included a brief relationship quiz devised by the great John Gottman. My husband and I did it, and we scored 18 out of 20. We both missed the same question, which was the other's first job. It was fun and validating, and made us feel like we know each other pretty well.
This was an entertaining, fascinating book. Each chapter contains findings from several studies,
so it's ideal for picking up and reading in brief segments. What I've shared is just a small
sample, and there's bound to be something to pique anyone's interest.
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.