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Quirkology: The Curious Science Of Everyday Lives Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (4 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330448110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330448116
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Wiseman is Britain's only professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology and is the author of the bestselling Quirkology and 59 Seconds. He is the psychologist most frequently quoted by the British media.

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Wiseman is Britain’s only professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology and has an international reputation for his research into unusual areas including deception, luck, humour and the paranormal. He is the psychologist most frequently quoted by the British media and his research has been featured on over 150 television programmes in the UK. He is regularly heard on Radio 4 and feature articles about his work have appeared prominently throughout the national press.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having followed Richard Wiseman's blog for a while now, I had high hopes for this book. However, while it was a reasonably interesting, pleasant read, I wasn't blown away by it either, as it seemed to suffer from some considerable flaws.

Firstly, despite promising us examples of all kinds of quirkiness from the world of psychology research, I just didn't find it all that quirky. I felt that some examples, such as the theory that the way to tell if a smile is genuine is to look at the eyes, would already be fairly well-known among the type of people who would be interested in this book.

While I appreciate that writing a book about psychological studies that interests the general public may be rather difficult, I also found the book to be incredibly superficial in its handling of its subject matter. Studies were explained very briefly in the most part, followed by sweeping statements about society based on those studies' findings. Usually only one or two studies were used to form these conclusions, which made me wonder whether Richard Wiseman was genuinely justified to do that or whether he was jumping to conclusions at times. There was hardly any critique or analysis of the studies mentioned; there were times when a study was explained in a reasonable-length summary along with its findings, and then followed by one sentence to tell the reader that "however, other researchers have not been able to replicate these findings". Surely it would have been relevant to give the reader some information about these subsequent studies and the reasons why the researchers weren't able to replicate the findings. I also wondered whether the studies quoted actually showed the things he claimed they did. For example, Prof.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Butler on 29 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
This is certainly one of the most interesting books that I have read in recent years.
Its writing style is accessible and doesn't assume anything of its readers and it makes its points and tells its story in a clear and concise manner.
All these points add to the backbone of this book, which is the weird and sometimes wonderful experiments that have helped reveal insights into human lives.
Interesting....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marlon Imam on 17 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
Great sets of information detailing the innovative research carried out over the years by many scientists. I thought that the sections could have been a little more specific (probably more sections). If there is rewrite..summarise the key information at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. Nevertheless it was very good reading and I enjoyed it trememdously. I would recommend it.
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50 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Y. Khatib on 5 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I have to say I had high expectations after reading all the reviews. I was bitterly disappointed. Most of what is discussed in the book did not come as news to me. A lot of it is work I've already read/heard about, or just plain common sense.

Although I appreciate how difficult it is to bring together a large number of topics under some common theme, I wasn't impressed at all by the author's writing skills. I also found that he sometimes jumps bits that clearly need more critique and analysis, while other more trivial bits he just goes on and on about. This managed to dissolve my interest many many times.

The author provides references to research discussed within the text. I found this quite helpful in finding further reading. However, on a couple of occassions I found that the author has stretched or skewed the topic of the discussed research! Perhaps by mistake, or to form a more convincing argument. But whatever the reason is, this was a MAJOR turn-off for me.

An easily forgetton read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MAF2013 on 24 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An insight into the psychology of everyday life and its influences, the little and big things too. A great read and well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason N. Frowley on 26 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a psychology lecturer myself, so it's not surprising that I already knew most of the material in Quirkology. But that's not why I give it such a poor star-rating. I'm even prepared to look the other way when Professor Wiseman tells me over and over again that events are "surreal" when they are in fact nothing more than odd, then gives his book a cringeworthy title that sounds like a rewrite of the phrase "I'm mad, me". The fact is, I wouldn't feel happy recommending this book to any non-psychologist. It irritated me constantly with its misinterpretion (or sometimes just dubious interpretation) of data. On the strength of the first hundred pages or so, I began to wonder whether Professor Wiseman knew the difference between correlation and causation. Well of course he does - he's a psychology professor after all - but the apparent conflation of the two is really going to confuse and misinform the naive reader. This kind of danger is ever-present when professionals try their hand at popular science: and there is more than enough misunderstanding out there as it is. Certainly there is some interesting material in this book, and in places it's handled well - but if you are new to this area please please read a statistics primer before you pick it up. Alternatively, get Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow, or Dubner and Leavitt's Freakonomics, which cover much the same ground.
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