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Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives by [Wiseman, Richard]
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Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Review

'Wiseman's easy-going divertissement recounts numerous curiosities
of modern psycology.' -- Guardian

'entertaining and energetic...packed with vignettes that are
perfect for dinner parties or pub conversations.' -- The Times

Book Description

From the bestselling author of 59 Seconds

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1616 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (4 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QGYF82
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,526 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting journey through Richard Wiseman's professional career to-date, investigating quirky science around the world, from how fast people walk in different countries to how your date of birth actually can affect your personality.

It's an interesting quick read full of anecdotes about his own and other scientists' work, but it avoids going into more detail than necessary and, given that its focus is on nothing too technical, is approachable and pitched at a level appropriate for any reader, regardless of their experience in science or psychology.

My main criticism would be that it doesn't quite have enough depth for the reader to get their teeth into. It jumps on fairly quickly from topic to topic and I would have liked a little more information in places. I was also a little disappointed by some of the 'quirky' facts which seemed a little too bland and common knowledge to justify their inclusion.

Overall, an interesting read but nothing special - probably best aimed at a younger audience who may not have heard some of the stories before.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant - excellent read. Wiseman is a very accessible writer. Interesting, insightful, amusing, clever.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny, witty & wise!! A definite must read!!
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really glad I finally bought this. Absolutely brilliant. You must buy it! It's a really easy read, but interesting too.
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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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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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Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of Quirkology on a French campsite book exchange having previously enjoyed reading Richard Wiseman's self-help book 59 Seconds. Quirkology is a much thicker tome(!) which sets out to explore the findings of many different and unusual psychology studies undertaken over the past century or so and explain their results in layman's terms. I was disappointed by quite how low the bar is set, having hoped for a deeper view of the work with more science and less joky padding, but there are lots of nuggets of interesting information dotted throughout the book. Eccentric Victorian scientist Francis Galton gets several mentions which reminded me of the interesting biography of him I read a couple of years ago: Extreme Measures by Martin Brookes and, in a small world moment, recently read science author Simon Singh crops up too having been involved with making a Tomorrow's World feature where the great British public were asked to determine whether Sir Robin Day was lying. Sir Robin? Surely not!

Although some huge studies are described, I was surprised several times by apparently significant findings being decided from very small samples and I didn't agree with all the results either. Apparently women find jokes funnier than men do because in social situations we laugh at over 70% of jokes told by men, whereas men laugh at less than 40% of jokes told by women. Hmmm. Nothing to do with women traditionally being 'trained' to bolster male egos then? Perhaps the fake smile identification study should have been carried out in tandem? Overall Quirkology kept my attention for a few hours and it is a humorous, light read, but not really sciencey enough for my tastes.
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