(Influence) Book Review: Quirkology by Richard Wiseman, Ph.D


Where do I begin?! Quirkology is a ‘quirky’ book about the ‘quirky’ things we humans do and the people who study them. Or as Wiseman puts it, “…quirkology uses scientific methods to study the more curious aspects of everyday life.”

I chose to review this book because it attempts to uncover the ‘why’ behind ‘how people decide’ to do the things they do.

This book is filled with studies on some of the most mundane aspects of human existence. Nonetheless, the author manages to use these studies to show us a new world that’s happening right under our conscious perception.

Watch this AMAZING video to get an idea of what I’m talking about!

Here are a few nuggets from the book, Quirkology:

-Why does a person with the same birthday have more influence over you than one whose birthday isn’t on the same day?

-How is it that a young child can do better in the stock market than a financial “astrologer” (yes, you read that right) and an investment expert?

-How does flattery influence your decision making process?

-Why does the ‘death rate’ rise just BEFORE a tax rate hike takes effect? Conversely, why does the death rate go down when taxes are decreased?

-When it comes to detecting deception, the I’s not eyes are a better at spotting a lie!

-I now know where ‘6 degrees of separation’ comes from. The interesting thing is that it is now only ‘4 degrees of separation’.

-Find out why people who walk over hot coals, can’t walk over hot wood.

-Do Subliminal messages really work? Why not?

-If you’re a waiter or waitress, find out how to increase the amount a patron tips you.

Writing a book review for Quirkology presents a challenge because the book is literally all over the place but it still manages to hover around its core proposition; wierd things people do and why!

Wiseman’s book reminds me of, dare I say, a box of chocolates. Sorry Mr. Gump! Each chapter contains experiments and studies that leave you guessing as to why people do the things they do. You simply don’t know what you’re going to get when it comes to predicting how people will behave.

If you’re in the mood for a book that is unpredictable, entertaining and quirky,…look no further than Quirkology. I highly recommend it!

Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

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