#593: Richard Wiseman on Lessons from Dale Carnegie, How to Keep a Luck Diary, Mentalism, The Psychology of the Paranormal, Mass Participation Experiments, NLP, Remote Viewing, and Attempting the Impossible
Manage episode 328085763 series 1578275
Richard Wiseman on Lessons from Dale Carnegie, How to Keep a Luck Diary, Mentalism, The Psychology of the Paranormal, Mass Participation Experiments, NLP, Remote Viewing, and Attempting the Impossible | Brought to you by UCAN endurance products, Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations, and Helix Sleep premium mattresses. More on all three below.
Richard Wiseman (@richardwiseman) holds Britain’s only professorship in the public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles examining the psychology of magic and illusion, the paranormal, luck, and self-help. His books on psychology, which include The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind and 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, have sold more than three million copies worldwide, and his psychology-based YouTube videos have garnered more than 500 million views.
Elizabeth Loftus, former president of The Association for Psychological Science, described Richard as “one of the world’s most creative psychologists,” and The Independent On Sunday chose him as one of the top 100 people who make Britain a better place to live. In addition to his work in the field of psychology, Richard served as director of The Edinburgh Fringe Festival for eight years.
This episode is brought to you by UCAN. I was introduced to UCAN and its unique carbohydrate LIVSTEADY by my good friend—and listener favorite—Dr. Peter Attia, who said there is no carb in the world like it. I have since included it in my routine, using UCAN’s powders to power my workouts, and the bars make great snacks. Extensive scientific research and clinical trials have shown that LIVSTEADY provides a sustained release of energy to the body without spiking blood sugar. UCAN is the ideal way to source energy from a carbohydrate without the negatives associated with fast carbs, especially sugar. You avoid fatigue, hunger cravings, and loss of focus.
Whether you’re an athlete working on managing your fitness or you need healthy, efficient calories to get you through your day, UCAN is an elegant energy solution. My listeners can save 30% on their first UCAN order by going to UCAN.co/Tim.
This episode is also brought to you by Helix Sleep! Helix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk-free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.
This episode is brought to you by Headspace! Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy-to-use app. Whatever the situation, Headspace can help you feel better. Overwhelmed? Headspace has a 3-minute SOS meditation for you. Need some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind-down sessions their members swear by. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations you can do with your kids. Headspace’s approach to mindfulness can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.
What is The Edinburgh Fringe Festival? [06:01]
Richard explains how he, as a skeptic, got recruited into the world of parapsychology research, and why he dedicated years of his life to it. [07:23]
What is the Magic Circle Society? [14:00]
What disciplines and frameworks do magicians like Richard pick up that prove useful in other areas of life? [15:44]
Who among Richard’s fellow magicians do we find particularly impressive, and what’s the real reason they’re not likely to tell you how they perform their illusions? [17:40]
What is mentalism? [24:47]
Two recommendations: a card mechanic and a mentalist worth your while. [26:03]
Richard has carried out a number of mass participation studies. What are they, and which ones has he found most memorable? [27:06]
What is NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), and what has Richard’s research had to say about its efficacy? [36:15]
A more effective alternative to brainstorming. [39:32]
In Richard’s estimation, what areas of scientific study are woefully underfunded and underresearched? [40:22]
What did Richard discover while researching remote viewing that the CIA might have missed? Can remote viewing be faked? [43:26]
How does Richard choose the subjects his books cover, and how did an annoying heckler once inspire him to improve a working title? [47:10]
Twitter remote viewing, Victorian-style seances, and a ghost hunt in one of Henry VIII’s old…haunts. [50:28]
Why is Richard fascinated by dreaming, and how has his experience with lucid dreaming been disappointing thus far? Might one of his future books be titled The Upside of Night Terrors? [54:11]
How has my experience with lucid dreaming differed from Richard’s? [59:40]
What has Richard learned about improving sleep since writing a book about it? Has he stopped having night terrors? [1:02:25]
Self-development books Richard has actually found helpful, and why he takes issue with so much of the rest. [1:05:57]
What is a luck diary, and why should you consider keeping one? [1:09:51]
How Richard avoids overthinking idea generation. [1:12:40]
Why the mass participation study that attempted to crowdsource the world’s funniest joke may have just resulted in pinpointing the world’s blandest. [1:13:45]
How does Richard feel certain facets of his work could be applied in schools? Has this been tested? [1:14:51]
What was (or wasn’t) the Yale Goal Study, and what is its most important lesson? [1:16:41]
On the malleability of observation and memory — which can result in anything from seance manipulation to false convictions. [1:20:43]
Are there any researchers currently delving into the mysteries of parapsychology who Richard respects deeply? Why might a well-respected scientist risk their career and reputation to pursue something so difficult to prove? [1:25:26]
What makes studying what went on psychologically behind the scenes at NASA during the Apollo moon landings so compelling for Richard? [1:30:35]
Whose picture is on Richard’s mantel? Knock if you know the answer. [1:33:47]
What would Richard’s billboard say? [1:35:49]
Recommended documentaries. [1:37:00]
How does a performer like Derren Brown keep their show fresh after 578 performances without burning out? [1:44:11]
Parting thoughts. [1:46:18]
Sign up for Tim’s email newsletter (5-Bullet Friday) at tim.blog/friday.
For transcripts of episodes, go to tim.blog/transcripts.
Discover Tim’s books: tim.blog/books.
Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, and many more.