Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman

__NOTOC__Richard Wiseman (born 1966) is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Wiseman started his professional life as a magician, before graduating in Psychology from University College London and obtaining a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. [ [ Hertfordshire University] ]

Professor Wiseman is known for his critical examination and frequent debunking of unusual phenomena, including reports of paranormal phenomena. He is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). His research has been published in numerous academic journals, reported at various conferences, and featured on television. In 2004, he took part in a preliminary test of Natasha Demkina, a young Russian woman who claims to have a special vision that allows her to see inside of people's bodies and diagnose illnesses. The test was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary, "The Girl with X-Ray Eyes".Hyman R, "Skeptical Inquirer", May 2005, [ "Testing Natasha"] ]

In addition Professor Wiseman has studied the principles of good and bad luck, publishing the results in the self-help book "The Luck Factor". He showed that both good and bad luck result from measurable habits; for example, lucky people, by expecting good luck, might expend more effort in their endeavours, resulting in more success, reinforcing their belief in good luck. Lucky people are outgoing and observant and therefore have many more chance encounters than unlucky people, each of which could bring a lucky opportunity. Moreover lucky people are more likely to look on the bright side of 'bad' encounters. In a mental exercise describing being shot during a bank robbery, lucky people considered themselves lucky not to have been killed while unlucky people considered themselves unlucky to have been shot.

In 2001 Professor Wiseman led an international experiment to find the world's funniest joke. Wiseman's research has been featured on over 150 television programmes, including "Horizon", "Equinox" and "World In Action". He is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4, including appearances on "Start the Week", "Midweek" and the "Today programme". Wiseman also makes numerous appearances on the British television show "The Real Hustle", explaining the psychology behind many of the scams and confidence tricks. Feature articles about his work have regularly appeared in "The Times", "The Daily Telegraph" and "The Guardian", and a recent poll revealed that he was the psychologist most frequently quoted in the British media. Fact|date=May 2007

Professor Wiseman's latest book is "Quirkology", published in May 2007.


*CSICOP Public Education in Science Award, 2000 [,5500,1159475,00.html Education Guardian March 2, 2004] ]
*BAAS Joseph Lister Award, 2002


*Wiseman, R. & Morris, R. L. (1995). "Guidelines for Testing Psychic Claimants". Hatfield, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press (US edition: Amherst, USA: Prometheus Press).
*Milton, J. & Wiseman, R. (1997). "Guidelines for Extrasensory Perception Research". Hatfield, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press.
*Wiseman, R. (1997). "Deception and self-deception: Investigating Psychics". Amherst, USA: Prometheus Press
*Lamont, P. & Wiseman, R. (1999). "Magic in Theory: an introduction to the theoretical and psychological elements of conjuring". Hatfield, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press (US edition: Hermetic Press).
*Wiseman, R. (2002). "Laughlab: The Scientific Search For The World's Funniest Joke". London, UK: Random House
*Wiseman, R. (2003). "The Luck Factor". London, UK: Random House
*Wiseman, R. (2004). "Did you spot the gorilla? How to recognise hidden opportunities in your life." London, UK: Random House
*Wiseman, R. & Watt, C. (2005). "Parapsychology." London, UK: Ashgate International Library of Psychology. Series Editor, Prof. David Canter
*Wiseman, R. (2007). "Quirkology." London, UK: Pan Macmillan

External links

* [ Official website of Richard Wiseman]
* [ The Telegraph online article]
* [ Laughlab, the world's funniest joke experiment]
* [ Interview With Dr. Richard Wiseman Discusses the Skeptical Community, Quirky Psychology, and What’s Lacking in Paranormal Research]
* [ Website of Richard Wiseman's book Quirkology]


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