Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, started his working life as a professional magician and currently holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He frequently appears in the media, and has written over 60 academic articles and several books, including the best-selling The Luck Factor. His newest book is Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things.
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Richard Wiseman discusses “Quirkology,” areas of psychology where many scientists fear to tread. He explores some practical applications of social psychology, detailing how we can more effectively detect liars, the use of critical thinking in detecting patterns in our lives, and how to be more informed about the psychology behind supernatural or paranormal experiences. He mentions the youtube successes that he has had in bringing social psychology to a wider public. He also discusses the importance of magic and legerdemain in exploring social psychology, and the relationship of Quirkology to other fringe areas of study such as research into psychic phenomena and parapsychology.