The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles

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Product Description

Is luck just fate, or can you change it?

A groundbreaking new scientific study of the phenomenon of luck¡ªand the ways we can bring good luck into our lives. What is luck? A psychic gift or a question of intelligence? And what is it that lucky people have that unlucky people lack? Psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman put luck under a scientific microscope for the very first time, examining the different ways in which lucky and unlucky people think and behave. After three years of intensive interviews and experiments with over 400 volunteers, Wiseman arrived at an astonishing conclusion: Luck is something that can be learned. It is available to anyone willing to pay attention to the Four Essential Principles:

. Creating Chance Opportunities
. Thinking Lucky
. Feeling Lucky
. Denying Fate

Readers can determine their capacity for luck as well as learn to change their luck through helpful exercises that appear throughout the book. Illustrated with anecdotes from the lives of the famous such as Harry Truman and Warren Buffett, The Luck Factor also richly portrays the lives of ordinary people who have been extraordinarily lucky or unlucky. Finally Dr. Wiseman gives us a look into "The Luck School" where he instructs unlucky people and also teaches lucky people how to further enhance their luck.

Smart, enlightening, fun to read, and easy to follow, The Luck Factor will give you revolutionary insight into the lucky mind and could, quite simply, change your life.

Customer Reviews:

  • Andrea Whatshername seems to have missed the point
    Great, empowering, made me think a lot. Andrea's long review beneath is saying that he should have written another book (about blind chance, I think, although it is hard to tell) whereas I loved this book for what it is. One I am recommendign to all my homies. Gave me a lot of hope....more info
  • Really Cool!
    This book is an amazing book! It changes your whole look on life. I would strongly reccommend it to anyone because the ideas presented in it are so interesting. I have never heard of such far-out yet possible ideas. A great read!...more info
  • Science Lite, or the future of self-help books?
    I bought this book because I heard an interview with Dr. Wiseman on my local National Public Radio station, and I was fascinated with just the idea that luck can be looked at in a scientific study. And he came across as clever, articulate and funny. So, what's not to like, right?

    Overall, it's a decent book and a quick read. Although it is written colloquially with a self-help focus, he does seem to have done real scientific studies. I was left with a few nagging doubts, however, about how statistically significant really were the differences between those self-defined as lucky and unlucky. And, in one of the early examples he gave contrasting the behavior of a lucky man and an unlucky woman, I wondered if he could account for possible confounding factors that also could explain some behavior differences (like gender).

    On the plus side, I was reminded of studies done a few decades ago by Pauline Bart (See Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies (Athene Series)). One of her findings was that women who successfully fought off potential rapists tended to have very proactive, problem-solving attitudes. Likewise, Wiseman found that self-described lucky folks had that same approach to solving their problems. As a self-defense instructor, I would likely consider recommending some of Wiseman's exercises for some of my students to help themselves change their attitude about "luck."...more info
  • Acceptable for leisure reading on psychology, but definitely not to be treated as a work of serious science
    If you want to read a book that would increase your luck in casinos or lotteries, please give this one a pass. However, if you want some reinforcements for your positive thinking and doing, it's readable. Personally I agree with the power of positive thinking and doing. My reservation about this book, as you can sense it, primarily comes from the illogical and unscientific research methodology the author adopted to prove the luck principles he himself brought forward, not to mention that the principles in themselves are quite broken and ill defined. In short, acceptable for leisure reading on psychology, but definitely not to be treated as a work of serious science. ...more info
  • Good advice on how to improve your luck
    Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be much luckier than others? Why do people believe that a piece of jewelry or clothing can bring good luck? Why do they feel the need to avoid things that they consider harbingers of bad luck? In this delightfully written book, Dr. Richard Wiseman shows that good mental health - not superstition - determines good luck. He highlights four of the fundamental psychological principles that lucky people instinctively follow to generate good fortune in their lives. He promises that by keeping a "Luck Journal" and following the exercises and questionnaires in the book, you can gauge and nurture the source of luck in your life. This book reveals how good psychological habits and positive action can bring good fortune into your life. Wiseman presents his thoughts in a fun way, with entertaining anecdotes. getAbstract recommends this fresh self-help book to those who want to improve the quality of their lives or, in other words, get lucky....more info
  • A program for living, not research about luck.
    The book disappointed me. There is no definition of what luck is or how it can be measured. Luck in this book doesn't have anything to do with chance events. People who think they are happy, self satisified, and consider themselves lucky, are lucky. They answer some questionaires about themselves in the same way. Unlucky people have common answers too and get lower scores. But Dr. Wiseman doesn't give his tests to random people and check how well the test measure luck in the general sense (for example does indebtedness correlate well with high scores). You get to rate yourself against his pool of data to see if you're lucky or unlucky. Finally, there are some exercises you can do that will help you improve your lot in life, and thereby your luck or is it the other way around. The advice is quite sensible and easy to follow, but it's not going to help you draw to an inside straight the next time you need to....more info
  • Lucky you...
    The right book has appeared at the right time. Get it, read it and then... open your eyes to the new world in front of you....more info
  • Luck from Scientific Perspective
    This is definitely an interesting book. It views the 'luck' from a scientific perspective. By having 4 simple principles, everyone can increase the chance of luck. In fact, Dr. Wiseman demonstrates the people with luck having a common set of personalities that lead them to have more opportunities than others. Luck is not from your psychic power, it's more the consequence of how you behave and how you view your daily life.
    This book is similar to the "Millionaire Mind" by Dr. Thomas Stanley, which depicts the characteristic of being a millionaire. To be a better luck person, it's simple, just be more positive and using Dr. Wiseman's four principles....more info
  • There's more to Luck than just luck!
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd never really thought about luck before, but upon meditating on the principles in the book, I realized that there is more to luck than just chance. It's an asset that you can acquire and Richard Wiseman tells you how to acquire it! Don't just read it - when you're finished, enroll in "Luck School" and watch your life change! I'm astounded at all the things that are happening in only four days of "school"! It isn't just my outer world that is changing but my response to events as well - my awareness of these principles is changing me! It is all explained in this generous gift of a book - buy it quick!...more info
  • It really does work!
    All I can say is that we got this book, and things actually DID strart going better, including getting a better job, having more positive things happen, etc. Things literally turned around. And that was within one month. I liked the exercises - very practical and doable.

    In regard to the idea that he didn't have any objective test for luck - Dr. W. had subjects go into rather lengthy descriptions of what in their lives had happened to support their perception of themselves as lucky or unlucky. By most people's standards, the unlucky people WERE having rather hard times. The lucky people were having a much easier time.

    It's important to remember that Dr. W. is sort of professional skeptic - he's not into the paranormal. He got these principles out of hard-headed investigation. I learned in the lab - don't argue with the results you have gotten! He's gotten good results - try it for yourself and see!...more info
  • Acceptable for leisure reading on psychology, but definitely not to be treated as a work of serious science
    If you want to read a book that would increase your luck in casinos or lotteries, please give this one a pass. However, if you want some reinforcements for your positive thinking and doing, it's readable. Personally I agree with the power of positive thinking and doing. My reservation about this book, as you can sense it, primarily comes from the illogical and unscientific research methodology the author adopted to prove the luck principles he himself brought forward, not to mention that the principles in themselves are quite broken and ill defined. In short, acceptable for leisure reading on psychology, but definitely not to be treated as a work of serious science. ...more info
  • Fortune cookie philosophy
    Though based on academic research, this book has the kind of self-help pop psych style that I personally find extremely annoying. It compares people who self-describe as lucky or unlucky, and shows this is associated with a range of other aspects of positive or negative attitudes to life. Well duh. Their concluding principles? Maximize chance opportunities, listen to your intuition, expect good fortune, see the positive side of misfortune. Is this an improvement over fortune cookie philosophy?...more info
  • The ONLY book about LUCK you will ever need to read!
    I always thought that I was "unlucky". So after I saw this TV show featuring Dr. Richard Wiseman (the author), I bought his book. Normally I'm a skeptic, but after reading his book, I really believe his principles are true, and that if I follow the advice in his book, I can become a "lucky" person!

    He doesn't just give his opinions about the topic of luck. He actually performed numerous SCIENTIFIC experiments to test lucky and unlucky people. So the book is based on science, not superstition.

    After reading this book, I will never buy another book about luck -- I don't need to! This is the one and only book I will ever need to be a "lucky" person!...more info
  • Something Is Missing!
    Only the most hardcore scientific materialist would assert, as Dr. Wiseman does, that luck is nothing more than a byproduct of our behaviors and attitudes. That undoubtedly plays a role, but to get another perspective I turned to a new book, LUCKY YOU!, by Fitzgerald, that tells a deeper, more complex and interesting story about streaks of good and bad luck. He goes far beyond Wiseman by examining, from his own experiences, from observations of others, and from the latest parapsychological research, how intuition can shape good fortune through our dreams, our attention to patterns of synchronicities,and even how we are influenced by a spiritual dimension of luck that involves the belief systems we construct around meditation practices and prayer. Contrast both books and judge for yourself which comes closer to your own personal truth....more info
  • Fortune's foursome

    This 10-year study with volunteers reveals that good fortune is not primarily due to talent, hard work or intelligence. The scientific investigation is based upon interviews and experiments with people who consider themselves lucky; the author concludes that luck is a state of mind that may be cultivated.

    Wiseman identifies four principles that underlie a life of good fortune, adherence to which will draw good luck into the life of the individual. These are 1. The belief that you are lucky (lucky people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities. They also have a relaxed attitude to life). 2. Lucky people make success happen by using their intuition and gut feelings. 3. One must expect good fortune, hold fast to this belief and persevere in attempting to achieve your goals. 4. Lucky people have a knack for transforming back luck into good luck. One must affirm your good fortune and have a strong conviction that everything will work out for the best.

    The text is illustrated by graphs illustrating the research results plus some black and white illustrations of playing cards. Overall the conclusions are quite impressive and I find the results of the study very convincing. There are plenty of exercises and the book concludes with notes that include bibliographic references. It is heartening to finally see scientific proof of the claims made by sages and esotericists down the ages

    ...more info
  • Practical Advice for Better Luck
    Although the concept of taking concrete steps based upon scientific data to improve your luck seems strange, Dr. Wiseman has developed a few core concepts that allow anyone to increase the amount of good luck they experience. If you are looking for tabulations of double-blind studies on luck, this isn't the book for you. If, however, you want to find out what the average lucky person does that you might be overlooking, this book is a must read. The author adopts a simple workbook/diary approach that allows the reader to improve chance opportunities and develop the tools necessary to capitalize on those opportunities....more info
  • A Penny for My Thoughts
    I saw the author, Dr. Richard Wiseman, on television the day before yesterday and was intrigued, so I bought the book a couple of hours later. I've never particularly considered myself either lucky or unlucky. But I've always felt there was more to luck than mere chance. Wiseman posits just that point.

    This book reminds me a bit of Dale Carnegie's classic, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Carnegie's book was groundbreaking because at the time it was written there was hardly anything in the popular press about worry?as opposed to today. Ha! Likewise, this may be a ground breaking book on the topic of luck. The author's style is similar to Carnegie's?easy to read, upbeat, lots of anecdotes, and "principles" to follow. I especially enjoyed Dr. Wiseman's references to his earlier career as a magician.

    I'm going to follow the author's advice and keep a "Luck Journal" for the next thirty days. Thus far, one hour after finishing the book, I've found one penny on the sidewalk....more info

  • I'm Feeling lucky already.
    I'm feeling lucky this week. I read two of the best books I'v read in a long time, both on the subject of bringing about good fortune by using one's mind. This book, and The Little Guide To Happiness. Both show us what a change in thinking and attitude can do to our exterior lives. Wonderful!!!...more info
  • Maybe Change Your Life. Forget About Changing Your Luck!
    Richard Wiseman heads a research unit in the psychology department at the University of Hertfordshire, so you'd think he'd know something about experimental methodology. Unfortunately, you'd never guess it by reading this book. Wiseman claims that his research has revealed that `the real explanation behind luck lies in four basic psychological principles'. The selling point of `The Luck Factor' is these principles to can be used to `make unlucky people lucky, and lucky people even luckier.'

    The main difficulty with this claim is that at no point in his book does Wiseman present any sort of objective test for `luck'. Rather, his subjects classify themselves as `lucky' or `unlucky' (and he simply takes their word for it) or else they are classified by him as such based on their own subjective evaluation of the degree to which they share certain characteristics with people who see themselves as either `lucky' or `unlucky'. Since the `four principles' are based on data about people who feel lucky, rather than people who are lucky in some objective sense, the only honest claim that could be made based on Wiseman's research is that some people who follow his `four principles' might begin to think of themselves as luckier.

    The problem with using people's subjective evaluation of their own luckiness is revealed in an experiment (presented early in the book) to determine whether `lucky' people have more psychic ability than `unlucky' people. Seven hundred volunteers who phoned in upon viewing a particular television programme (Random population sample? Why bother?) were asked to categorise themselves as lucky, unlucky or neutral based on how well they felt they matched Wiseman's `Lucky Description' or `Unlucky Description'. Here's the Lucky description for reference (complete with grammatical errors):

    "Lucky people are people for whom seemingly chance events tend to work out consistently in their favour. For example, they seem to win more than their fair share of raffles and lotteries, or to accidentally meet people who can help them in some way, or their good fortune might play an important role in them achieving their ambitions and goals."

    All of the volunteers entered the same draw of the National Lottery, buying an average of three tickets each. None of the subjects won more than ¡ê56 pounds (that amount was won by two participants, one `lucky' and one `unlucky'). On average both `lucky' and `unlucky' participants lost about ¡ê2.50. Wiseman's conclusion: `The results indicated that luck wasn't due to psychic ability'.

    The results indicate something entirely different to me. The description of `lucky' specifically talks about winning lotteries. Yet people who classified themselves as `lucky' according to this description didn't do any better at the lottery than those who classified themselves as `unlucky' (though `lucky' people's expectations of winning were more than twice as high as those of `unlucky' people). This would seem to indicate that the `lucky' people who participated in this experiment were anything but. They may have been more optimistic, unrealistic, or self-deluding, but they weren't luckier.

    Wiseman comments:

    "When it comes to random events like the lottery, such expectations count for little. Someone with a high expectation of winning will do as well as someone with a low expectation. However, life is not like a lottery. Often our expectations make a difference. They make a difference to whether we try something, how hard we persist in the face of failure, how we interact with others and how others interact with us."

    That's all very true, but when Wiseman admits that expectations `count for little' when it comes to `random events' he is more or less admitting that they have nothing to do with luck.

    Wiseman goes on to analyse the characteristics of `Lucky' people (i.e. those who think they are lucky, but probably aren't any luckier than the rest of us) and finds that they have several things in common. Unsurprisingly, they expect good fortune and they see the positive side to random events (for example, having just broken her leg in a freak accident, an `unlucky' person would say `It was bad luck' whereas a `lucky' person would tend to say `I'm lucky I wasn't killed').

    Much of the evidence given in this book is anecdotal and many of the anecdotes intended to illustrate someone's luck or lack thereof fail miserably. Women who end up in successive abusive relationships are described as `unlucky in love', though choice, not luck, determines who we marry; and a person who gets involved with someone she doesn't fully trust is better characterised as `desperate' than `unlucky'. Similarly, we hear anecdotes about `lucky' people who enter contests and win prizes. We later learn that entering contests is their hobby and it's only because they enter so many that they win. Statistical probability is involved here, not luck.

    But Wiseman doesn't hesitate to extract `ways to improve your luck' from these instances. The women who are `unlucky in love' are meant to show how we can improve our luck by trusting our intuition. (Despite the fact that they had blatant, as well as intuitive, indicators that their men were jerks). The contest winners supposedly illustrate that we can improve our luck by being more persistent-- though I fail to see how increasing one's chances of achieving something through deliberate, persistent and calculated effort has anything to do with `luck'.

    I'm sure some of the clich¨¦d suggestions in this book (e.g. positive thinking and networking) will help some readers (those who haven't heard it all before) to improve their chances of achieving their goals. I doubt any of them will help readers to improve their luck. My opinion of this book would have been much higher if the author had straightforwardly framed his findings in terms of `How to make the most of your opportunities.' I really would like to read some properly conducted scientific research which addresses the question of whether some people are innately luckier than others and, if so, what characteristics they share. Unfortunately, Dr. Wiseman seems to have different interests....more info


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