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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in the mind
This 10-year study with volunteers reveals that good fortune is not due to talent, hard work or intelligence. This scientific investigation is based upon interviews and experiments with people who consider themselves lucky; the author concludes that luck is a state of mind.
Wiseman identifies four principles that underlie a life of good fortune, adherence to which...
Published on May 1 2004 by Pieter Uys

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the luckiest people will be those who don't buy this book
First, I disagree with Arlea's review that the whole book should be tossed out because he let people rate themselves as "lucky" or "unlucky" -- frankly, if you think you're lucky, you ARE. I mean, what could be luckier than having a positive attitude and always looking on the bright side? People who have that sunny disposition ARE lucky, and they know it. It doesn't...
Published on July 31 2003 by Sensible Kate


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the luckiest people will be those who don't buy this book, July 31 2003
This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
First, I disagree with Arlea's review that the whole book should be tossed out because he let people rate themselves as "lucky" or "unlucky" -- frankly, if you think you're lucky, you ARE. I mean, what could be luckier than having a positive attitude and always looking on the bright side? People who have that sunny disposition ARE lucky, and they know it. It doesn't matter whether they're "objectively" lucky (and who decides what's "objectively" lucky -- is it having lots of money? not necessarily...) My quibble with the book is that the entire thing can be summed up in one sentence ("Be a bubbly optimist who always looks on the bright side, and you'll be more open to life & have more luck!"). He pads this out with anecdotes and graphs and so on, but it's like a sophomore trying to pad out his termpaper. The luckiest people will be the ones who read the excerpt above and don't spend $... for the "book"!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in the mind, May 1 2004
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind (Paperback)
This 10-year study with volunteers reveals that good fortune is not due to talent, hard work or intelligence. This scientific investigation is based upon interviews and experiments with people who consider themselves lucky; the author concludes that luck is a state of mind.
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 from the research 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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, May 21 2012
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This review is from: The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind (Paperback)
The Luck Factor is a great book with great tips in how to change your views about your life for the better it has great information and exercices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A program for living, not research about luck., March 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspective!!, May 23 2003
By 
Otto Yuen (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Change Your Life. Forget About Changing Your Luck!, April 28 2003
By 
AA Hunt-Anschutz (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
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 £56 pounds (that amount was won by two participants, one 'lucky' and one 'unlucky'). On average both 'lucky' and 'unlucky' participants lost about £2.50. 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 clichéd 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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad.... not bad at all, March 23 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman is definitely one of the more interesting/entertaining books I have read in my lifetime. I am not much of an avid book reader, but I do know a good book when I read one. Throughout the book, the doctor details the data gathered from many people of various types who he studied to discover just what exactly makes one person "luckier" than another. One thing he found was that persons who exert themselves socially create more contacts and more opportunities for "lucky" events. He spent eight years doing many elaborate tests and comparing the data from these tests. And with the results, he compiled this masterpiece book that everyone should read--especially the unlucky!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Something Is Missing!, Feb. 15 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Andrea Whatshername seems to have missed the point, July 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice for Better Luck, July 16 2003
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This review is from: The Luck Factor (Hardcover)
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.
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The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind
The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind by Dr. Richard Wiseman (Paperback - Feb. 9 2004)
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