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Five Minutes With

Five Minutes With… Richard Wiseman

The psychologist and YouTuber has guested on many podcasts, including The Infinite Monkey Cage and The Tim Ferriss Show... and now has his own.

6:28 PM GMT+1 on June 28, 2023

    Richard Wiseman’s On Your Mind (listen now) explores some of his greatest experiments - from the world’s most popular joke to the science behind ghosts.

    Think of it as a cross between Radiolab and Monkey Cage. We sat down with Richard to find out why we should tune in...

    Describe the show in one sentence - but only using words with an increasing number of letters.

    A fun show about everything psychological.

    What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned making the first few episodes?

    It was great to revisit some of my work into the psychology of the paranormal. I haven’t been inside a haunted house for many years, and so it was great to go through all of our photographs, floorplans and data. My argument is that these strange experiences have a psychological explanation, and are due to people’s expectations and beliefs, along with some odd environmental factors such as low frequency sounds known as infrasound.

    What have you learned doing it that you wish you could unlearn?

    I love learning and so tend not to want to unlearn anything, although... in one episode on persuasion, we do chat about the time that I went to see a rug shop quite confident that my knowledge of psychology would protect me from the many sales techniques.

    Alas, I walked out with four rugs under my arm. So I guess I would have preferred that that story ended with me triumphing over the sales folks, but it was not to be.

    What podcasts are you listening to at the moment?

    I have been fortunate to have been a guest on quite a few podcasts recently, and so have spent some time listening to those. I especially enjoyed the Tim Ferriss Show because he is such a good interviewer and really focuses on useful ways of looking at success and productivity. Also, A Cuppa Happy with Joss Stone is always lots of fun because Joss has an amazingly easy going personality that really helps guests relax. So those two would be top of my list.

    If you had to recommend one episode as a way into your show, what would it be?

    I guess I would go with the happiness episode. We talk about the whole area of happiness, including how it is related to cheerfulness, a meaningful life and psychological richness. It is full of useful hints and tips, and I was delighted to cover lots of research-based material that often doesn’t come out in other discussions on podcasts.

    Richard Wiseman’s On Your Mind is available every Tuesday. Click to listen now.

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