Ever wondered what your birthday says about you? Or why men and women
find different jokes funny? Or how to tell if someone is lying? If so,
you need some Quirkology in your life.
Professor Richard Wiseman has dedicated his life to understanding the
backwaters of the human mind and going to places where mainstream scientists
fear to tread. The result is Quirkology – a book that will change
the way you think about thinking.
Prof Richard Wiseman has announced the results of an international
study in collaboration with the British Council to measure the speed
of life. You can read about the work below, and find out if you are
living life in the fast lane by completing our short quiz here.
The experiment was conducted by British Council researchers who secretly
timed thousands of pedestrians’ speed of walking in city centres
across the globe, including London, Madrid, Singapore, and New York.
A study carried out in the early 1990s demonstrated that pedestrians’
speed of walking provides a reliable measure of the pace of life in
a city, and that people in fast-moving cities are less likely to help
others and have higher rates of coronary heart disease. Using identical
methods to those employed in the previous work, the present day research
teams discovered that the pace of life is now 10% faster than in the
early 1990s. The biggest changes were found in the Far East, with
the pace of life in Guangzhou (China) increasing by over 20%, and
Singapore showing a 30% increase, resulting in it becoming the fastest
moving city in the study.
Prof. Richard Wiseman said: `This simple measurement provides a significant
insight into the physical and social health of a city. The pace of
life in our major cities is now much quicker than before. This increase
in speed will affect more people than ever, because for the first
time in history the majority of the world’s population are now
living in urban centres.’
Surprisingly, London ranked outside the top ten, suggesting that many
in the capital prefer to live life in the slow lane compared to Copenhagen
and Madrid who proved to be the fastest European cities, whilst the
Middle East tended to have the slowest pace of life.
Find out more about the method used in this study here.
Find out if you are living life in the fast lane by completing our
short quiz here.