Richard holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, and his research has been published in some of the world’s leading scientific journals.

Richard research examines a range of topics, including the psychology of luck, illusion, deception, humour, sleep, and belief in the paranormal.  This work has been published in peer reviewed academic journals and is cited in many psychology textbooks.  The research has been funded by several organisations, including The Leverhulme Trust, The Wellcome Trust, and Trinity College Cambridge.


Here’s some additional information about three high-profile projects:

Some Neuro-Linguistic ProgrammingNLP practitioners claim that when a person looks up to their right they are likely to be lying, whilst a glance up to their left is indicative of telling the truth. Richard Wiseman teamed up with Caroline Watt (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Leanne ten Brinke and Professor Stephen Porter (University of British Columbia) to test this idea but found no evidence to support the claim.


Richard spent a decade working with hundreds of exceptionally lucky and unlucky people to scientifically discover why some people live charmed lives, and then developed techniques that help people enhance their own good fortune.  Download an article about this research here and watch David Frost interview Richard about The Luck Factor.



This year long, family-friendly, project aimed to discover the world’s funniest joke!   The project was carried out as part of UK Science Year, and involved people sending in their favourite jokes, and rating how funny they found the jokes submitted by others.  The project attracted international media attention, resulting in the website receiving over 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million ratings.  Read our final report about the project here and download over 1000 of the LaughLab jokes (all clean!) here.