The finest psychology books blend scientific rigor with easy-to-understand language. For book suggestions, we looked to some of the most renowned psychologists working today.
Although psychology does not have all the answers, it can assist you in gaining a better knowledge of yourself and others, as well as what motivates their ideas, feelings, and behaviors.
Using the condensed psychological information offered in these books can help you make better decisions, regulate your habits, be more motivated and productive, and perhaps even be a little happier.
The best authors and thinkers in the field of psychology have provided us with all of the knowledge we require to fully comprehend how our brains function.
For us to read, all of the finest research underlying behaviors, ideas, and decisions have been put down. Understanding how our brains work may provide us with a wealth of helpful information.
To be successful in life, you must develop effective habits, think critically, and make quick and wise judgments. However, there’s no use in doing this unless you have a thorough understanding of the science involved.
Check out our selection of new psychology books to stay up to date.
Best Psychology Books to Read
1. Stumbling on Happiness
Why are couples more willing to forgive adultery than they are to forgive dirty dishes in the sink?
Why are seeing individuals willing to pay more to prevent going blind than blind people are willing to pay to restore their vision?
Why do dining friends insist on ordering different dishes than what they truly desire?
Why do pigeons appear to have such good aim; why can’t we recall one song while listening to another; and why does the grocery store queue always slow down the moment we get in it?
Famous Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explores the follies of imagination and illusions of foresight that drive each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions in this smart, humorous, and approachable book.
Gilbert explains why we appear to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are going to become, with profound insight and dazzling writing.
2. Influence: Science and Practice
Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes” in a narrative style with scholarly research.
The long-expected edition of Influence, which has been widely utilized in classrooms and sold to successful business people, reminds the reader of the power of persuasion.
Reciprocity, consistency, social proof, like, authority, and scarcity are the six categories Cialdini divides compliance tactics into based on psychological factors that guide human behavior.
This wonderful book describes how we become convinced in easy-to-understand terms. It has a lot of useful information for people who sell, but it’s much more useful for those of us who bargain and purchase.
Robert B. Cialdini is the W. P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Arizona State University, where he is also a Regents’ Professor of Psychology and Marketing.
3. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
The Heaths illustrate how ordinary people employees and managers, parents, and nurses have brought both brains together and produced tremendous outcomes in Switch:
- The humble medical interns who overcame a decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients
- The home-organizing guru who devised a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping and
- The manager turned a slacker customer service team into zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service.
The Heaths pull together decades of paradoxical research in psychology, sociology, and other areas in a captivating, story-driven narrative to offer new insight on how we may achieve transformational change.
Switch demonstrates that effective changes follow a pattern, which you can apply to achieve the changes you want, whether you want to alter the globe or your waistline.
The switch is jam-packed with anecdotes from a variety of disciplines that emphasize the necessity of combining the Rider’s and Elephant’s talents to effect change. This may be a useful read for the Obama administration’s would-be change-makers.
4. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
We are faced with the task of persuading people to do what we desire daily. But what motivates others to comply with our requests?
Persuasion is both an art and a science, and experts studying it have discovered a set of secret principles for persuading others to follow your lead.
Yes! offers fifty simple but amazingly powerful methods that will make you considerably more persuasive at business and in your personal life, based on more than sixty years of study into the psychology of persuasion.
This book offers dozens of startling insights from the science of persuasion in short, fun, and informative chapters that you can implement right now to become a more successful persuader, co-written by Professor Robert Cialdini.
The results provided in Yes! are often paradoxical, yet they will help you avoid typical errors while also arming you with little-known but proven wisdom.
Yes! illustrates how simple, scientifically proven adjustments to your approach may have a significant influence on your persuasive skills, whether you’re in advertising, marketing, management, sales, or just interested in how to be more powerful in everyday life.
5. The Social Animal
The Social Animal is a classic work that continues to be relevant and distinctive edition after edition, providing a concise and engaging introduction to current social psychology.
Elliot Aronson investigates the patterns and motives of human behavior through a vivid narrative, lively presentations of important research, and intriguing examples, covering topics as diverse as terrorism, interpersonal attraction, and the power of religious cults.
Elliot Aronson (author) is a well-known and talented psychologist of our day.
He is the first individual in the American Psychological Association’s 120-year history to have received all three of the organization’s main awards: Distinguished Researcher (1999), Distinguished Teaching (1980), and Distinguished Writing (1980). (1975).
6. The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology
What effect does our current situation have on how we act and think? Professors Ross and Nisbett make a compelling case that the situation in which we find ourselves has a significant impact on our conduct.
This current edition of one of social psychology’s classic works is essential reading for everyone with an interest in human behavior, with a new introduction by Malcolm Gladwell and a new afterword by the authors.
In some ways, all of my works have been intellectual godchildren of The Person and the Situation. Over the last ten years, this book has been a steady friend. – Malcolm Gladwell
Lee Ross (author) is a Stanford University professor of psychology and one of the founders and primary researchers of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation.
Richard E. Nisbett is the Theodore M. Newcomb Professor of Psychology and Director of the University of Michigan’s Research Center for Group Dynamics.
7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, the seminal authority in the subject of influence and persuasion, discusses the psychology of why people say yes and how to use these concepts responsibly in business and everyday settings in this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller.
You’ll learn how to apply the six fundamental principles of persuasion to become a competent persuaded and, more crucially, how to protect oneself against dishonest influence efforts.
It is both free and deceptively simple to understand and practice the six ethical principles.
Influence is a thorough guide on applying these principles successfully to increase your capacity to influence the behavior of others, backed by Dr. Cialdini’s 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research to change behavior.
Robert Cialdini has accomplished the unthinkable: he has enhanced a work of art. The new edition of Influence is a fantastically rich and entertaining study of people’s subtle power over one another.
8. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
According to conventional thinking, if we work hard enough, we will be more successful, and if we are successful, we will be happy. Happiness will follow if we can just get that amazing job, get that next promotion, and drop those five pounds.
However, new positive psychology research has revealed that this formula is backward: Success is fueled by happiness, not the other way around.
Our brains become more engaged, creative, driven, energetic, resilient, and productive at work when we are cheerful. This isn’t simply a catchphrase.
Rigorous studies in psychology and neurology, management studies, and the bottom line have all confirmed this conclusion.
Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, uses his research to repair this flawed formula, including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at firms like UBS and KPMG.
Achor shows how we may rewire our minds to become more optimistic to obtain a competitive edge at work, using anecdotes and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries.
Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about decisions that appear to be made in a flash in the blink of an eye but aren’t as straightforward as they appear. Why are some people continuously good at making decisions while others are consistently bad?
Why do some individuals follow their instincts and succeed, while others make mistakes? In the office, the classroom, the kitchen, and the bedroom, how do our brains work?
And why is it that the finest judgments are frequently the most difficult to explain to others?
We meet the psychologist who can forecast if a marriage would continue based on a few minutes of observation; the tennis coach who can anticipate when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball.
Here, too, are classic “blink” failures: Warren Harding’s election, “New Coke,” and the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.
Great decision-makers, according to Blink, aren’t those who analyze the most data or spend the most time deliberating, but rather those who have mastered the skill of “thin-slicing,” or selecting the few elements that matter from an overwhelming amount of variables.
10. Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
Why is it so tough to get out of a bad relationship or sell a falling stock? Why do we take someone’s counsel merely because they’re “important”? Why is it that when there is a risk of falling in love, we are more inclined to do so?
All of these concerns and more are answered in Sway by famous organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman.
Sway introduces us to the professor who got his students to pay $204 for a $20 bill for his years of training resulted in the industry’s transformation and the football coach who turned conventional strategy on its head to lead his team to victory.
We also learn about the NBA draft’s curse, why interviews are a bad method to predict future job success and travel inside a Supreme Court session to observe how the world’s most powerful justices avoid group dynamics’ hazards.
Ori and Rom Brafman not only provide reasonable explanations for a wide range of irrational actions in Sway, but they also show readers how to avoid falling to its attraction.
11. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Charles Duhigg, an award-winning business writer, brings us to the cutting edge of scientific findings that explain why habits exist and how they may be altered in The Power of Habit.
Duhigg provides a whole new perspective of human nature and its possibilities by distilling huge quantities of information into captivating narratives that take us from the boardrooms to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights struggle.
The Power of Habit is built on an exciting argument: knowing how habits operate is the key to exercising regularly, reducing weight, becoming more productive, and attaining success.
Few books become indispensable business and life guides. The exception is The Power of Habit. Charles Duhigg not only discusses how habits are formed but also how to break harmful behaviors while maintaining good ones.
12. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Chip and Dan Heath describe the anatomy of ideas that stay and explain how to make ideas stickier, including employing the human scale principle, the Velcro Theory of Memory, and generating curiosity gaps, in their book Made to Stick.
We learn along the way that sticky messages of all kinds from the famed “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s sportsmanship instructions to a vision for a new product at Sony all relies on the same six qualities.
Made to Stick will change how you communicate forever.
The Nobel Prize-winning scientist who swallowed a glass of germs to show a point about stomach ulcers; the organizations that employ the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation truly averted racial bias.
Made to Stay is a provocative, eye-opening, and often shockingly hilarious book that explains the key principles of winning ideas and how we can use them to make our messages stick.
13. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Why do our headaches last after taking a one-cent aspirin but go away after taking a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we spend on a fancy supper yet save twenty-five cents on a can of soup by cutting coupons?
When it comes to making life decisions, we believe we are making sound, reasonable judgments. But are we there yet?
Dan Ariely refutes the conventional notion that people behave in fundamentally reasonable ways in this freshly revised and enlarged edition of the blockbuster New York Times bestseller.
We continually overpay, underestimate, and delay in everything we do, from drinking coffee to losing weight, from purchasing a car to choosing a love partner.
These erroneous actions, on the other hand, are neither random nor mindless. They’re methodical and predictable, causing us to behave irrationally.
14. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
The carrot-and-stick method, according to most people, is the greatest way to inspire individuals. According to Daniel H. Pink, this is a mistake (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others).
He claims that the secret to great performance and satisfaction at work, school, and at home is the very human urge to lead our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our planet in this intriguing and convincing new book.
Pink reveals the gap between what science knows and what business does and how this impacts every area of life drawing on four decades of scientific study on human motivation.
In a remarkable book that will change how we think and revolutionize how we live, he analyses the three aspects of real motivation autonomy, mastery, and purpose and gives clever and unexpected strategies for putting these into action.
Whether you’ve been studying psychology for years or are ready to start your first year at university, here are eight books that will not only assist you with your subject but also help you remember why you liked it in the first place. Happy Reading!
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