Reading books allows you to learn by absorbing what researchers, professionals and authors spent years and years of their lives gathering.
A great variety of books about psychology have been published, which thanks to their content leave us an enriching knowledge about this discipline.
These books are intended to inform the reader about the understanding of the psychological, social, biological, cultural and economic factors that influence the study of the behavior of the human mind. Here is a list of the 30 best psychology books that you should not stop reading.
1. Think fast, think slowly (Daniel Kahneman)
In this book Dan Kahneman touches on behavioral research with great scope and breadth. Kahneman immerses his knowledge about thinking in the book and argues for us about when we can and when we cannot follow our intuition.
The book also reflects Kahneman’s knowledge of economics, and this is reflected in many examples in the book.
2. The Power of Habits (Charles Duhigg)
This is a book focused on how to achieve mental and emotional balance. In it the author explains how habits can determine the style and quality of life of an individual. And in turn, he argues that by complying with a series of habits on a daily basis, the desired mental balance can be achieved.
3. Multiple intelligences (Howard Gardner)
Multiple Intelligences is Howard Gardner’s book that revolutionized the way of thinking about intelligence.
Gardner created this book to show that there is no true way to measure intelligence and that the human brain is designed with a wide range of cognitive abilities. This book explains that there are 9 different types of intelligence, detailing them one by one.
4. Emotional intelligence (Daniel Goleman)
Emotional intelligence is one of Daniel Goleman’s most popular books, he explains to us how today, it is necessary to develop emotional intelligence skills to better understand others, empathize and negotiate with other people. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is an essential part of cultivating work and interpersonal relationships.
5. The error of Descartes (Antonio Damasio)
In this book, Damasio refers to the importance of emotions in behavior and highlights the great mistake made by Descartes, by creating a dualistic separation between body and mind, and reason and emotion.
6. The malaise in culture (Sigmund Freud)
In this book, Freud shows the great antagonism that exists between the impulses and instinctual demands of the id, and the restrictions imposed by the superego on the basis of culture.
7. Authentic happiness (Martín Seligman)
Seligman exposes in his book some results of his investigations in which he manages to scientifically demonstrate that there are factors and experiences that can make an individual self-fulfill and find full happiness.
8. The interpretation of dreams (Sigmund Freud)
In this work, Freud tried to express his knowledge about dreams and their meanings. In it, the author uses his own dreams as an example and defines dreams as a hallucinatory fulfillment of wishes and consequently, a privileged way of accessing the unconscious .
9. The art of choosing (Sheena Lyengar)
Lyengar explains in this book how human beings make their decisions and what are the external and internal influences that affect such choices.
The author of the book explores multiple types of choices, from political to cultural and from technological to commercial. It also addresses the ordinary decisions of everyday life, as well as the particular decisions that alter the life of the individual.
10. The deceptions of the mind (SL Macknik, S. Martínez-Conde and S. Blakeslee)
This book delves into the world of magic and analyzes the art of deception from the point of view of cognitive neuroscience. “The delusions of the mind” grew out of a year of research in the world of neuromagic, with magicians and neurologists working hard to describe this incredible workings of the human mind.
11. The language of gestures (Flora Davis)
Davis presents in this work, an interesting analysis of non-verbal language and the way in which human beings communicate through gestures. The author emphasizes the importance of non-verbal language and the multiplicity of meanings that it can have, explaining it with day-to-day examples that simplify the reader’s understanding.
12. Love or depend (Walter Riso)
This is a book that talks about emotional affective dependence and aims to help those people who are or have been victims of unhealthy love . It shows examples of inappropriate love relationships, and crisis situations as a couple.
13. History of madness in classical times (Michel Foucault)
This work addresses the vision of western society about madness in different stages: the renaissance, the classical age and the more contemporary experience. The author denies that madness is a natural entity, while affirming that it is created by society.
14. Why are we the way we are (Eduardo Punset)
Together with some of its most prominent specialists, Punset addresses different topics to demonstrate why the human being is the way it is. In the book we see how the sophistication of language, memory and learning differentiates us from other animal species, and we glimpse new perspectives on sexuality and reproduction.
15. El arte de amar (Erich Fromm)
This is a wonderful book written by Erich Fromm; in it the author traps us in the world of love with his sophisticated words about this fragile and subtle feeling. Among its most captivating passages we highlight:
“Love is a decision, a judgment, a promise. If love were just a feeling, there would be no basis for promising eternal love to someone. A feeling comes and goes. How can I decide that I will stay forever, if my actions do not include judgment and decision-making?
16. What the brain tells us: The mysteries of the human mind uncovered (VS Ramachandran)
In this work we find several strange and interesting cases – from patients who believe they are dead to those who suffer from phantom limb syndrome – and we see an unprecedented perspective on the mysteries of the human brain.
17. The Compass of Pleasure (David J. Linden)
How does our brain make fatty foods, orgasm, exercise, marijuana, generosity, vodka, learning, and playing feel so good? This is the question Linden seeks to answer in this book.
The pleasure compass is a book that tries to inform the reader about the brain mechanisms that cause different situations or substances to function as triggers of pleasure in humans.
18. The Secret Life of Pronouns (James Pennebaker)
This book – like the other books by this author – focuses on how language can reveal a lot about a person.
Some archetypes that focus on include gender, wealth, lies, sadness, introverts versus extroverts, among others.
19. Obedience to authority (Stanley Milgram)
This book is based on Milgram’s experiment, which was intended to test whether or not people would obey authority, even when asked to do something they knew was wrong.
It details many accounts of participants showing signs of severe distress. This book is a necessary reading to understand the construct and inherit dangers in authority.
20. Mindfulness (Ellen J. Langer)
Ellen Langer postulates in this book that robotic behavior can cause a lot of pain in life, that is why it induces us to learn a new model of life, Mindfulness .
The goal of this book is to provide the reader with the knowledge necessary to become more aware of our actions and to notice when automatic behavior begins to become toxic.
21. Intuitive Intelligence: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell)
Intuitive Intelligence or Blink, is a book that tries to revolutionize thinking and the way we see our inner world. Gladwell explores the psychological processes of intuition and instinct, and examines how we make split-second decisions and judgments. It also emphasizes that the perception we use, for example, to accurately observe a dangerous situation or to know when a person is malicious, is the same that makes us unconsciously racist and sexist, even if we consciously adhere to other points of view.
22. The Lucifer Effect (Philip Zimbardo)
This book was written to reflect on the results of a famous experiment conducted at Stanford Prison. After the experiment was over, Zimbardo emphasized the negative effect that power can have on people and how “situational power” can govern a person’s natural inclinations toward goodness.
The author not only tries to understand why people are interested in committing evil if they consider themselves as “good people”, but also asks the reader to evaluate how they would behave in situations similar to those shown in Stanford prison experiment.
23. The instinct of willpower (Kelly McGonigal)
McGonigal talks in his book about willpower, how it works, and how to develop it. It displays practical advice and ingenious explanations of the biological and psychological mechanisms involved in volitional life .
It also contains practical exercises, which help develop self-awareness, a crucial tool for those willing to work on willpower and motivation.
24. The Paradox of Choice (Barry Schwartz)
The paradox referred to in the title of the book shows that more can also mean less, since offering more options can cause an overload of choice in people, for example, in the market, offering more can mean fewer sales.
It is assumed that the more options people have, the more freedom they have, but having more freedom of choice is not always accompanied by greater psychological well-being. Schwartz argues that too many options, paradoxically, are far from liberating. In fact, people do not know what to do with so many options and tend to make poor decisions or enter a choice paralysis.
25. Why do we lie (Dan Ariely)
In her book, Ariely uses psychological experiments to learn more about the nature of lying, and her findings show that, when given the opportunity, almost everyone cheats, but “only narrowly.” The author uses a combination of research and his own life stories to show how a simple lie can lead to a person being dishonest.
The book also encourages reflection, because it indirectly asks how it can affect the degree to which people cheat and causes the reader to stop and think about what factors could make them more or less cheat personally.
26. The social animal: introduction to social psychology (Elliot Aronson)
The basis of this book is to help us understand the behavior of human beings as a social being, how we think, how we behave, what makes us aggressive and what makes us love. It shows how changes in a person’s behavior or opinions occur as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or a group.
27. The happiness hypothesis (Jonathan Heidt)
In this book, Heidt brings the beliefs of ancient systems to light and brings them under the scrutiny of modern science. The author conveys his superior knowledge on psychology and neuroscience, and compares it to his understanding of such ancient systems in an ingenious and comprehensive way. It also shows the flaws and misconceptions of various systems and practices, as well as their truths, while offering a tangible solution to the many vices and deprivations that preoccupy modern people.
28. Civilization and its discontent (Sigmund Freud)
In this book, Freud analyzes the construction of civilization and our relationships with others, addresses the problems that life in a civilized society poses for the individual, and helps us understand why our civilization is constructed the way we see it. .
It begins by referring to the oceanic feeling, a feeling of eternity, something that goes beyond the limits and barriers of perception. Freud affirms that this is a purely subjective fact, unrelated to a particular religion. He sees the human experience of this oceanic feeling as a regression to the state prior to an individual’s ability to differentiate between themselves and the outside world.
29 The fear of freedom (Erich Fromm)
This book is an analysis of the character structure of modern man. Fromm claims that freedom, while it has brought modern man independence and rationality, has also isolated him and made him anxious and powerless. This man, freed from the ties of pre-individualist society, which simultaneously gave him security and limited him, has not gained freedom in the positive sense of the realization of his individual being.
For the author, the isolation created by freedom is so unbearable that man faces two alternatives: to escape the burden of this freedom towards new dependencies, or to advance towards the full realization of positive freedom that is based on singularity and the individuality of man.
30. The man and his symbols (Carl G. Jung)
This book is distinguished from other works by Jung. It is divided into five chapters and a final conclusion. In the first chapter, Jung describes the basis of all his theories: the unconscious and the theory of archetypes . In the remaining four chapters he applies his theories and shows how archetypes and symbols appear in myths and the visual arts, with one chapter illustrating how symbols are used in individual analysis.
This is an essential book for those interested in the study of meaning, mind, and symbols.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.