10 Best Psychology Books Everyone Should Definitely Read

books on psychology

The human mind is a complex machine. There are many different factors that influence an individual’s behavior and thoughts.

If you want to learn about human psychology and behavior, these 10 books on psychology are the best place to start. The information in these books can offer unique perspectives on decision-making and forming habits, and may even inspire you to make some necessary changes.

List of Books on Psychology

Psychology is a broad and intensive field of study. So, this list includes books on various aspects of psychology, including social attachments and understanding the brain and nervous system.

#1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales – Oliver Sacks

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If you just want to dip your toes into the world of human psychology and learn about some unique neurological disorders, this is the perfect book for you. Considered a classic, Dr. Oliver Sacks documents some rather fascinating and bizarre cases of neurological disorders.

Whether it’s about an individual who cannot recognize their own limbs or someone with violent tics, Dr. Sacks approaches each affliction with compassion and care. The vivid narrative style also makes this book an easy read and will give you a unique perspective on how intricate the human brain is.

#2. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry – Jon Ronson


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In this book, Ronson explores modern-day mental health to understand what it means to label someone a “psychopath.” Ronson talks about a man who avoided a prison sentence by pretending to be mad and then applies these signs to identify whether high-ranking individuals like politicians and CEOs are psychopaths.

Through his numerous visits to psychologists and psychiatrists and notes down interesting observations, the book also examines how psychopaths are diagnosed.

#3. The Social Animal – David Brooks

Social Animal

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Those who are familiar with David Brooks’ Op-Ed column in The New York Times are well aware of his enthusiasm for social sciences, particularly psychology.

In this book, Brooks explores human nature, the concept of success, and the factors that contribute to the failure and victories in life. These concepts are examined through the lives of Harold and Erica, two imaginary people, to explain his theories in a detailed and relatable manner.

The book focuses on the unconscious and conscious mind and posits that the unconscious mind is more when it comes to making decisions.

#4. Influence: Science And Practice – Robert Cialdini


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An acclaimed work of extensive research, in this book, Cialdini assesses the psychology of compliance and examines why some people tend to say “yes” to someone’s request.

Using a narrative approach, Cialdini presents compliance techniques through six psychological ethics-based categories: authority, consistency, liking, reciprocation, scarcity, and social proof. This is an extremely useful book that will not only teach you about the science behind influence but also makes you aware of what you should look out for if you suspect someone is trying to persuade you.

#5. Thinking, Fast And Slow – Daniel Kahneman


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If you’re interested in behavior research, few books will come close to Nobel-laureate Daniel Kahneman’s masterpiece. In this book, Kahneman leads his readers to uncover the relationship between two modes of thought each individual should cultivate: fast and slow.

While the first system is impulsive, emotional, and intuitive and involves no conscious thought, the second system of thought is deliberate and thoughtful. This book shows that we cannot always trust our intuition and that slow thinking offers way too many benefits for us to ignore.

#6. Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip Heath and Dan Heath


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Brothers and co-authors Chip and Dan Heath examine how the main obstacle people face when wanting to make lasting changes is the conflict integrated into their brains. This conflict concerns the two conflicting systems that rule our minds — the rational mind and the emotional mind.

While the rational mind acknowledges logical changes that need to be made, like exercising regularly, the emotional mind wants to remain comfortable and eat ice cream. This book examines how it is possible to unite these two minds and effect transformative change to achieve success.

#7. The Art Of Choosing – Sheena Iyengar


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Our life is full of choices. Every minute of every day, we are making decisions that define our lives and can have far-reaching effects. In this book, Iyengar examines the concept of choice and what affects our decisions.

By examining whether the desire for choice is innate or bound by culture and how much control we have over our choices, Iyengar forces a deeper inquiry into the various external factors that influence our choices.

#8. Priceless: The Myth Of Fair Value – William Poundstone


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Drawing from the studies on behavioral economics and research on psychophysics, Poundstone explores the psychology behind value or intrinsic value. Studies have shown that most people cannot precisely estimate a “fair” price of a given object as they are often influenced by irrational and unconscious notions.

People in power have taken advantage of such studies to make customers pay more. This new psychology of value and prices significantly impacts the menu, price tags, and even cell phone and internet plans. This book emphasizes how businesses set prices and puts you in a better position to assess the value of any product or service you wish to buy.

#9. Stumbling On Happiness – Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling On Happiness

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A witty and very enjoyable read, Gilbert’s book is a detailed exploration of why people cannot figure out what will make their future selves happy. By examing the concepts of illusion, imagination, and misconception, this book will tell you how consistently we tend to delude ourselves into making choices that we think will make us happy.

Far from a self-help book, Gilbert has presented extensive research on philosophy cognitive neuroscience, and behavioral economics to provide a spectacular insight into why we often wrongly predict what will make us happy.

#10. Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational

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Behavioral economist Dan Ariely completely discards the assumption that human beings are rational animals. Instead, he suggests that human behavior is naturally irrational and only sometimes rational.

Through a number of enlightening experiments and studies, Ariely shows how our emotions, external elements like social norms, and assumptions lead us to make irrational choices. He further states that such mistakes often become patterns. This book provides an interesting and eye-opening look at the world around us.

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