1. The Happiness Hypothesis
Starting with my personal favourite on the list, Jonathan Heidt effortlessly brings to light the beliefs of ancient systems and puts them under the scrutiny of modern science. Heidt conveys his superior knowledge of psychology and neuroscience, and compares it with his understanding of such ancient systems in a witty yet comprehensive way. Heidt shows the flaws and misconceptions of various systems and practices — as well as their truths — whilst offering a tangible solution to the many vices and privations which trouble the modern person.
2. Thinking Fast and Slow
In a summary of decades worth of research, Kahneman challenges the various cognitive biases people subconsciously possess, and apply day after day. Understanding that our minds are composed of two parts — an instinctive and primal section, and a more critical and rational section — together with their manifestations in decision making will give you an “aha” moment of relatability. The applications of this book are vast, from daily tasks to major business decisions, you’ll never look at decision making the same again.
3.Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion
If you’re the type of person who finds themselves constantly being rejected by others — someone who is never taken seriously despite your best efforts at being authoritative, constantly left feeling like a pushover — Robert B. Cialdini has your back on this one. In this best-seller, Cialdini teaches us the 6 principles of persuasion which will ensure that you’ll never be left feeling like a fool again. In applying these 6 principles you’ll be at the centre of attention, seemingly commanding people with your every word. Mind control in disguise? Maybe. Totally awesome? Definitely!
Who’s it for: Those with great ideas, but who struggle to have them acknowledged
4. Outliers: The Story Of Success
Do you want to find out how the worlds most successful people became, well, successful? Who better than to ask someone who has spent years studying them and finding out exactly that. This is precisely what Malcolm Gladwell has done, and shares with us in his book Outliers. Through these observations, Gladwell developed “The 10000 hour rule” amongst other associations made on how one achieves a high level of success. Whether you’re an athlete, musician — or anything really — If you want to become world-class at it, this book is for you.
Who’s it for: Anybody looking to become a champion, leader and grand master.
5. Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness
In an unexpected yet mindblowing take on happiness, Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced cheek sent me high) shows through decades of research exactly how our happiness is effected by the work we commit ourselves to. He argues that happiness is achieved through a mental state known as Flow, where the high skill level of the individual is met with challenging work. Imagine a mathematician solving a perplexing problem, or an artist bringing their conception to life through seemingly perfect brush strokes. What happens to the brain during this state appears paradoxical!
Who’s it for: Anybody working in a skilled profession, or who regularly practice a hobby.
6. Authentic Happiness
As one of the worlds most established Psychologists, Martin Seligman paves the way to happiness with this light and rewarding book. Proving that happiness is more a product of internal conditions rather than external, this book shows us how to develop the numerous aspects of life we often overlook. This is for anyone who wishes to become a more well-rounded version of themselves.
Who’s it for: People looking to develop their interactions with others.
7. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
You may have noticed in recent years the fading of the IQ phenomenon, and the emergence of this new theory of EQ — or emotional intelligence — and for good reason. Psychology is now showing us that EQ is a bigger determinant of personal success and mental health than IQ. Emotional intelligence is exactly what the name implies, it is our ability to identify and handle not only our own emotions, but the emotions of others, and our ability to handle situations according to these principles. Overall a thought-provoking book.
Who’s it for: Anybody who lets their emotions, or the emotions of others get the better of them.
8.The Selfish Gene
In ‘The Selfish Gene’, Professor Dawkins articulates a gene’s eye view of evolution.
This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research.
Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published.
Kevin Horsley was the guy who broke a world memory record back in 2013, and he’s brought you ‘Unlimited Memory’ to teach you his lessons.
Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds… this book will teach you how to improve your memory significantly, ultimately improving your productivity, work ethic, reliability, and success in whatever you do.
And since the guy broke a world record for what he preaches, I’d probably do what he says!
10. Predictably Irrational
Ever wondered why we make the decisions we do?
Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational, challenges the common misconception that we naturally act in very rational ways.
Ariely explains that all the decisions we make are systematic and predictable, and therefore meaning that certain ‘senseless’ behaviors people tend to have towards things aren’t senseless at all.
Once again, here are the top 20 best psychology books to read this year:
- The Happiness Hypothesis
- Thinking Fast and Slow
- Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion
- Outliers: The Story Of Success
- Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness
- Authentic Happiness
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
- The Selfish Gene
- Unlimited Memory
- Predictably Irrational
- What is a good psychology books to read
The Happiness Hypothesis
Thinking Fast and Slow
Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion
Outliers: The Story Of Success
Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
The Selfish Gene
- Can I self study psychology?
Today, there are plenty of great ways to learn more about the human mind and behavior such as taking a college course, signing up for a free online class, or self–studying using online resources.
Do you recommend any other psychology books that should be featured on this list? Leave a comment below.