The Best Psychology Books

The category of psychology books, also known as self-help books, is one of the most popular today. Being able to manage our emotions and understand how we operate is essential to leading a full life. That's why psychology and self-help books are one of the best tools for acquiring knowledge and personal growth.

Today I bring you my list of the best psychology books that I've read. I consider these as some of the most influential andI highly recommend getting these books.

"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence is a genuine publishing phenomenon that not only revolutionised the concept of intelligence but added a new expression to our everyday vocabulary, changing the way we perceive personal excellence.

Why isn't the smartest student the most successful adult at work? Why are some people more able to face setbacks, overcome obstacles, and see difficulties in a different light?

A new psychological concept that answers these questions is emotional intelligence. It allows us to be aware of our emotions, understand the feelings of others, tolerate the pressures and frustrations at work, increase our capacity for empathy, and our social skills. 

Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking fast and slow is an international best seller and rightfully so. Daniel Kahneman, considered by many as the most influential psychologist alive today, offers a revolutionary perspective on both self-help and psychology as a whole: the brain and two systems that shape how we think. 

System 1 is fast, intuitive and emotional while System 2 is slower, deliberative and logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary ability (and also the errors and biases) of quick thinking and reveals the enduring influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behaviour.

We can understand everything that we do only if we know how the two systems work when developing our judgments and decisions.

 The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton

When we talk about psychopaths what typically comes to mind? Characters, real or fictional, such as Hannibal Lecter, the Butcher of Milwaukee or Dexter?

This book talks about these people, but it also speaks to respectable people like Neil Armstrong, Bill Clinton, Vincent Van Gogh, John Stuart Mill or JF Kennedy. Because, according to Kevin Dutton, there are many psychopaths and not all have to be criminals or murderers.

Psychopathy is only an index of the "scale of madness" in which we are all a part of. In fact, there is a fragile line separating the psychological profile of a neurosurgeon and a serial murderer. We can say, therefore, that psychopaths have tremendously positive and essential traits for success in the twenty-first century: they are bold, charismatic, relentless, focused, cold and confident.

This book is an intellectual journey that combines scientific knowledge about the brain with the secrets about maximum security prisons, monasteries, and training camps., The Wisdom of Psychopaths reveals a shocking truth; after the dark facade, psychopaths have much to teach us.

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

Contrary to what some people think, this book is not a classic manual of popular psychology, although it can change your view of relationships. With a bit of luck and reflection, it will also affect your view of the world and human relationships.

Unlike the earlier books, reading this book is a bit 'heavier’, but the messages it contains are so interesting that it is worth it. The book begins with the theory of love, and analyses the different types of emotions, such as romantic love, parental love, and divine love (God). Of particular interest is the section dedicated to the practice of love. If you have a desire after that to read something else by this author, I highly recommend: " Fear of freedom "; a masterpiece, but this book requires a slightly higher level of reflection.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks

This unusual psychology book tells 20 clinical stories in a fictional format. You learn about 20 people suffering from neurological problems and see how they present with different symptoms, from memory loss to the inability to recognise individuals or objects.

Without a doubt, this is an ideal book to approach those classic pathologies in clinical psychology through a more human lens. And if you like this kind of reading, you can continue with Tales from the Couch by Dr. Bob Wendorf. 


The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Each of the choices we make every day are not the result of considered decision making. Instead, they are habits. And since every one of these habits has a tremendous impact on our health, productivity, safety and happiness, it seems inevitable to ask the question: 

Can we change?  The answer is yes.

Based on numerous research and interviews conducted both in academia and in business, investigative journalist Charles Duhigg shares the latest psychological and neurological findings related to our decision- and habit-making routines.

The result is an exciting read, enlivened by real-life examples. The key to the results is to demonstrate how the adoption of a habit can radically transform our personal, corporate and social life.

Psychopathology of Everyday Life by Sigmund Freud

I am a big fan of Sigmund Freud and his writing, I have to emphasise this in advance. But my bias aside, any self-respecting psychologist can not avoid this classic.

Certainly this is not a book to read in one sitting, but if faced with confidence, its pages will capture you. In this book, Freud addresses issues such as slips of the tongue, forgetting certain words, and intentions ... In short, the book tries to explain all these little mistakes and oversights that we all suffered.

Also, it is an excellent text for insight into psychoanalysis. Without a doubt, this book will leave you stunned.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

This book is a very clear and precise body centred around a series of experiments.

Dan Ariely highlights the hidden forces that shape our behaviour, especially about economic decisions. It is a work that reveals those factors which we are usually not aware of, but that influence our decisions nonetheless.

I particularly recommend the chapters on the cost of social norms and the effect of expectations.

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