6 Must-Reads for Anyone Interested in Psychology

Fancy delving inside the human mind? Here are six fascinating, non-fiction books you might enjoy.

If you’re one of the many people fascinated by psychology and the workings of the human mind, there is a vast amount of reading material out there for you to enjoy.

Here are six modern, psychologically charged books that you might want to add to your reading list. How many have you already ticked off?

Front of book The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

1. The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson

This collection of anecdotes from author and journalist, Jon Ronson, makes for an interesting read. Through careful research and countless visits to psychologists, psychiatrists and diagnosed psychopaths, Ronson explores the characteristics that lie behind psychopathy.

With frequent references to the Hare test, Ronson openly discusses the idea that many of the world’s leaders, both in business and politics, may in fact be psychopaths. Ronson’s storytelling will make you want to keep turning the page and the non-academic tone makes it an easy read for those who have little to no knowledge of psychology.

Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman book cover

2. Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahenman

Famous for his work on the psychological factors that lie behind decision making, psychologist Daniel Kahenman discusses two different systems that affect the way we think, looking closely at each of the system’s positives and pitfalls.

An insightful and interesting read, Kahenman offers extensive advice regarding when we should and should not trust our instincts, talking from both personal and professional perspectives. From the faults that influence fast thinking, to the cognitive bias that affects almost every decision we make, we can guarantee you won’t reach the end of this book without feeling like you’ve learnt something new.

Front of book: Predictably irrational by Dan Ariely

3. Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely

When it comes to the choices we make in our lives, we all feel fairly in control, right? Well, this book authored by behavioural economics expert and Duke University professor, Dan Ariely, might make you feel a bit differently.

In a series of fascinating experiments, Ariely looks at all the invisible factors that affect the way we make decisions, from emotions, through to social norms and expectations. What makes it even more interesting is Ariely’s claim that our bad decisions are not made randomly, hence why so many of us are ‘predictably irrational’.

Front of book: The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova

4. The Confidence Game, Maria Konnikova

"Writer Maria Konnikova’s The Confidence Game offers a intriguing insight into con artists, from their motives through to their methods"

If you’ve ever wondered how big personalities can get away with things time and time again, this book has the answer to all your questions. Not only does Konnikova explore the reasons con men behave the way they do, she also delves into the minds of their victims, discussing their ability to fall for their tricks not once but multiple times, and examining how we can have our perception of the truth changed by people we barely know.

Front of book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

5. The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

Award-winning business reporter, Charles Duhigg, shines a light on human nature and habit, from why habits develop through to how you can change them. In this book, Duhigg essentially puts forward the idea that the key to achieving common goals (staying fit and healthy, setting up a successful business, etc.) is understanding the effects of habit.

Duhigg has an excellent track record when it comes to transforming a ton of information into an intriguing and engaging narrative, and The Power of Habit is no exception to the rule. 

Front of book - Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

6. Grit, Angela Duckworth

Described as a ‘must-read book for anyone striving to succeed’, psychologist Angela Duckworth’s Grit shares what she believes to be the secret to success – not talent, but a focused persistence she refers to as ‘grit’.

In her book, Duckworth discusses the reasons why she feels talent plays only the smallest of parts in a person’s ability to succeed; instead, she talks about factors such as resilience and understanding our goals, and the role they play in making us far more likely to achieve what we want in life. Her book draws on many case studies, from young Spelling Bee finalists through to renowned and highly successful CEOs.

Are there any psychology books you think should have made it onto the list? Tweet us on @Arden_Uni and let us know!