The 34 Best Psychology Books That Will Make You Smarter and Happier

Best Psychology Books

You might wonder “why should I know more about psychology and what are the best psychology books to begin learning about it?” Psychology is a broad and diverse field that concentrates on studying how people, including you, behave and think. It includes emotions, personality, and so much more.

When you understand psychology, you will understand yourself and the people around you.

You’ll also make better decisions, handle tough situations more easily, and get closer to reaching your full potential much faster than you could have ever imagined.

This fascinating science will even help you understand why you and those you’re closest to act the way you do and how you can change for the better.

Our over 800 summaries here at Four Minute Books include hundreds about psychology. We’ve hand-picked our top 34 favorite ones for this list so that you can learn from them and understand yourself better so you can take advantage of the power of your own mind.

If you want to discover new levels of productivity, mental toughness, happiness, and so much more, these books are just what you’ve been looking for.

Table of Contents


Best Books on Psychology Overall

1. Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow Book Cover (Best Psychology Books Overall)

Favorite Quote

”Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” — Daniel Kahneman

The Book in One Sentence

Thinking Fast And Slow shows you how two systems in your brain are constantly fighting over control of your behavior and actions, and teaches you the many ways in which this leads to errors in memory, judgment and decisions, and what you can do about it.

Why should you read it?

Our minds are driven by two systems that influence the way we think. One system is fast and works on the emotional side, while the other one is a tad slower and makes more use of logic. These two systems work together to shape the way we think and to influence our decisions and Kahneman wants to reveal in this book how to cope with our brain.

Key Takeaways

    1. Your behavior is determined by 2 systems in your mind – one conscious and the other automatic.>
    2. Your brain is lazy and thus keeps you from using the full power of your intelligence.
    3. When you’re making decisions about money, leave your emotions at home.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Drive by Daniel Pink

Drive Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” — Daniel Pink

The Book in One Sentence

Drive explores what has motivated humans throughout history and explains how we shifted from mere survival to the carrot and stick approach that’s still practiced today – and why it’s outdated.

Why should you read it?

There are many ways out there to make use of when motivating ourselves, but some of them might just be wrong. Daniel Pink has put together this persuasive book to help us figure out how to be high performers in any field of our lives, by making use of the need to direct our lives. This book will help you change your perspectives on motivation.

Key Takeaways

    1. The carrot and stick approach is dead.
    2. Extrinsic motivation destroys intrinsic motivation.
    3. Strive for the flow state in everything you do.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The danger of expecting nothing is that, in the end, it might be all we’ll get.” — Dan Ariely

The Book in One Sentence

Predictably Irrational explains the hidden forces that really drive how we make decisions, which are far less rational than we think, but can help us stay on top of our finances, interact better with others and live happier lives, once we know about them.

Why should you read it?

We make decisions daily and sometimes, we might not even think about the mechanism behind them. Humans are considered rational beings, but certain behaviours might end up making them… irrational, but in a predictable way, according to Ariely. This book will help you better understand your patterns of thought and who knows, maybe even break them.

Key Takeaways

  1. We compare whatever we can, so give others easy comparisons to pick you.
  2. Free is really just another price, but a powerful one.
  3. You overvalue what you own.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson

Everything is F*cked Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Hopelessness is the root of anxiety, mental illness and depression. It is the source of all misery and the cause of all addiction.” — Mark Manson

The Book in One Sentence

Everything Is F*cked explains what’s wrong with our approach towards happiness and gives philosophical suggestions that help us make our lives worth living.

Why should you read it?

Even though we seem to have everything nowadays, from freedom to amazing technological discoveries, more and more people seem to drown in a feeling of hopelessness. A book concentrating on everything that is surrounding us, by putting things into perspective in a sharp, yet humorous way, it will make you consider things that you probably never even thought about before.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pure logic won’t help you make the best decisions, a balanced brain will.
  2. Hope won’t solve your problems, it takes acceptance and principles to do that.
  3. The solution to mental illnesses is not chasing happiness, it is to attain true freedom from our addictions and dependencies.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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5. The Wisdom Of Insecurity by Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.” — Alan Watts

The Book in One Sentence

The Wisdom of Insecurity is a self-help classic that breaks down our psychological need for stability and explains how it’s led us right into consumerism, why that won’t solve our problem and how we can really calm our anxiety.

Why should you read it?

You would think that this age offers enough stability to human beings, but it sometimes seems to be exactly the opposite: we live in an age where things seem rather unstable and vulnerable. Alan Watts has put together this book where we put into perspective the idea that as much as we want to reach a perfect level of psychological security, many things make us go towards psychological insecurity.

Key Takeaways

  1. Without religion to tell us it’ll be okay, life can become very uncertain, and that’s terrifying.
  2. The happiness consumerism promises us is really just emptiness in a pretty wrapper.
  3. Pleasure and pain always come in one package, and embracing that will make you less anxious.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Books on Psychology For Beginners

6. Do What You Are by Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron, & Kelly Tieger

Do What You Are Book Cover (Best Books on Psychology For Beginners)

Favorite Quote

“The right job enhances your life. It is personally fulfilling because it nourishes the most important aspects of your personality..” — Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron, & Kelly Tieger

The Book in One Sentence

Do What You Are will help you discover your personality type and how it can lead you to a more satisfying career that corresponds to your talents and interests..

Why should you read it?

Your perfect career is a… personality type away. This book will help you figure out what exactly it is that you are good at – by figuring out what your personality type is and which occupation is the best one for you, according to your result. By using different exercises and examples, this book will help you determine what path you need to follow to be satisfied with your life and career.

Key Takeaways

  1. Notice the ways you connect with the world to identify your personality type.
  2. Discover your optimal career path by considering your identity and what interests you.
  3. No matter how old you are you can always change your occupation to something more satisfying.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants.” — Jonathan Haidt

The Book in One Sentence

The Happiness Hypothesis is the most thorough analysis of how you can find happiness in our modern society, backed by plenty of scientific research, real-life examples and even a formula for happiness.

Why should you read it?

If you want to understand happiness, but you are not sure where to start, this could represent a good starting point. There are many sayings out there regarding happiness that we might have used naturally, but are they still available today? Haidt’s book is provocative and puts under analysis the way traditional wisdom interacts with the modern world.

Key Takeaways

  1. Surround yourself with the people you love the most and live in accordance with reciprocity.
  2. Do work that matters to you.
  3. Find a partner who will stand by your side through sunshine and rain and allow yourself to be part of something greater.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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8. Influence by Robert Cialdini

Influence Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Our best evidence of what people truly feel and believe comes less from their words than from their deeds.” — Robert Cialdini

The Book in One Sentence

Influence has been the go-to book for marketers since its release in 1984, which delivers six key principles behind human influence and explains them with countless practical examples.

Why should you read it?

Why do you, and other people, say ‘yes’? Is it because someone is persuading you or is there another reason? Robert Cialdini explains in this book six principles that will help us not only become better persuaders but also understand the psychology behind this act. These principles will also help you figure out what you need in order to achieve success.

Key Takeaways

  1. You can use the reciprocity bias to build up a massive good karma account.
  2. The scarcity bias works, because we hate to miss opportunities.
  3. Make a small commitment to trigger your consistency bias and reach your goal.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books For Sales And Marketing

9. The Psychology Of Selling by Brian Tracy

The Psychology of Selling Book Cover (Best Books on Psychology For Sales And Marketing)

Favorite Quote

“Help yourself warm up and prepare mentally by repeating, ‘I feel happy! I feel healthy! I feel terrific!’ It is not possible for you to talk positively to yourself, using words like this, without immediately feeling happier and more confident.” ― Brian Tracy

The Book in One Sentence

The Psychology Of Selling motivates you to work on your self-image and how you relate to customers so that you can close more deals.

Why should you read it?

How do you sell more? If this is a question that you still haven’t found an answer to, this book might be of good help, as it will provide you with enough ideas, strategies, and techniques to make you sell faster and more, all in a more efficient way.

Key Takeaways

  1. Utilize the power of your subconscious to become more successful.
  2. You will get more motivation and passion if you learn from the right people.
  3. Questions are the holy grail of unearthing customers’ needs and they will help you make more sales.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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10. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

The Tipping Point explains how ideas spread like epidemics and which few elements need to come together to help an idea reach the point of critical mass, where its viral effect becomes unstoppable.

Why should you read it?

It takes a tipping point to start something big, something that is rapidly adopted by people. Something that is an idea or a trend that spreads to the masses. And Malcolm Gladwell explains this idea in this bestseller, by analyzing diverse ideas and trends, to figure out what makes them so interesting, that people just seem to dive into them instantly.

Key Takeaways

  1. Once an idea reaches the tipping point, it spreads like fire.
  2. Three kinds of people are responsible for getting ideas to tip.
  3. Without stickiness, no idea will ever tip.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Emotions

11. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence Book Cover (Best Books on Psychology About Emotions)

Favorite Quote

“In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” — Daniel Goleman

The Book in One Sentence

Emotional Intelligence explains the importance of emotions in your life, how they help and hurt your ability to navigate the world, followed by practical advice on how to improve your own emotional intelligence and why that is the key to leading a successful life.

Why should you read it?

Does having a high IQ give you a guarantee that you are going to be successful? According to Daniel Goleman, it takes a bit more to get to the highest point of success, by looking at how the two sides of our brain work together – the rational and the emotional. This book shows us how emotional intelligence determines various aspects of our lives and how it is also a way of being smart.

Key Takeaways

  1. Emotional intelligence rests on self-awareness and self-regulation.
  2. A high EQ makes you healthier and more successful.
  3. You can boost your EQ by mirroring other people’s body language and thinking optimistically.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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12. Descartes’ Error by Antonio R. Damasio

Descartes' Error Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Willpower is just another name for the idea of choosing long-term outcomes rather than short-term ones.” — Antonio R. Damasio

The Book in One Sentence

Descartes’ Error will help you understand why the argument that the mind and body are disconnected is false by using neuroscience and interesting case studies to identify how the body and our emotions play a vital role in logical thinking.

Why should you read it?

“I think therefore I am” can be easily considered one of Descartes’ most famous proclamations. But since its appearance, it has made science concentrate more on the cognitive side of things, rather than the emotional one. Antonio R. Damasio has written a provocative book that makes use of case studies, to demonstrate that we need emotions not only for being rational but also for our behavior.

Key Takeaways

  1. Brain damage, like what Phineas Gage experienced when a rod went through his head, gives us clues about how the mind really works with the body.
  2. Emotions are vital to our mind’s ability to function properly and think logically.
  3. Your brain uses feelings from past experiences to construct somatic markers which help it make decisions faster.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Love And Relationships

13. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus Book Cover (Best Books on Psychology About Love And Relationships)

Favorite Quote

“When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences, then love has a chance to blossom.” — John Gray

The Book in One Sentence

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus helps you improve your relationships by identifying the key differences between men and women.

Why should you read it?

Men and women have different ways to communicate, even though they are both human beings. This book is based on years of successful counselling and can help you figure out how to communicate with the man or woman sitting beside you, without turning everything into a conflict. Is it all just about accepting each other’s differences? Let’s find out!

Key Takeaways

  1. Women want men to listen to them while men desire solutions to problems.
  2. Men are motivated when they feel useful, women are inspired when they feel loved.
  3. Women and men communicate differently and assign separate meanings to the same words.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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14. Attached by Dr. Amir Levine

Attached Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.” —Dr. Amir Levine

The Book in One Sentence

Attached delivers a scientific explanation why some relationships thrive and steer a clear path over a lifetime, while others crash and burn, based on the human need for attachment and the three different styles of it.

Why should you read it?

What would you say is your attachment style, based on how you feel towards your partner? This book helps us understand our attachment style, giving us a little bit of insight into the science behind love. Understanding your behavior in relation to the other will help you build a stronger and more satisfactory bond with your significant other.

Key Takeaways

  1. Everyone needs attachment, it’s a prerequisite for a happy and healthy life.
  2. There are 3 different attachment styles, which one are you?
  3. Effective communication is the best way to guarantee your happiness in any relationship.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Personality

15. Personality Isn’t Permanent by Benjamin Hardy

Personality Isn't Permanent (Best Books on Psychology About Personality)

Favorite Quote

“The only thing ‘special’ about those who transform themselves and their lives is their view of their own future. The refuse to be defined by the past. They see something different and more meaningful and they never stop fueling that vision.” — Benjamin Hardy

The Book in One Sentence

Personality Isn’t Permanent will shatter your long-held beliefs that you’re stuck as yourself, flaws and all, by identifying why the person you are is changeable and giving you specific and actionable steps to change.

Why should you read it?

Do people change their attitudes and behaviors throughout their lives or do they constantly stay the same? According to psychologist Benjamin Hardy, the idea that people never change is rather wrong and it keeps us away from being who we need to be. Offering practical advice and basing everything on science, this book will certainly catch your attention.

Key Takeaways

  1. There are five destructive myths about personality that lead to mediocrity and support the fixed mindset that holds you back.
  2. Your goals determine your personality and are the tool you need to change your identity.
  3. No matter who you’ve been in the past or who you are now, you can upgrade how you see yourself and transform your future.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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16. The Personality Brokers by Merve Emre

The Personality Brokers Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“To investigate the history of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the most popular personality inventory in the world, is to court a kind of low-level paranoia. Files disappear. Tapes are erased. People begin to watch you.” — Merve Emre

The Book in One Sentence

The Personality Brokers uncovers the true, yet un-scientific origins of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test.

Why should you read it?

There is a test out there that is used almost everywhere when it comes to determining someone’s personality – and that is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This book concentrates on figuring out how a personality indicator became such a huge success, while also trying to put into perspective all the things that could influence us to be ourselves.

Key Takeaways

  1. Katherine Briggs-Myers and her daughter Isabel Myers based their personality test on the questionable principles of Carl Jung.
  2. Briggs created her first personality test at a time when Americans were ready to receive it, thus beginning the era of self-help writing.
  3. Although scientifically unsound, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator does have it’s benefits and uses.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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17. The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron

The Road Back to You Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box. It shows you the box you’re already in and how to get out of it.” — Ian Morgan Cron

The Book in One Sentence

The Road Back To You will teach you more about what kind of person you are by identifying the pros and cons of each personality type within the Enneagram test.

Why should you read it?

Human beings are all wired differently, but at the same, they all have positive and negative traits. This book concentrates on the Enneagram, which is an ancient personality typing system and can help you learn more about yourself. Filled with stories, this book will help you figure out how to get to a deeper knowledge of who we are as people, by diving into the spiritual side of things.

Key Takeaways

  1. There are nine personality types in the Enneagram.
  2. You might feel that your personal traits fall into multiple types, and that’s why the test has what are known as wing numbers to give you additional clarity.
  3. Each number in the test has corresponding stress and security numbers to help you better understand how you react in different circumstances.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Anxiety And Depression

18. My Age Of Anxiety by Scott Stossel

My Age of Anxiety Book Cover (Best Books on Psychology About Anxiety And Depression)

Favorite Quote

“It is a fact – I say this from experience – that being severly anxious is depressing. Anxiety can impede your relationships, impair your performance, constrict your life, and limit your possibilities.” — Scott Stossel

The Book in One Sentence

My Age Of Anxiety is your guide to understanding an aspect of mental illness that most of us don’t realize is so severe, showing it’s biological and environmental origins and ways to treat it.

Why should you read it?

When would you say that you heard the term ‘anxiety’ for the first time? You might get to the conclusion that thirty-something years ago, this was not considered a diagnostic, while nowadays, it has become one of the most common mental illness diagnostics. Stossel gives us a bit of insight into how anxiety affects people and how to control it at the same time.

Key Takeaways

  1. This disease can make life difficult and embarrassing.
  2. Anxiety comes from evolution but is also a result of our experiences in childhood.
  3. To treat this form of mental illness, you can use drugs and therapy.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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19. Lost Connections by Johann Hari

Lost Connections Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The more you think life is about having stuff and superiority and showing it off, the more unhappy, and the more depressed and anxious, you will be.” — Johann Hari

The Book in One Sentence

Lost Connections explains why depression affects so many people and that improving our relationships, not taking medication, is the way to beat our mental health problems.

Why should you read it?

One of today’s most common mental illnesses is depression. Even though there are many people out there suffering from depression, it is still rather unclear what causes it: is it a chemical imbalance or is it the way we live today? Lost Connections shares different stories, from different groups to help us have a better understanding of how depression works and how we can fight against it.

Key Takeaways

  1. Depression is not the result of a chemical imbalance.
  2. There are nine main causes of depression, and they all have to do with difficult life circumstances.
  3. Social prescriptions help people feel valued and connected while medication does not.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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20. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?” — Matt Haig

The Book in One Sentence

Reasons To Stay Alive shows you the dangers and difficulties surrounding mental illness, uncovers the stigma around it, and identifies how to recover from it by sharing the story of Matt Haig’s recovery after an awful panic attack and subsequent battle with depression and anxiety.

Why should you read it?

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel – or at least, this is one of the most important things that people have to understand. Living with depression is not an easy thing to do, whether it is you that is affected or someone close to you – and Matt Haig knows that, as he also suffers from depression. He has written this frank, yet encouraging book that reminds us that the little things do count and that life should be lived, for the better or the worse.

Key Takeaways

  1. If you’re depressed, reading books to get out of your own head can help.
  2. There are some benefits to mental illness, which even some of the world’s greatest leaders experienced.
  3. Recovery won’t be as straightforward as you think, but it is possible.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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21. A First Rate Madness by S. Nassir Ghaemi

A First Rate Madness Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“In times of crisis, we are better off being led by mentally ill leaders than by mentally normal ones.” — Cal Newport

The Book in One Sentence

A First-Rate Madness shares the stories of many world leaders and explains how they prevailed despite their mental illnesses and struggles, showing you how to turn your psychological disadvantages into leadership strengths.

Why should you read it?

The world has had many notable leaders up to this point – but what do they all have in common when there is a critical moment unfolding? Analyzing leaders such as Gandhi, Churchill, or JFK – and not only – Ghaemi has figured out that what is seen as a mood disorder can be a very important quality for a leader. Are you curious to find out more regarding this subject?

Key Takeaways

  1. Depression and bipolar disorder have benefits that may be helpful in leadership positions.
  2. Historical leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, and JFK had disorders that helped them make better decisions..
  3. Knowing the upside of mental illness can help us remove the stigma around it.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Society

22. Social by Matthew D. Lieberman

Social Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Society)

Favorite Quote

“It’s hard to find meaning in what we do if at some level it doesn’t help someone else or make someone happier.” Matthew D. Lieberman

The Book in One Sentence

Social explains how our innate drive to build social connections is the primary driver behind our behavior and explores ways we can use this knowledge to our advantage.

Why should you read it?

Human beings are social creatures, and that is a well-known fact. But what is a less known fact is to what extent we can be considered “social”. According to Matthew Lieberman, the need for humans to connect seems to be even more fundamental than the need we have for shelter or food. If you want to find out more about our need to be social and connect with other people, this book could be the best for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. We were programmed to connect socially, which is why social pain hurts so much.
  2. The ability to understand the feelings and thoughts of others helps us succeed in life.
  3. Kindness, not money, will buy you happiness and health.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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23. The Social Animal by David Brooks

The Social Animal Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“People who succeed tend to find one goal in the distant future and then chase it through thick and thin. School asks students to be good at a range of subjects, but life asks people to find one passion that they will follow forever.” — David Brooks

The Book in One Sentence

The Social Animal weaves social science research into the story of a fictional couple to shed light on the decision-making power of our unconscious minds.

Why should you read it?

What would you say about a blend of fiction and non-fiction? Because that is exactly what David Brooks is doing in this book: he creates a couple that lives their lives to the fullest. By making use of diverse scientific references, Brooks analyses the traits of both characters and puts into perspective the elements that made them who they are and what drove them towards it.

Key Takeaways

  1. Learning is not linear, it is a process of forward, backward, and side steps.
  2. Changing your environment is more effective than willpower when cultivating new habits and behaviors.
  3. Humans follow seven unconscious structures, so-called if/then rules, when framing a decision.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Language

24. Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew B. Newberg

Words Can Change Your Brain Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Language)

Favorite Quote

“Choose your words wisely, because they will influence your happiness, your relationships, and your personal wealth.” — Andrew B. Newberg

The Book in One Sentence

Words Can Change Your Brain is the ultimate guide to becoming an expert communicator, teaching you how to use psychology to your advantage to express yourself better, listen more, and create an environment of trust with anyone you speak with.

Why should you read it?

People spend a lot of time with other people, daily. But that does not necessarily make them the best communicators, as there is always something more to learn about how we can get our points across. This book will help you improve your communication skills, in order to be happy and successful, no matter which environment you have to use them.

Key Takeaways

  1. If you want to connect with others better when talking, make sure that your mind is relaxed, present, and quiet.
  2. Utilize the power of happy memories to get your smile just right.
  3. You must listen well, speak slower, and even say less to understand others better and have them understand you.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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25. The Secret Life of Pronouns by James W. Pennebaker

The Secret Life of Pronouns Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“If you want to find your true love, compare the ways you use function words with that of your prospective partners..” — James W. Pennebaker

The Book in One Sentence

The Secret Life of Pronouns is a collection of research and case studies explaining what our use of pronouns, articles, and other style words can reveal about ourselves.

Why should you read it?

The way we talk gives a bit of insight into who we are and how we think. Or at least, that’s what Pennebaker has found out in his research – the words we use have a deeper meaning and can carry enough meaning to let us dive into the feelings we have and not only. If you are curious to figure out how the words we use are related to our ways of thinking, The Secret Life of Pronouns could help you out.

Key Takeaways

  1. The manner in which you use style words reveals a lot about your social skills.
  2. Your choice of pronouns reflects your upbringing and ways of thinking.
  3. Examining function words can tell whether people are compatible with one another.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Happiness

26. Stumbling On Happiness by Dan Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Happiness)

Favorite Quote

“The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.” — Dan Gilbert

The Book in One Sentence

Stumbling On Happiness examines the capacity of our brains to fill in gaps and simulate experiences, shows how our lack of awareness of these powers sometimes leads us to wrong decisions, and how we can change our behavior to synthesize our own happiness.

Why should you read it?

We imagine a lot of things daily, but we mostly imagine the future – creating scenarios, mostly. Using the latest discoveries in psychology, economics, and cognitive neuroscience, Daniel Gilbert provides us not only with a brilliant but also accessible book that will put into perspective the fact that we tend to know very little about us and the people surrounding us.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your brain is really bad at filling in the blanks, but it keeps on trying.
  2. You should always compare products based on value, never on past price.
  3. Bad experiences are better than no experiences.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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27. Flourish by Martin Seligman

Flourish Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“I’m trying to broaden the scope of positive psychology well beyond the smiley face. Happiness is just one-fifth of what human beings choose to do.” — Martin Seligman

The Book in One Sentence

Flourish establishes a new model for well-being, rooted in positive psychology, building on five key pillars to help you create a happy life through the power of simple exercises.

Why should you read it?

How can you flourish? Well, the answers you are looking for might be right in the pages of this book, written by Martin Seligman, a founding father of what is called “the happiness research”. Concentrating on positive psychology, this book will help you realise that psychology is more than helping people with their suffering – it is a tool to help you build your life for the better.

Key Takeaways

  1. Seligman’s PERMA model for happiness is the key to a life of profound fulfillment.
  2. Simple positivity exercises can have life-changing effects, like these two.
  3. IQ isn’t everything – success is based on character traits, not just intelligence.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Decision-Making

28. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Decision-Making)

Favorite Quote

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

Blink explains what happens when you listen to your gut feeling, why these snap judgments are often much more efficient than conscious deliberating, and how to avoid your intuition leading you to wrong assumptions.

Why should you read it?

What is behind every decision that we make? Why do some people choose something in the blink of an eye, while others spend a lot of time figuring out what to choose? Blink helps us understand the mechanism behind decision-making and the decisions themselves. If you want to have a better understanding of your mind and mechanisms, Malcolm Gladwell’s book will help you out.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your unconscious is the world’s fastest filter of information.
  2. Stress can lead your gut astray.
  3. Put up screens in situations where you can’t trust your intuition.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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29. The Paradox Of Choice by Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The secret to happiness is low expectations.” – Barry Schwartz

The Book in One Sentence

The Paradox Of Choice shows you how today’s vast amount of choice makes you frustrated, less likely to choose, more likely to mess up, and less happy overall, before giving you concrete strategies and tips to ease the burden of decision-making.

Why should you read it?

We live in a world where choice is no longer a problem: at least from the perspective of quantity. And that is where it gets tricky: this abundance of choice can make us feel overwhelmed and can even lead to anxiety. So, how do we end up making the right choices? Barry Schwartz offers us practical advice that not only will help us make the right choice, but also be happy about the choices we made.

Key Takeaways

  1. The more options you have, the harder it gets to decide, and to decide well.
  2. The more options you have, the less happy you will be, no matter what you decide on.
  3. Good enough is the best – become a satisficer.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Human Behavior And Cognitive Biases

30. Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me by Carol Tavris
Mistakes Were Made Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Human Behavior And Cognitive Biases)

Favorite Quote

“History is written by the victors, but it’s victims who write the memoirs.” — Carol Tavris

The Book in One Sentence

Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me takes you on a journey of famous examples and areas of life where mistakes are hushed up instead of admitted, showing you along the way how this hinders progress, why we do it in the first place, and what you can do to start honestly admitting your own.

Why should you read it?

Ever since we are young, the one thing we do is hide. Of course, it’s not just about the hide and seek game, but the hiding of mistakes. Even as adults, we hate admitting that we have made a mistake. But the question is why do we act like this? This book will take you through the mechanisms in our brains that make us not admit our mistakes and provides enough advice to help you man up and admit your mistakes.

Key Takeaways

  1. You make up self-justifications to deal with the cognitive dissonance your mistakes create.
  2. Confirmation bias can lead you to change your entire morals.
  3. Stop thinking you’re stupid for making mistakes.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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31. The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“The more cashless our society becomes, the more our moral compass slips.” — Dan Ariely

The Book in One Sentence

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty reveals our motivation behind cheating, why it’s not entirely rational, and, based on many experiments, what we can do to lessen the conflict between wanting to get ahead and being good people.

Why should you read it?

Are people 100% honest or do they all have at least a bit of a tendency to cheat? Dishonesty is this book’s main concern and according to bestselling author Dan Ariely, there is some motivation behind cheating and it is sometimes not rational. Fascinated by how human beings make decisions, Ariely has once again looked into how irrationality might influence what we do, even in terms of cheating.

Key Takeaways

  1. You don’t decide to cheat based on rational thinking.
  2. You’re more likely to cheat when there’s a psychological distance between you and cheating.
  3. Don’t wear fake designer clothes. Ever.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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32. Switch by Chip & Dan Heath

Switch Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“Knowledge does not change behavior. We have all encountered crazy shrinks and obese doctors and divorced marriage counselors.” — Chip & Dan Heath

The Book in One Sentence

Switch is about how you can lead and encourage changes of human behavior, both in yourself and in your organization, by focusing on the three forces that influence it: the rider, the elephant and the path.

Why should you read it?

Change might not be the easiest thing to do. Sometimes we cannot do it, because it’s not something depending on us, while other times we refuse to do it because we are scared of the outcome. Chip and Dan Heath have written this book that addresses exactly that challenge: the one of changing, and they want to help us understand what we can do when change is hard, in an entertaining and engaging way.

Key Takeaways

  1. Focus on one specific, critical aspect of the change, so the rider doesn’t have to decide.
  2. Get the elephant moving with a powerful emotion.
  3. Make the path of change easy to follow, because human behavior is highly situational.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Psychology Books About Negative Thinking

33. The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman

The Antidote Book Cover (Best Psychology Books About Negative Thinking)

Favorite Quote

“The effort to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable. Constant efforts to eliminate the negative, that is what causes us to feel so insecure, anxious, uncertain or unhappy.” — Oliver Burkeman

The Book in One Sentence

The Antidote will explain everything that’s wrong with positivity-based self-help advice and what you should do instead to feel, live, and be happier.

Why should you read it?

How happy would you say you are right now? How happy would you be if it started raining or snowing? These two questions are just two examples from a long line of questions regarding happiness – we are all looking for it, but it seems to be quite a hard thing to achieve. And according to Oliver Burkeman, positive thinking might not always be the answer. Are you ready to try some of the unconventional methods this book proposes?

Key Takeaways

  1. Thinking explicitly about happiness and pursuing it directly are actually counterproductive.
  2. Imagining the worst-case scenario makes you resilient, not depressed.
  3. Setting goals is just as likely to lead us into misery as it is to bring happiness.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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34. The Upside Of Your Dark Side by Todd Kashdan

The Upside of Your Dark Side Book Cover

Favorite Quote

“When we are open to new possibilities, we find them. Be open and skeptical of everything.” — Todd Kashdan

The Book in One Sentence

The Upside Of Your Dark Side takes a look at our darkest emotions, like anxiety or anger, and shows you there are real benefits that follow them and their underlying character traits, such as narcissism or psychopathy.

Why should you read it?

Are the positive things happening in your life the only ones meant to take you far and help you live a better life? Or is it necessary for us to also go through negative emotions and learn how to embrace our sadness or anger? Making use of years of research, this book helps us understand that the full range of emotions can help us change our lives.

Key Takeaways

  1. Happiness can interfere with your performance.
  2. Guilt is good, shame is shit.
  3. Mindfulness takes a toll on you.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Conclusion

We love psychology because learning about it is guaranteed to change your life. Our lives have been changed for the better by these books and we know that yours will be too.

It’s not easy to understand your thoughts and emotions. But when you do, you unlock a new potential for better living that you never imagined possible. The more you learn about psychology, the better you’ll get at recognizing the thoughts and feelings that pull you down so you can learn how to overcome them and live happier and healthier.

What would be the first thing one should know in terms of psychology and how would it benefit themselves and others? Let us know!


Other Book Lists

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here’s an index of all book lists we’ve made so far:

    1. The 14 Best Finance Books
    2. The 21 Best Habit Books
    3. The 33 Best Happiness Books
    4. The 7 Most Inspiring Books
    5. The 31 Best Motivational Books
    6. The 33 Best Self Help Books