7 Best Psychology Books of 2021 (Ranks and Reviews)

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Considering how much emphasis society places on the need for mental health in this pandemic, it’s surprising to see that so many people are unaware of the stunning world of psychology.

Have you ever wanted to better understand your behavior, the people around you, and how your brain works?

Psychology isn’t just a subject of interest. It is a part of life. It can help improve and understand yourself better. The process of understanding yourself will help you to change and adapt, even if it’s just a little.

If you want to dig into the nature of human beings and human personalities, there is a wealth of psychology books out there. Whether your interest is behaviorism or social psychology, neuropsychology or cognitive psychology, you can find dozens of the best psychology books for your reading pleasure.

Since many of them have been around for many years, there’s a paradox of choices to get started with. And so, In this post, I present to you the 7 best psychology books to get started with reading this year. 

You will get to know which book is said to be the top in its category. And, this list will also be helpful for students who would like to read some good books in this field and need an idea about where to start with.

Disclaimer: To keep this website running, I need funds. And to support these, I may receive affiliate compensation from Amazon LLC, if you decide to purchase any book on amazon through checkout links available on this page without any extra cost to you. Read more about my affiliate disclosure here.

Let’s get to the list.

What is the Best Psychology Book to Read?

Here are my top picks for the best psychology books to read this year.

1. The Psychopath Test.

The Psychopath Test is an enthralling journey into the world of madness and psychosis. It is a thought-provoking ingenious mix of travel diary, true crime, and medical history, it will change your view of both psychopaths and society forever.’

The book begins with a simple question: “Do you think you’re a psychopath?”

From the author of the best-selling book, ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’, Jon Ronson examines this question from all angles, interviewing psychologists, psychiatrists, and— most entertainingly — the psychopaths themselves.

This book gives a mind-bending exploration, and I bet, the author is obsessed with madness, illusion, and deception. With his unique writing style, he takes his readers on an exploration into the minds of psychopaths – people who exhibit no guilt, no anxiety, no fear, and no remorse.

There are stories about real people who do horrific things: 

  • Infiltrating an underground movement of violent criminals; 
  • Standing over their victims as they commit murder; 
  • Fleeing from authorities while driving a getaway car. 

All have one thing in common: They are all convinced that what they were doing was completely normal.

It’s interesting yet horrifically fun to read.

2. Incognito.

Can you trust yourself? 

You may think that the answer is an obvious yes. 

But David Eagleman’s fascinating new work on the human brain reveals that you are probably wrong whatever you believe about your own character.

Through stunning stories and cutting-edge science, Eagleman immerses you in a universe you didn’t know existed. You’ll learn how the brain perceives time, how it creates meaning from context, how the self emerges, and how your brains create both the best and worst aspects of human behavior. 

Incognito is a strange and thrilling adventure into the most mysterious part of your existence as a human being.

While the conscious mind is a well-worn archetype in literature, Incognito is the first book to intimately explore and reveal the many hidden layers. 

By dividing reality into three parts:

  1. The observer.
  2. The observed. 
  3. And the process that connects them. 

Eagleman examines how I (and you) can better understand ourselves if we both consider how much we are shaped by our environment, technology, and unconscious drives.

3. The Social Animal.

Are humans fundamentally social or antisocial creatures? 

Is it in our nature to help others or to hurt others? 

When we try to solve the major problems of our society — injustice, violence, poverty, racism — do we need to start with human nature or can these ills be fixed if we change society? 

In The Social Animal, David Brooks offers a big-picture view of humanity unlike any you’ve read before. He draws on the emerging fields of social neuroscience and evolutionary psychology to reveal the inner workings of human personalities.

Source: Medium.com

It moves the conversation beyond nature versus nurture by showing how both are essential to a complete understanding of human behavior.

How do we become who we are? 

Why do we make the choices we do? 

How can we live richer, more fulfilling lives? 

Drawing on an astonishing range of research in social science, psychology, and biology, winning author David Brooks shows an answer that is both profoundly insightful and refreshingly optimistic.

He describes how the brain is built by the society in which it resides and how individual character emerges from the stories we tell about our own lives.

He explains why people cooperate so much more than they compete, how the unprecedented expansion of knowledge in our time is creating a new kind of human being, and what social institutions need to do to foster good character and high achievement.

4. Mistakes Were Made.

Why do we sometimes make decisions that go against our best interests? Why do we cling to attitudes and beliefs even when the evidence is contrary? 

Again, Why do we stick with a course of action that is not working? 

Among, all these questions and irrationalities, one fundamental that cannot be changed is that: we all make mistakes. It’s an unavoidable part of being a human being of this universe…

We (You, me, and all others) love to think of ourselves as rational creatures. If we now and then get carried away, it’s only because our judgment is clouded by emotion or error. 

In some cases, however, we’re not so much fallible as we are actual frauds: We don’t just occasionally make bad decisions, we repeatedly insist that we’ve made good ones, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Relatable? 

That’s cognitive dissonance in the world of social psychology.

And, it turns out that this is one of the most powerful influences on human behavior in existence.

The fact: It happens with all of us. It’s common.

It’s bad, but it’s the reality: Do you remember how many times you have committed to a no-fast food diet, and then in the evening “Eh, it’s only one burger”.

And as a consequence, the mistakes we make, the screw-ups and stupid decisions we make, are often due to this damnable phantom belief that we’re doing okay.

And, ‘Mistakes Were Made’ is an epic book to read to explore cognitive dissonance in the world of social psychology in an in-depth manner aligning with real-life psychology and not only scientific psychology.

5. The Paradox of Choice.

We’re drowning in an ocean of choices — from the products we buy to the people we date. But rather than bringing us more freedom, an abundance of choices can make us feel stressed, unsatisfied, and paralyzed. 

Tea or coffee? Android or iPhone? Mac or Windows? Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? Facebook or LinkedIn? Twitter or Instagram?

There is a paradox of choice that comes with having access to an abundance of options. It is the idea that having too much choice can make you anxious, insecure, and unhappy.

Having been born in the 21st century in a middle-class family and not having to deal with this paradox as a child I had no first-hand knowledge of it. But in recent years when I read about several studies on this topic, I grasped the concept intuitively.

When should you pick Option A, and when should you go for Option B? 

That’s a question most of us ask ourselves daily. In recent years, our culture has become obsessed with choice.

There‘s a paradox I (and you) keep discovering. 

It’s the paradox of choice, and it goes something like this: no matter how many choices we have, we end up feeling like we have no choice at all.

This paradox is everywhere these days.

Source: TTT.com

From the proliferating menu options on our GPS devices to the seemingly endless permutations of your favorite smartphone app — we all are drowning in options everywhere you look. 

Even with major life choices that require a lot of thought and deliberation, such as choosing an education path or possibly a career, people feel pressured — forced even — to make decisions quickly and to go with their gut feelings and instincts — based on social agreement.

And, to cope up with this – this book is a must-read.

6. The Interpretation of Dreams.

What happens when you sleep? 

A good night’s sleep means your body is recovering, and dream experts say dreaming is the way your brain recycles all the experiences of your day. 

But have you ever wondered what this process looks like?

To answer that, you need to enter into the interpretive history of dreams, which examines why we dream and what it means in the larger picture of our psychological lives.

This book, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ written by Freud — suggests that dreams like most other human activities are driven by the principle of unconscious desire. 

The book develops a complicated view of the mind, using depth psychology, in which the psyche is structured like a language. This language consists of symbols that are capable of multiple interpretations. 

It shows that — while dreaming, the unconscious wishes (or repressed desires) arise and intercept with one’s worldview creating dreams which can seem bizarre or nonsensical to the dreamer upon awakening.

Sigmund Freud has managed to write an intricate work encompassing several disciplines inside the framework of dream interpretation and psychoanalysis.

Through this book, he expounds on his theory regarding the significance of dreams and how this can be appended to form a more lucrative approach in understanding our everyday lives. 

He divides different sections of the book into several categories and enumerates techniques that can be used in cracking the code behind certain types of dreams.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in psychology, and of the dreaming world consists of unknown imaginative history.

7. The Cyber Effect.

What is the internet doing to us? 

Thanks to its rapid growth and constant connectivity, people are becoming cyborgs. Our traditional boundaries are fading fast, and we’re adapting by acting differently online than we do offline. 

It’s a worrying proposition – but an exciting one too.

The Internet is the most powerful connection between humans ever created. Since it’s so powerful – it has its benefits and also since it’s ineliminable, it has its effects.

And, that is what is called “The Cyber Effect”.

The Cyber Effect is an intriguing, and sometimes alarming, study of how we behave online in the world of the Internet. 

Source: Buffer

Combining the expertise of a Cyberpsychologist with an overview of recent research, the author posits that our use of the Internet actually changes your sense of self, which in turn impacts how you interact with others. 

And, this theory is supported by personal stories, anecdotes, and warnings. 

Aiken, the author, then explores in depth specific aspects of cyber-behavior, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and other depersonalized behaviors that are a growing concern for everyone from parents to webmasters.

To help you define “cyber wellness,” this book is a must-read. 

Conclusion.

Psychology is one of the most interesting subjects you could learn about. 

Maybe you want to get into the field of psychology and be a clinical psychologist. Or maybe you just like good psychology books. 

Whatever your reasons may be, there are some great psychology books that will allow you to understand the most complex aspects of how human minds actually operate – since the switch is always on.

Here are my final top picks, to get started with:

  • The Cyber Effect.
  • Incognito.
  • The Psychopath Test.
  • The Social Animal.

With all research-based, insightful content-driven stories, all of the books are worth reading if – no matter if you are a student or an inquisitive person.

Disclaimer: To keep this website running, I need funds. And to support these, I may receive affiliate compensation from Amazon LLC, if you decide to purchase any book on amazon through checkout links available on this page without any extra cost to you. Read more about my affiliate disclosure here.

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