Books on Psychology

The Social Animal by David Brooks

Brooks studied social science and psychology and focused on human nature throughout his studies. In his book, he presents many theories about the human mind and supports his interesting points with evidence. He focuses on the causes of success and failure in life and how the human mind contributes to them both. And talks about how cultivating new habits and behaviours will create unconscious structures that will help you reach success. He talks about the common social misconceptions and how we have less control over actions than we think. He gives real-life examples to show how the unconscious mind can control you completely without you realising. His main goal is to explore the relationship between individual behaviour and how it affects decision making.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

He discovers why we do what we do in life and in business. Whilst giving incredible insights into human behaviours and habits and why it can be so difficult to change them. He talks about how we are unconciously programming our body with every action we do or do not take. So our habits and behaviours are simply what we’ve programmed our body to do. You will take away the most groundbreaking lessons from this book. Such as, we cannot erase old bad habits or patterns from our history which is why it’s so easy to fall back into our old ways. Because it’s something we are comfortable and familiar with… but as we all know, this is how bad habits form. Therefore, you have to replace them with good habits to be able to move forward. If you replace a bad habit, e.g. smoking with something else bad, e.g. rewarding yourself with junk food every day you don’t smoke, you’ll fall back into another bad habit.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman presents many different scenarios throughout his book and wants you to reflect on how you’d react in the same situation. He then discusses the two different ways we think – the fast automatic decisions and the slow logical decisions. He looks at both ways of thinking and outlines how both ways of thinking are equally important. In fact, we wouldn’t be where we are today without both going hand in hand. However, we must know the appriorpriate time to use both systems. He looks at common ways of thinking and how to overcome them so we have control. Ultimately, he teaches you which bad thinking patterns leads to errors in memory, judgment and decisions and how to overcome them.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Gilbert brings pyschology, behaviour economics, cognitive neuroscience and philosophy together to write this book. He gives insights into how imagination and illusions can work together to misestimate our future. He then discusses how our brain makes decisions incredibly quickly about almost everything in our life and how we must acknowledge that these can be wrong. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we can live a happier and more fulfilled life. If not, as soon as our brain experiences something that we don’t expect, we feel suprised and sometimes disapointed. He makes some interesting points about your imagination and key misconceptions. However, his main focus is on human happiness and how it’s achieved. He explains how many of us have happiness because we don’t know what we are missing. For example, one you find something else that gives you happiness, you concept of happiness can be redefined.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

Goleman argues that IQ isn’t everything and discusses how our current view of intelligence is too narrow. He believes that people miss out on key factors of characteristics that lead to success and just focus on IQ numbers. Therefore, he explains his beliefs about how EQ (emotional intelligence) can actually matter more than IQ. He describes the five things that EQ is made up of – self-awareness, managing emotions, self-motivation, empathy and handling relationships. He gives insights on how you can improve your emotional intelligence and makes some interesting self-reflecting points.

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