Are you looking to study psychology at university? Or maybe just interested in the wonderful world of our brains? Here’s 5 books that we think will get you up to speed so you can start your degree on the front foot. Maybe they’ll help you decide whether you want to study psychology at all!
The following 5 books aren’t supposed to teach you everything you need to know throughout your degree, but they’ll get you climbing the psychology ladder.
The Bloomsbury Book of the Mind – Stephen Wilson
In The Bloomsbury Book of the Mind, Wilson addresses many of the most influential psychological theories to date, scanning back as far as the works of Plato. With chapters on perception, memory and emotion, thought, consciousness and the self, it’s the anthology you need to bring yourself up to speed with everything psychology. Many of the topics addressed are relevant to most first year degree courses.
Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
A common theme of your first year psychology course will be highlighting the limitations of the human brain. Dan Ariely certainly does this in Predictably Irrational. He turns pretty much everything we thought we knew about decision-making and rational choices on its head. It will certainly get you in the mood for some critical thinking in your first year.
The Invisible Gorilla – Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
You may be already familiar with the invisible gorilla experiment – watch the video if you’re not. In The Invisible Gorilla, Chabris and Simons address the implications of their study, for which they received an Ig Nobel Prize, and a number of other ways in which our intuition deceives us. You won’t be so sure about the reliability of your thought after reading it! Again, another great book to hone your critical thinking skills
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales – Oliver Sacks
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a selection of essays giving a comprehensive account of the disorders faced by some of Oliver Sacks’ patients. Sacks details the unique hardship patients of neurological disorders face in their day-to-day life with fascinating insight.
Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
I had to include this in the list because it is one of my favourite books ever and was the reason I became interested in Psychology in the first place. With a focus on cognitive heuristics and biases, Kahneman’s stylish writing makes detailed behavioural insight understandable for the general public. Steven D. Levitt was not wrong when he described the book as having, “A lifetime’s worth of wisdom.”
There’s the top 5 books we recommend. Got any more recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!
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