Books to Understand Human Behaviour: Psychology is the science of human behaviour, and a deeply interesting subject. It delves into the cracks and crevices of the human mind to understand why we feel, think and act the way we do. It probes the essential questions of human life, which remain intangible, such as how the human mind works.
But it is not essential to study psychology in order to answer these questions. As with most disciplines, books can become the key to understanding the basics of the field. Here is a list of five books which explore, in different dimensions, the meaning behind human behaviour. Some of these are business oriented, others look to evolution or human society to answer the same questions. Regardless, these books will collectively give you a holistic understanding of the human mind and more so of human behaviour. All of these deserve a special place on your bookshelves.
5 Books to Understand Human Behaviour:
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
In this to the point and brief book full of insights, Dobelli compiles a list of the biases and fallacies the human mind is prone to. Every time we make a decision, our mind forces us to think along certain lines rather than others, making our decisions more or less biased. And these biases or errors in thinking can make our decisions go wrong, rather than if we used a more logical, holistic way.
Some of these include the planning fallacy, where we imagine everything to be preplanned, the heuristics or mental shortcuts we use, and sunk cost fallacy, where we think use justifies sunk costs. These fallacies force us to introspect and understand how and why we make decisions. This book will help you understand your behaviour, as well as other people’s behaviour. The best part about this book is that it has tremendous applications, in marketing, business, psychology, management, and more.
The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson
This book is the perfect introductory guide to modern social psychology. Man, it is very famously said, is a social animal. He does not live in isolation, nor can he be an island. He thrives on contact and communication with other humans. Thus, this gives rise to the field of social psychology, which studies our behaviour with, due to and in the presence of other people. This book deals with concepts of obedience, compliance, conformity as well as interpersonal relationships and more.
In the process, Aronson talks about the practical applications of social psychology, including terrorism, religious cults, racial relations and more. These provide interesting insights into the human condition and society to. It will allow you to place the individual human behaviour at the centre of collective society, nation and world at large.
Mind Watching by Hans Eysenck and Michael Eysenck
In this book, the father and son duo that authors the book take us through a tour through the human mind. The best part is that it includes all perspectives to psychology, which is defined as the science of human behaviour. The first part explores social psychology, or what determines human interactions with others. And the second part explores evolutionary psychology, which is about how we borrow behaviours based on the implications of our ancestors’ behaviours.
The third talks about neuropsychology and personality psychology, which refers to the brain structures and their role in making us who we distinctly are. The fourth is about memory and the fifth about the practical aspects of psychology.
The Moral Animal by Robert Wright
This book is essentially a guide in the ever dynamic and extremely interesting field of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology is the science of understanding our behaviour as determined by the consequences of actions of our forefathers, according to Charles Darwin’s principles. This book in particular, explores why we behave a certain way due to the evolutionary instinct within us.
From office politics and political policy decisions and from our ethics and values to our genetic coding, this book explores the science of our behaviour in practical terms. One of the most interesting topics this book talks about is monogamy.
Untangling the Mind by David Theodore George
Through the sciences of neurology and psychology, George unravels the absolute wonder that is the human mind. This book traces the concepts behind why people act and feel the way they do, and why this is so complex. Because the human emotions, perceptions and feelings are so intangible and non concrete, people often suppress them. But the secret to our interior and exterior lies in these very inner happenings of the mind.
The purpose of this book is to instill stillness in the reader. It is only by understanding what happens within that we can remain unaffected by what happens without. So the book promises to unburden you of others’ expectations and actions, by focusing on your inner life.
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