Ted.com published a list of key psychology books that can help us answer key questions such as “Why did I do that?” or “How can I do better?”. Here’s the list:
- “Why We Do What We Do” by Edward L. Deci will help us answer the reasons behind our motivation and behavior. According to Publisher’s Weekly, this book is “an insightful and provocative meditation on how people can become more genuinely engaged and successful in pursuing their goals”.
- “Give and Take” by Adam M. Grant helps answer our key question to becoming happier in life. According to the reviews of several acclaimed authors, this book has many life-changing insights and profound implications for how we manage our careers, deal with our friends and relatives, raise our children and design our institutions.
- “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, talks about a unique state of consciousness called flow which helps us experience deep enjoyment, creativity and total immersion with life. This state then helps us discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.
- “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert helps answer “How can I let myself be happy?”. “Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. “
- “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman focuses on behavioural economics and how our cognitive biases influence our decision making.
- “The Liar in Your Life” by Robert Feldman explores the old question of why do we lie?. Feldman is a deception expert and psychology professor whose study found that “strangers lie to each other about three times in the first ten minutes of meeting each other”.
In addition to this list, I would add my personal favourite and a classic bestseller “The Road Less Travelled” by M. Scott Peck. This book will help you “explore the nature of loving relationships” and will help you become better partner, better parent and better person by discovering your own true self.