Gordon Allport has given the best definition of Social Psychology- ‘Social psychology is an attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others’. Reading books on social psychology is not just important for students of psychology, but even to those who want to bring about positive change in their relationships with fellow human beings. Here is the list of 6 mind-blowing books based on social psychology which are interesting read for even those who are not familiar with psychology.
6. Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion
Author: Carol Travis
Carol Travis has dispelled the common myths held about cause, effect and uses of anger in her own inimitable style. She also presents specific strategies in anger management which includes, chronic anger, dealing with difficult people, repeated family battles, anger after divorce or victimization, and aggressive children. This is an extremely well researched, comprehensive and useful book that shows healthy ways to express anger which is seething within us.
5. Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
Author: Noah J. Goldstein, Robert B. Cialdini, Steve J. Martin
Life would be so much easier if we could persuade others to do what is best of all of us; unfortunately, it is not easy to convince the rigid human mind to change its ways. The book, ‘Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive’ deeply reflects on the art of persuasion, scientifically exploring 50 remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life. The book is based on 60 years of extensive research conducted in the field of psychology of persuasion.
4. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Author: Timothy D. Wilson
Until Freud introduced the Western world to the unconscious, we were quite of its existence. This goes to show how we have failed to understand and connect with ourselves. In this amazing book, Timothy D. Wilson tries to explain why human beings fail to understand themselves, leading to misdirected anger, aggression and sadness. He leads the readers through a journey of probing their unconscious through different strategies including soliciting the opinions of people close to them.
3. The Art of Choosing
Now that we have options to choose from, making a choice becomes dilemma. Starting from simple things of life, the art of choosing involves some irrevocable major decisions we make. With her own experience of difficult life situations and the tough choices she had to make; Sheena Iyengar in her brilliant way explores how and why we choose, and whether the desire to make a choice is innate or bound by our culture. She asks important questions regarding choices, before trying to find answers to them. ‘The Art of Choosing’ can be your guide while you face the tough challenge of making a choice.
2. The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology
Author: Lee Ross, Richard E. Nisbett, Malcolm Gladwell
‘The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology’ is one of the most significant books on social inference. It extensively tackles the topic of the way we make judgments, the way we stress in particular errors and different biases of human behavior, especially regarding the influence of specific situations. Nisbett and Ross regard both the individual psyches and social groups as tension systems. There is dire need to recognize the subjective nature of situational influence on our lives, so that we will be capable of designing effective interventions that can work to enhance individual and societal functioning.
1. The Social Animal
Author: Elliot Aronson
“The Social Animal” is the best presentation of social psychology that provides a general overview of the intriguing subject which is at present in its 11th edition. The appealing and most interesting textbook on the subject of social psychology is the recipient of APA (American Psychological Association) medal. The book is written in a simple style meant to be read by general public as well as students of psychology. Apart from the citation of different scenarios that help in illustrating human behaviors observed in real life, the book explains the mysterious ways in which human mind works. It covers the topics of aggression, stereotyping, prejudice, cognitive dissonance and many more.