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7 Books Every Psychology Student Should Read

Published on 7 October, 2013 at 11:36 am By

No matter which university you are studying, the curriculum will not include enough material on the vast researched subject like psychology. Some classic books of psychology can enhance knowledge and provide insight into this complicated subject that deals with human behavior and emotions.  Here is a list of 7 books that can help psychology students deepen their knowledge about various aspects of psychology.

7. Introduction to Psychology 7 edition:

(Authors: Clifford T. Morgan, John R. Weisz, Richard A. King, John Schopler)


The 7th edition of the popular book ‘Introduction to psychology’ has been rewritten thoroughly to include new vital breakthroughs that have taken place in the field of psychology. For students who are starting their careers in psychology, this book provides empirical views on topics like – what is psychology?, Principles of perception, Biology of behavior, Memory, Thinking, Language, Motivation, Attitudes and many more. It also covers developmental stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Another attractive feature of this book is its various case studies. It introduces the readers to topics of inventories and psychological tests for assessment of personality, abnormal behaviors and extremity of emotions.

Introduction to Psychology 7 edition

6. The Road Less Traveled:

(Author: Scott Peck)

The Road Less traveled published in 1978, shot Peck to fame overnight when it hit the best seller list in 1984; that is six years after its first publication. His work in this book is largely based on his own experience with patients when he practiced psychiatry. Rather than a scientific view, Mr. Peck provides a humanistic view on the case studies. He touches the topics of discipline, healthy development of emotion, spirituality and mentality, delay of gratification, being responsible for ones action, fidelity to truth and the ever ongoing balancing act of human life. He demystifies love and romance in the second section of the book by exposing how people often mistake dependency and other negative characteristics to be love. His explanation about this mysterious emotion people feel is extraordinary. He has dedicated the final section of his book the Grace, a force beyond human consciousness.

The Road Less Traveled

5. On Becoming a Person:

(Author: Carl R. Rogers, Peter D. Kramer)

On Becoming a Person is an amazing book by Carl Rogers, the man who broke the wall between psychotherapy and counseling with his concept of “Client Centered Therapy”, where the counselee was put in the driver’s seat.  The book is not just about psychology, counseling or therapist’s relationship with his patients; it covers all the helping relationships of humans. This book guides the budding psychologists to bond with their clients and help them move towards empowerment. The book tries to answer the question asked by every person, “How I can shed the act and become more like myself?”

On Becoming a Person

4. The Interpretations of Dreams:

(Author: Sigmund Freud)


One of the most criticized and controversial books of the 20th century, ‘The Interpretations of Dreams’ by Sigmund Freud is considered by many as an audacious work of genius. People had problem accepting the Oedipus and Elektra complex discussed by Freud through dream interpretation and theory of unconscious way back in 1900. The book marks a turning point in psychology; hence it should not be skipped by any psychology student though it is very lengthy and complex. For layman, there is an abridged copy of the same book “On Dreams” which was published by Freud later.

The Interpretations of Dreams

3. The Definitive Book of Body Language:

(Author: Allan Pease and Barbara Pease)

The Definitive Book of Body Language is an international bestseller which reveals the secrets of non-verbal communication in a humorous way. Though people start to communicate through gestures and body language since infancy, not many can recognize or read it properly. With proper techniques of reading body language we can interpret true intentions of people by watching out for clues given by their gestures and body language. The book has been popular with not just psychology students but everyone in general due to its enthralling insights, humor, uncomplicated strategies and skills to for success in relationships and life.

The Definitive Book of Body Language

2. Games People Play:

(Author: Eric Berne)

People play various games in their interpersonal relationships, some knowingly and some unknowingly. Through his publication of the book ‘Games People Play’, Eric Berne shocked the world by throwing light on what really goes on during the most basic interactions people have in their relationships with fellow humans. Berne discusses the games people play under categories of marriage, sex, power, competitions and many more in their everyday life. The popularity of the book is due to the fact that people could relate to it and identify the games people play with them, moreover, the games they have play throughout their lives. This is one of the most popular and influential psychology books which is considered to be eye-opener.

Games People Play

1. DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition:


No student of psychology can skip reading the DSM, which provides standard criteria regarding mental health to help researchers, clinicians and psychologists regarding psychiatric diagnosis. The fifth edition of the book was released by American Psychiatric Association with thorough update in 2013. 100’s of international experts conduct research to create concise and specific diagnosis criteria for mental health. The book defines, classifies, and helps in diagnosis, treatment and research in psychology. The study of psychology would be incomplete without the thorough knowledge of DSM for any student.

DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition


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