Classic books on psychology line the shelves of every serious student of the science. The writings of Freud, Adler, Jung, Frankl and Maslow set standards of excellence for more recent authors to emulate as they add to the body of knowledge about the human mind and behavior. Readers enjoy finding the influences of pioneers on contemporary authors who are developing adherents to their ways of thinking. Books that deal with autism, obstacles and challenges, women, time perception and violence are the top five books dealing with the field of psychology as reported by the Research Digest.
Writing from a Personal Perspective
The author of the “Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” is the world’s “most famous autistic person” according to the New York Times. Temple Grandin’s writings help people understand barriers that separate autistic behaviors from those that are regarded as normal. Born in the year when autism was named, she has seen the diagnosis of patients increase to one in 88 children. She recounts personal experiences and weaves them into new discoveries that link behavior to brain science.
Taking a Reference from the Bible
A Biblical story provides the framework for “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell. Confronting obstacles as challenging as Cold War battlefields and the intricacies of cancer research provides a fertile ground for the author’s theories. The New York Times cites unusual ways in which disadvantages are turned into advantages.
Encouraging Women to Lean In
Sheryl Sandberg’s “Love It or Hate It” created a whirlwind of controversy among career women and those who know them. As a woman of high achievement, she describes her feelings of guilt for spending time at work instead of at home. Some critics fault her for not including descriptions of successful women who do not have her wealth or Ivy League education, but her writing reflects life in business from her unique perspective.
Claudia Hammond’s “Time Warp: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception” addresses the ways in which the mind shapes the perception of time. Using research in neuroscience and psychology, she presents theories about the internal clock that dominates lives. Writing about the perception of time, she suggests that brain power can make time pass rapidly or slowly. Readers who check their watch many times everyday may find the text fascinating.
Writing from his experience as a criminologist, Adrian Raine presents some controversial theories in “The Anatomy of Violence”. Contending that criminals suffer from clinical disorders, the author’s ideas are criticized by some as simplistic. He cites the importance of neuroscience in crime prevention to identify brain abnormalities as potential causes of deterioration in human behavior.
Topics that challenge a reader to consider new theories are treated in recent books, causing adherents and critics to react strongly. The activity of the mind and resulting behaviors are perennially interesting subjects to students of psychology.