16 Best Psychology Books on Human Behavior — Read for Successful Communication

World-favorite titles about human nature, behavior, and how to achieve success via communication

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People are the most complex creatures in the world. Each of us is unique; one hour is enough to understand a new friend, and several years will not be enough for intimacy with others. Our thinking processes and behavior make us special, and at the same time, it is necessary to look for an individual approach to each person. Therefore, communication is a whole science because one gesture or look can make people fall in love or hate. Books on human behavior explore the overt and hidden motives in our actions. 

Before becoming a master of negotiation, you have to become your own friend. Understanding personal needs, fears, and strengths will make you a confident and assertive person. But it is possible to learn to anticipate the behavior and characters of interlocutors, avoid conflicts and easily navigate any social situation. Science has proven that everyone’s behavior can be hacked like a complex computer program. With human behavior books, it will be easy to understand why people make certain choices, why they lose their temper, how easy it is to like other people, and how to gain attention. Here is the list of human behavior books that will reveal the secrets of human choices and explain how to get attention. Find the summaries of the titles you like on the Headway app and start changing your life today!

List of the Best Books on Human Behavior of All Time

Explore the list of psychology books on human behavior that will make you a pro at understanding human characters. Beware — friends will begin to suspect that you can read minds!

1. Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erickson

How many green people are around you? No, we are not asking to believe in aliens. The writer Thomas Erickson thinks that society can be divided into four color categories: red (strong-willed and dominant), yellow (optimists), green (relaxed), and blue (accurate and rational). If you ever thought that colleagues in the new company were talking nonsense — Thomas Erickson’s world bestseller will explain the whole complexity of personality types. If the boss is mad at everyone for no apparent reason and ruins the whole day — this brilliant example of the human behaviour books will explain why that could happen. Surrounded by Idiots easily covers types of human temperaments and how to interact with them. Find the easiest way to get along with everyone!

2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

If change is not easy, don’t worry. Like many other people, you are afraid of change because of internal conflicts. The rational and emotional minds constantly battle to control your decisions. That is why it is so difficult for us, for example, to stick to a diet — emotions remind us of how delicious that cake from that sweet coffee shop was! Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard is one of those books on human behavior which honestly speaks about the fear of life shifts. Psychologists Chip and Dan Heath will teach you how to create changes in life more easily and more effectively. And once you understand how the mind works, your goals will become closer.

3. Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards

Here is a great example of the top human behaviour books. The writer Vanessa Van Edwards was shy and had difficulty navigating social situations. However, later she realized that it is possible to develop charisma, and a key can be found for each person. In her work Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, Van Edwards shares useful hacks to help you be a winner in any situation. As a result, you will learn to read emotions and navigate tricky social situations. Also, this title helps to overcome shyness and learn to understand people easily.

4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Many well-known authors refer to Thinking, Fast and Slow as an example of the best book on human behavior. Everything in our life depends on decisions. Sometimes they need to be taken quickly, and sometimes we can think about them for months. In each case, our actions are influenced by two systems of thinking — intuitive and rational. Why do we trust good-looking people more? What power do words in bold contain? Psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman wrote one of the best psychology books on human behavior. Find out how to make deliberate decisions and control mind processes.

5. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Butman

The writer Nicholas Butman is a master of neuro-linguistic programming. His bestseller How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less is considered one of the best books on understanding human behaviour. After reading, you will learn to master presentations, explore body language and voice so that people cannot resist your charisma. Also, one of the greatest books on human behavior will reveal the secrets of successful negotiations, speeches, and meetings. People can easily like you without much effort — check it out after reading!

6. Games People Play by Eric Berne

Games People Play is definitely one of the most famous books on human behavior. This bestselling title by Dr. Eric Berne talks about three types of human nature — Parent, Adult, and Child. Berne also partly agrees with Shakespeare, as he believes that the whole world is a theater since we play every day like actors. Unconscious rivalry with friends, flirting with love partners, competition at work — you will unravel the patterns of over 120 games that people play. Berne proposes to refuse existing life scenarios and abandon games in favor of real and sincere human relationships. Also, this work, included in the list of best books on psychology and human behaviour, was the start of mass interest in psychology.

7. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes, Joyce Bean

The ability to find a common language with everyone is not magic, although sometimes it seems that the art of communication is taught in a wizard school. But we have a bestseller here, which proves that charisma and sociability are real-life tricks available to everyone. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships is worthily included in the list of the top psychology books on human behavior. Leil Lowndes shares nearly 100 (!) life hacks that will reveal the art of communication. You will learn how to make a first impression, negotiate, improve gestures and body language, and even learn effective telephone conversations.

8. The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger

We strive to change not only our lives but also the people around us. For example, marketers seek to influence customers, couples try to change each other, and employees want to control their bosses. Change seems to be so tricky, but marketing professor Jonah Berger is sure that you need to change the approach to situations. With one of the best books on human behaviour, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, you will learn to identify the barriers to change and overcome them with ease and confidence.

9. Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman

You have probably come across the concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (or pyramid of needs). Our biological needs are at the base of the pyramid, and at the top is our need for self-realization. Ph.D. Scott Barry Kaufman decided to develop Maslow’s unfinished theory of self-actualization. This work is included in the list of best psychology books on human behavior and tells how to become the best version of yourself. Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization helps to unleash the potential and know yourself better through connecting with the surrounding world.

10. Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

The most effective way to deal with a problem is to avoid it! American bestselling author and speaker Dan Heath knows it for sure. The Wall Street Journal selected this title as the top psychological book on human behavior. The bestselling work Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen explores what is pulling us down. You will also find out why we sometimes fail to see significant problems emerging along the way. Heath tells readers the stories of people who were able to overcome obstacles and achieve outstanding victories. Make the first step to life without troubles!

11. Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome by T. Y. Tashiro

Being awkward is ok. Moreover, it’s cool when you know how to turn disadvantages into privileges. T. Y. Tashiro has researched many stories and shares a personal example. Despite his successes, he has long been an awkward person. Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome joins the best psychological books on human behaviour and describes unique ways socially awkward people can reach heights. Now Tashiro knows how to find awesomeness in awkwardness and how you can change behavior to feel better in a big and hectic world.

12. Life Code: The New Rules For Winning in the Real World by Phillip McGraw

Phillip C. McGraw is a writer and renowned television presenter for the Dr. Phil show. His opus Life Code: The New Rules For Winning in the Real World hit the top best books on human behaviour. McGraw’s bright and motivating style takes readers into the world of the secrets of human behavior and reveals the truth about negative types of people. For example, he introduces the ‘Nefarious 15’ scheme — these are negative tactics that unfair people use to achieve their goals. Also, you will learn 16 good ways — ‘Sweet 16’ — to achieve success.

13. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

The revolutionary psychology book on human behavior Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us will change the way you think about the nature of motivation. There are two commonly known drivers of human stimulus — the biological one, which makes us satisfy physiological needs, and the ‘rewards and punishment’ driver. Daniel H. Pink believes there is a third, intrinsic motivator — the pleasure of completing tasks. However, it is only possible if the right atmosphere is created. The author offers techniques that can change the usual lifestyle and breathe new life into your goals and ways of inspiration.

14. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Feeling that we can control a situation is one of our biggest misconceptions. Imagine the situation in which you try to eat more food during buffet breakfast, even though at home a plate of cereal and milk would suffice. Seems quite irrational, isn’t it? The behavioral economist Dan Ariely does not believe that we behave rationally all the time. His work Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions joined the top best books on human behaviour and explains how our emotions and other factors prevent us from reasoning logically. Ariely explains how to avoid mistakes and find the best decision-making approaches.

15. The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

We underestimate the strength of our routine. The power of habits can be both helpful and destructive. Let’s imagine you often go out to smoke during the working day. Think how much work could be done and if you didn’t waste that time on a smoke break! Author Charles Duhigg has explored why we find it so difficult to get rid of them. With The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, you can take control of life. This is one of the most practical psychological books on human behavior. After reading this work, you will learn how to finally take the diet that all the friends have already tried, go for sports, give up bad habits and achieve success at work. Are there other items on your wishlist that you want to improve? Don’t worry — this title will answer all the questions.

16. Negotiation Hacks: Expert Tactics To Get What You Want by Simon Rycraft

Last but not least is the art of negotiation. Simon Rycraft works with startups and private firms and knows all about the power of dialogue. In his bestseller, which was included in the list of best books on human behaviour, the author decrypts secrets of verbal and nonverbal tricks. You will learn how to read body language, build effective communication, and discover the secret tactics of professional negotiators. Negotiation Hacks: Expert Tactics To Get What You Want will help to upgrade not only communication skills but also pump your charm and self-confidence.

Understanding human behavior is a science that takes more than one day and needs constant improvement. Our lives are impossible without other people. The more confident you are in communicating with others, the greater your chances of success. This list of books on human psychology and behavior will help to better understand your voice, body, and emotions and make people admire you even without words.

All the titles from the list of the best books on understanding human behavior are available on the Headway app. You can read key facts from the world-famous bestsellers, save insights and get helpful life hacks. Knowledge is power — so check some books on human psychology and behaviour out!

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