What is psychology? The study of the human mind and behavior. A very basic example is the way you would react or behave in response to, say, an Xfinity offers ad. The brain reacts to different stimuli differently. Your behavior changes in response to different stimuli as well. While this may seem simple on the outside, psychology is, in fact, a multi-faceted field with many sub-fields. Some of these include health, clinical psychology, human development, sports, and thought processes. For much of early science, psychology received little credit as a science. It is only with the works of Freud and Jung and their peers that psychology slowly began to gain credibility.
Why study psychology?
There are three primary reasons to pursue psychology. Firstly, it helps you understand yourself and what drives you. Secondly, it helps you learn about and understand other people. Finally, it can assist you in modifying your feelings and behavior constructively. As an amateur who likes to dabble in psychology, I have read quite a few books on the subject. For anyone wishing to do the same, to learn about others or themselves, I have shortlisted some of the best ones:
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- He: Understanding Masculine Psychology
- Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
- She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
- Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection
Each book offers a unique look at the human psyche and what makes us tick. Let’s dive right into them
Man’s Search for Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a classic in the world of psychology. I came across it in my early 20’s. But it wasn’t until I picked it up again in my mid-30’s that I gained something from it. The book comprises of the author’s observations as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Especially considering today’s global political climate, Man’s Search for Meaning offers a unique insight instructive insight to every human being. I guarantee you will have a revelation regarding yourself and your motivations reading this gem of a book.
He: Understanding Masculine Psychology
In my opinion, He should be recommended reading for every man. It is a succinct, 82-page book in which Robert A. Johnson explains male psychology. The way he does it is what captivated me. He explains male psychology through the legend of King Arthur and the Holy Grail mythology. Some of it can seem quite overwhelming, but I still find myself rereading it today. Every time I read He I appreciate the different meaning it has for me at that point in my life. Women who want to gain insights into the male psyche would also be well advised to read this book.
Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
Another great work by Robert A. Johnson, this book is, in my opinion, the best examination of one’s personal shadow. The 119 pages cover how the shadow is, in fact, everything about us that we have unconsciously divorced or cut off. These disowned, cast-aside parts of our psyche are what actually drive our behavior without us being aware. There are many interesting ideas in this book that the inquisitive reader can greatly benefit from.
She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
Yet another Robert Johnson work, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology is a short, 80-page book. Like in He, the author makes use of common myths to draw parallels to the female psyche. He makes use of Aphrodite, Eros, and Psyche to illuminate female behavior. Read with He, She offers a glimpse of how masculine and feminine psyche are fundamentally different. It is a handy book to have when you’re just beginning your discovery of the different aspects of fashion like bardot prom dresses, psyche and gender.
Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection
One of Robert Johnson’s works that have stuck with me throughout the years is Inner Gold. The book explains quite succinctly how humans tend to project their best qualities onto others unconsciously. Since this process happens unconsciously, the first step to correcting it is to become aware of it. Only then is it possible to reverse your projections and take back power in your life? Inner Gold shows you how to do it all.
Many would say that all you need to learn about psychology is Google and a fast connection like HughesNet internet. I would beg to differ. Like any science, psychology has levels of knowledge. A simple Google search will give you as much knowledge as a snapshot of the Hadron Collider. To gain meaningful knowledge, you need to delve into the subject. The five books listed above are not the ultimate reading but the starting point of your quest for knowledge.