Between books and movies, the internet and our smartphones, the possibilities with which to learn and receive information are practically endless. This is especially true for those interested in learning psychology.
The following is a list of 100(!) psychology tools and resources for understanding the human mind. No matter who you are, whether amateur, student, or professional, this massive list of sources is sure to provide you with a starting point as you dive into the world of human psychology.
Though there are certainly more than 100 psychology tools and resources out there, we chose our list based on a variety of factors, including: psychology professor recommendations; popularity; number of Facebook and Twitter followers; overall reputation; and inclusion on any lists of bestsellers. For the reader’s convenience, we’ve separated our list into sections: Books, Films and Documentaries, Websites and Blogs, TED Talks, Podcasts, and Free Online Courses.
“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy
In “Presence,” Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses the ways in which our thoughts can be influenced by our behavior.
“A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain” by John Ratey
Harvard Medical School professor John Ratey explains clearly the basic structure and chemistry of the human brain.
“Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain” by Antonio R. Damasio
Antonio R. Damasio, a leading neurologist, guides readers through the history of scientific discovery, focusing on the evolution of ideas relating to the importance of emotion to brain function.
“Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ” by Daniel Goleman
Author and scientist Daniel Goleman describes the five vital elements of emotional intelligence, and reveals how these elements affect our success in relationships, health, and work.
“How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer
“How We Decide” includes the latest in cutting-edge research to detail all that goes into making a decision.
“Mapping the Mind: The Secrets of the Human Brain and How it Works” by Joel Davis
Based on the latest in scientific research, “Mapping the Mind” covers the origins of the brain, and how it controls things like the body, thoughts, emotions, learning, language, memory, and more.
“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine
This fascinating book details the development, capabilities, and inner workings of a female’s brain over the course of her lifetime.
“The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think” by Louann Brizendine
Like “The Female Brain,” this book discusses the male brain at all stages of life.
“The Believing Brain: From Ghosts to Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them As Truths” by Michael Shermer
“The Believing Brain” covers 30 years of Michael Shermer’s research into the brain as a “belief engine.”
“The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life” by Joseph LeDoux
“The Emotional Brain” explores the origins of human emotion, and answers such questions as, “What happens in our brains to make us feel fear?” “Do we control our emotions?” and “Do animals have emotions?” among others.
“The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain” by Tali Sharot
Tali Sharot demonstrates how and why some people are just hardwired for positivity.
“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change” by Charles Duhigg
Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg presents a number of scientific and personal explanations in an effort to show why habits exist and how they can be changed.
“This is Your Brain on Music” by Daniel J. Levitin
Musician-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin makes the bold assertion that music is more fundamental to the human species than is language.
“What’s Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years” by Lise Eliot
A thought-provoking book that details the development of a child’s brain, from conception through age five.
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman takes readers on a tour of the mind’s two main systems: one fast and emotional, and the other slower and more deliberate.
“Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School” by John Medina
Through stories and humor, author John Medina answers dozens of common questions about the brain while introducing other fascinating brain facts.
“The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” by Norman Doidge
Psychiatrist Norman Doidge brings readers up to date on the revolutionary new science called “neuroplasticity.”
“The Art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar
In “The Art of Choosing,” Sheena Iyengar describes how and why we make the choices we make, and reveals how much control we actually have when faced with a decision.
“Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain” by David Eagleman
David Eagleman’s book explores the little-discussed subconscious part of the brain, detailing just what happens to this hidden part of the brain during daily life, after brain damage, on drugs, and when faced with a subprime mortgage.
“How the Mind Works” by Steven Pinker
This national bestseller answers common questions like, “Why are we so often irrational?” “Why do we fall in love?” and “How do we see in three dimensions?” among other things.
“Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee
Renowned neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran recounts his groundbreaking research with patients who have experienced rare neurological disorders.
“The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind” by Michio Kaku
Telepathy, avatars, mind control, telekinesis, the recording of dreams and memories — it’s all being studied by top researchers around the world, and Michio Kaku brings readers up to speed on all of it.
“Tales From Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience” by Michael S. Gazzaniga
Michael S. Gazzaniga, said to be one of the most important neuroscientists in history, offers readers a first-hand account of his career spent studying the right and left sides of the brain.
“How to Explain a Brain: An Educator’s Handbook of Brain Terms and Cognitive Processes” by Robert Sylwester
A must-read for any aspiring neuroscientist or psychologist, or just anyone wanting to learn the basics, this book offers definitions and explanations for the most important words and concepts.
“Mapping the Mind” by Rita Carter
Award-winning journalist Rita Carter investigates the latest technology that is allowing us to scan a brain for everything from development to thoughts and moods.
Films and Documentaries
“The Secret Life of the Brain”
This five-part documentary series details the ways in which the brain develops over the course of a lifetime.
“Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive”
This British documentary focuses on manic depression, and details the experiences of various people from all walks of life who struggle with the disease.
“Into the Mind”
This BBC television series features the greatest breakthroughs in the history of psychology, while asking “What is the ultimate price of a scientific breakthrough?”
“Free the Mind”
This entertaining documentary explores the functions of the brain, and specifically the brain’s response to meditation, by following a group of war veterans as they participate in an experiment on the effects of meditation on the human mind.
“12 Angry Men”
This classic film, about a jury deliberating the fate of an accused murderer, deals with a number of themes relating to social psychology, including leadership, persuasion, conformity, aggression, prejudice, and group interaction, among a long list of other things.
“A Beautiful Mind”
“A Beautiful Mind” is the Academy Award-winning film about a mathematical genius who suffers from severe schizophrenia.
This Harrison Ford film about a lawyer who suffers brain damage after being shot in the head covers such psychology-related topics as neuropsychology, retrograde amnesia, and marital and family dynamics.
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
This classic film, and Psychology 101 staple, gives viewers a disturbing look at mental hospitals of the 1960s as it tells the story of a criminal who agrees to be sent to a mental institution instead of prison.
“Black Swan” is the Academy Award-winning film that follows a talented, but unstable, ballerina (played by Natalie Portman) as she slowly loses her grip on reality.
“Life is Beautiful”
This Italian film explores side-by-side both the evil and hope of which humans are capable.
Blogs and Websites
A popular and award-winning compendium of hundreds of articles relating to neuroscience, healthcare, and psychology.
Academic in tone, Evolutionary Psychology is an impressive collection of scientific research articles focusing on behavior and evolutionary psychology.
In the News
Karen Franklin, Ph.D., writes this blog that details specific cases in which psychology meets the law.
This psychology blog, which covers the latest developments in intelligence and psychological testing, is aimed at both students and professionals.
Laura’s Psychology Blog
A popular blog described as, “One professor’s observations of the World of Psychology.”
Mind Hacks is a blog and website that keeps subscribers up to date on research studies, new books, and the latest news — all relating to psychology.
Psychologist Richard N. Landers’s blog focuses on the application of psychological principles to the working world.
A unique blog which posts articles linking psychology with such topics as sales, advertising, marketing, and consumer behavior.
A humorous, yet informative, blog that covers all sorts of topics relating to human behavior.
An academic blog which focuses on the scientific aspects of the mind.
Psych Central News
As one of the five most popular psychology websites, Psych Central News offers its readers a huge collection of articles on everything from Alzheimers to parenting.
The most popular psychology website on the internet offers tons of information, including a blog detailing the latest in cutting-edge research.
Calling itself the blog “by psychiatrists for psychiatrists,” Shrink Rap’s collection of humorous articles covers a wide range of topics including psychotherapy, forensic psychology, anxiety and depression, and medications, among much more.
The official blog of the British Psychology Society, Research Digest is a compendium of interesting articles aimed at psychology students.
The Mouse Trap
Though it’s managed by a self-taught psychologist, The Mouse Trap is one of the most popular psychology-themed websites on the internet thanks to its informative articles on topics such as neuroscience, positive psychology, and emotional/motivational subsystems.
The Splintered Mind
The Splintered Mind challenges those familiar with psychology to view common psychological topics in new, more philosophical ways.
We’re Only Human
Associated with the Association for Psychological Science, We’re Only Human is a treasure trove of fascinating and detailed articles about the human condition.
World of Psychology
Dozens of professional psychologists contribute to this popular blog, which is associated with PsychCentral.
The Psychology of Video Games
The Psychology of Video Games offers a unique look at the human mind by investigating ways in which video games are influenced and affected by psychology.
This top-ranked psychology blog is updated several times per week with interesting articles about neuroscience, psychology, mental illness, and skeptical matters, among much more.
Two Guys on Your Head
Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about such brain-related topics as what happens to our brains while we sleep, the ways in which sugar affects the brain, and much more.
For those interested in the newest psychological research, this popular podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest spends each episode exploring the latest findings and discussing whether or not those findings can apply to daily life.
The Psych Files
Appropriate for anyone interested in the human mind, The Psych Files podcast discusses psychology topics in a fun, easy-to-relate-to manner.
Group Therapy, which was broadcast on London’s most popular community radio station, has an archive of fascinating episodes in which a psychology-related topic is discussed by a panel of three experts: an academic, a psychologist, and a comedian.
Neuropsychologist Deborah Budding hosts this podcast about all things related to brain, body, mind, and culture.
You Are Not So Smart
David McRaney, author of the book “You Are Not So Smart,” interviews guests about a variety of topics relating to psychology and the human mind.
Very Bad Wizards
The human brain and, specifically, human morality are discussed on each episode of this entertaining podcast hosted by a psychologist and a philosopher.
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Working psychologists and psychology students will enjoy this interview-based podcast that covers the latest breakthroughs in psychology and neuroscience.
Who Cares? What’s the Point?
This podcast from psychologist Sarb Johal refers to itself as “the podcast about the mind for people who think.”
The Perception and Action Podcast
Arizona State University professor Rob Gray hosts this podcast which explores the myriad ways in which the latest psychological research can be applied to such things as performance, skill acquisition, and the improvement of technology.
Waking Up, hosted by neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, examines all things related to the mind by combining cognitive science and current events.
A co-author of the bestselling “Freakonomics” books hosts this podcast, which deals with a wide variety of fascinating topics.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestselling book “The Happiness Project,” hosts this weekly podcast in which she discusses how to cultivate happiness through positive habits.
The Psych Central Show: Candid Chat on Mental Health & Psychology
A weekly podcast that explores all things psychology through fun candid chats between experts.
The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman
In this fascinating podcast series, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman interviews neuroscientists, psychologists, and researchers about all things related to psychology.
Shrink Rap Radio with David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
More than 500 episodes make up this podcast series, which has been called “a treasure trove of psychological knowledge.”
Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alex Spiegel co-host this NPR series which mixes scientific research with narrative storytelling.
Each episode of NPR’s Hidden Brain details such things as the patterns of human nature, common relationship triggers, the biases of decision making, and more.
All in The Mind
From addiction to artificial intelligence, it’s all discussed on this weekly psychology podcast from Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National.
Arming the Donkeys
Hosted by Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist associated with Duke University, Arming the Donkeys episodes deal with the many ways in which humans violate their self-interest through their behavior.
Neil Burgess: How Your Brain Tells You Where You Are
Neuroscientist Neil Burgess details the neural mechanisms we use to map the spaces around us, and how those mechanisms connect to imagination and memory.
Sandrine Thuret: You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here’s How.
Though we’re often threatened with the idea that certain habits can destroy our brain cells forever, neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret insists that we can grow new neurons as adults, which can improve everything from our mood to our rate of aging.
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a cognitive neuroscientist, discusses the differences between a adolescent brain and an adult brain in order to highlight the fact that a developing brain can often explain a teenager’s “odd” behavior.
Nadine Burke Harris: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime
Pediatrician Nadine Burke explains how and why children who have experienced repeated instances of neglect and abuse have triple the risk for lung cancer and heart disease as adults.
Suzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so Special About the Human Brain?
Suzana Herculano-Houzel takes viewers on a fascinating tour of the human brain before ending with a shocking conclusion.
Jeff Iliff: One More Reason to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
In this popular TED Talk, Jeff Iliff asserts that a good night’s sleep allows for the brain to receive and discard important nutrients.
Daniel Wolpert: The Real Reason for Brains
Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert discusses the fact that the brain evolved, not for thinking or feeling, but for movement.
Antonio Damasio: The Quest to Understand Consciousness
In “The Quest to Understand Consciousness,” Antonio Damasio acknowledges the miracle that occurs every time we wake up and regain consciousness, but asks, “What is it exactly that we regain?”
Paul Bloom: The Origins of Pleasure
In “The Origins of Pleasure,” psychologist Paul Bloom asserts that as essentialists, humans use characteristics such as an object’s history to decide what brings pleasure and what does not.
Pawan Sinha: How Brains Learn to See
Pawan Sinha, who provides free vision-restoring treatment to blind children in India, details in this fascinating TED Talk the results of his recent groundbreaking research that links the brain’s visual system, engineering, neuroscience, and even autism.
Allan Jones: A Map of the Brain
Allan Jones uses visuals to describe how making a literal map of the brain will ultimately help us to better understand it.
Christopher deCharms: A Look Inside the Brain in Real Time
Christopher deCharms, a prominent neuroscientist and inventor, uses the technology of fMRI to reveal thoughts, pain, emotion, and other brain activity as it is actually happening.
Michael Merzenich: Growing Evidence of Brain Plasticity
Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich discusses his recent research that suggests the brain can actively re-wire itself enough to recover lost function and skills.
Mary Lou Jepsen: Could Future Devices Read Images From our Brains?
As a brain surgery patient and an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen discusses the neural activity that occurs during thought and creation, and details two new brain studies that might further our understanding of why we think what we do.
Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar: What Happens in Your Brain When You Pay Attention?
Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar studies the brain patterns of people as they concentrate in hopes of constructing computer models that can be used to assist people with ADHD.
Carnegie Melon University’s Open Learning Initiative
Through Carnegie Melon University’s Open Learning Initiative, those interested in psychology can take a free online “Introduction to Psychology” class.
Introduction to Psychology: University of Toronto via Coursera
Coursera, a compendium of free online university courses, offers an “Introduction to Psychology” class from University of Toronto in which students will learn the basics of psychology, the mind, and human behavior.
What is a Mind?: University of Cape Town via FutureLearn
University of Cape Town offers a free online class via FutureLearn entitled “What is a Mind?”, in which students will explore some of the most important elements of the human mind.
Introduction to Psychology: Open Yale Courses
This free online Yale course covers everything from dream analysis, to the ways in which we learn, to the development of the brain in a child.
Positive Psychology–Well-Being for Life: University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
A free five-course series that will provide students with a “specialization” in the key ideas of positive psychology.
Understanding Memory: Wesleyan University via Coursera
This free online class, the subtitle of which is “Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies,” teaches students how memory works, why it can often fail us, and what can be done to strengthen it.
The Brain and Space: Duke University via Coursera
This free Duke University course teaches students about how the brain is able to use myriad sensory and motor sources to create a sense of spatial location.
Psychology of Popularity: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Coursera
The Popularity of Psychology is a free online course in which students learn just how popularity during adolescence affects the brain during adulthood.
The Bilingual Brain: University of Houston via Coursera
In this free online course, students investigate how the learning of additional languages affects cognitive skills.
Buddhism and Psychology: Princeton University via Coursera
This free online course examines the many ways in which Buddhism is compatible with science and, specifically, the topic of psychology.