Is it just me or are too many pop psychology books bland and under-researched?

If you share this viewpoint – or indeed if you’re looking for a present for any sort of learning geek – then you’re in luck. It’s been a great year for intelligent and accessible writing in this subject area imho, albeit with titles that may not have received oodles of hype.

On personal change…

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

Timothy D Wilson wrote a useful and fascinating book on our unconscious mind and has followed this up with Redirect. This a clear and incisive look at what techniques really help people change, backed by science.

Criticized for introducing nothing new – and somewhat undermining to the counselling profession in its debunking of some approaches – this book is wonderfully written in a voice which is distinctive, highly rational and focussing.

On work psychology…

The Progress Principle

Written by husband and wife researchers, Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer and based on 30 years of research, this book debunks what most managers think of as motivators and champions ‘inner work-life culture’: thoughts, feelings and intrinsic motivation.

Vital reading for anyone charged with the task of engagement.

On designing learning…

Design For How People Learn

Julie Dirksen writes the Usable Learning blog, where her wise and thoughtful personality permeates fascinating content. Not just about the physical design of e-learning, her book provides insights from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and top-end business learning design.

For anyone who educates, her work is also full of fun and humanity.

On design and interaction…

Simple And Usable

This book is in here following a talk earlier in the year from author Giles Colborne, at a User Experience bookgroup. Many of his principles and priorities apply to interactive learning of any type.

The most techie book here, this still has plenty for psychology lovers. Who, for instance, has never created ‘fake simplicity’? – something Giles rallies against most convincingly.

And look how many women he employs in his consultancy. Top man.

On ideas…


I’m always on about Scott Berkun here, so I’ll just say that if you or anyone in your house loves ideas, this could not be a better book to have in your loo.

Funded by Kickstarter, Scott has decided to self-publish in order to have greater choice over what he writes. With him all the way on this one.

Now it just remains…

For me to say : thank you all for visiting here this year, for your interest and comments. For subscribers, there will be a Happy New Year gift pdf coming earlyish in January.

Meanwhile may your days be merry and bright and nights full of peace and love.

See you in 2012.

By szcz

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