Recommended reading

One of the common questions from teachers new to the program is - what books should we have in our library? The answer? Books that students want to read. Planning your library collection for students who might do an extended essay may result in many books that no one ever reads. Below is a list of some of the books that students in our school enjoy reading. If your students are readers like mine, you may find that students will suggest titles that will enrich your collection.

Magazines and databases

The following magazines and databases are good resources for extended essays.

The EBSCO database is the most commonly used database in high schools. The database has a module called "Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection." This has full original articles. In addition, the "eBook Academic Collection" and "eBook High School Collection" both have several full texts online. If you only have this one source, you can do your EEs. In addition, EBSCO has tools for students to take notes and highlight texts for later use.

The Psychologist - published by the BPS. Quarterly. Also contains teacher support materials.

Scientific American Mind - a monthly publication with many topics highly relevant to the IB curriculum. Highly recommended. All back copies are available in EBSCO.

When looking at sites that might help to find journal articles that are free on the Internet, I recommend the following three sites.

  • The most basic place to look is Google Scholar.  Always type in what you are looking for by adding the key terms "psychology" and "pdf."  For example, "social media", bulimia, adolescents, psychology, pdf
  • Research gate
  • Semantic scholar

New book recommendations in 2020/2021

A list compiled thanks to our Facebook discussion group

Bats sing, mice giggle by Karen Shanor

The Bird Way: A new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think - by Jennifer Ackerman

The Dark Side of the Mind: True Stories from my life as a forensic psychologist by Kerry Daynes

Forever today by Deborah Wearing

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

Humankind:  A hopeful history by Rutger Bregman

The inner life of animals by Peter Wohlleben

I Think You'll Find it's a Bit More Complicated than That - by Ben Goldacre

Livewired: The inside story of the ever-changing brain by David Eagleman.

Originals: How Non-Conformists move the world by Adam grant

Out of my skull: The psychology of boredom by James Danckert and John Eastwood

Peaks: Secrets from the new science of expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Picking Cotton: Our memoir of injustice and redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton

The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt

Shrinks - the untold story of psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman and Ogi Ogas

Surviving Survival: The art and science of resilience by Laurence Gonzales

The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons: The history of the human brain as revealed by the true stories of trauma, madness, and recovery by Sam Kean

Whistling Vivaldi: How stereotypes affect us by Claude Steele

You are not so smart by David McRaney - a focus on social psychology topics


Amazing decisions by Dan Ariely

The art of choosing by Sheena Iyengar

Behave: The biology of humans at our best and our worst by Robert Sapolsky

The Big Disconnect by Catherine Steiner Adair

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Brain on fire - my month of madness by Susannah Cahalan

Crazy like us by Ethan Watters

Cultural DNA: The psychology of globalization by Gurnek Bains

Do no harm: Stories of life, death and brain surgery by Henry Marsh

Drive by Daniel Pink

Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath

Everyone loves a good train wreck: why we can’t look away by Eric Wilson

The gene: An intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The geography of bliss: one grump’s search for the happiest places in the world by Eric Weiner

The great pretender by Susannah Cahalan (the story of the Rosenhan study)

Influence by Robert Cialdini

The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals about our Power to Change Others by Tali Sharot

In the shadow of the Holocaust: the second generation by Aaron Hass

The invisible gorilla by Chabris & Simon

Love at Goon Park by Deborah Blum

The Lucifer effect by Philip Zimbardo

Mad in America by Robert Whitaker

The Man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks

Mistakes were made, but not by me by Carol Tavris

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Musicophilia: tales of music and the brain by Oliver Sacks

Neuromarketing: Understanding the buy buttons in your customer's brain by Renvoise & Morin

The neuroscientist who lost her mind by Barbara Lipska

Night falls fast – Kay Redfield Jamison

Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness by Richard Thaler

Numbers rule your world: The hidden influence of probabilities and statistics on everything you do by Kaiser Fung

Nurture shock by Bronson & Merryman

Outliers: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell

Patient HM by Luke Dittrich

Phantoms in the brain by Vilnyur Ramachandran

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

A Primate's Memoir by Robert Sapolsky

The psychopath test by Jon Ronson

Quiet: The Hidden Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain

The Shallows: how the internet is changing the way we think by Nicholas Carr

The Skeleton Cupboard: The making of a clinical psychologist by Tanya Bryon

Social Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies by Joanne Smith and S Alexander Haslam

Spark: the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain by John Ratey

The spirit catches you and you fall down by Anne Fadiman

The Sports Gene by David Epstein

The Survivor's Club by Ben Sherwood

Suspicious minds – how culture shapes madness by Gold & Gold

Taste matters: why we like the foods we do by John Prescott

Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahnemann

When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi

Why they kill: the discoveries of a maverick criminologist by Richard Rhodes

Why Zebras don’t get ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

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