Science / Psychology Books: my top 5 for 2009

Inspired by a tweet from Coert Visser, which mentioned “great books published in 2009″, here is my top 5 list of books that I read in 2009 and that I most enjoyed.

  1. Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine and the Search for a Cure by Paul A. Offit MD
    Very well researched, a treat for lovers of science, engrossing like a thriller – essential resource for debunking the anti-vaccine movement

  2. Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive by Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.
    Good introduction to the concept of the Positivity Ratio and some useful guidelines for a well-balanced life from one of the pioneers of the field of positive psychology.

  3. Mindset: the New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
    Classic. A simple yet powerful idea. My thoughts on it in a previous post.

  4. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widesprad Misconceptions about Human Behavior by Scott A. Lillienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, Barry L. Beyerstein
    Yes, I am for evidence-based practices. This book was sheer pleasure and a breath of fresh air: in 50 easy-to-read short chapters, the authors use science to debunk popular myths about how we behave – myths like “most people use only 10% of their brain power” or “playing Mozart music to infants boosts their intelligence”. All in one volume.

  5. What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich, Ph.D.
    I am still reading this one, and so far it is great: finally a framework to make sense of recent research regarding IQ & genetics, the Adaptive Unconscious and biases in human rationality.
In a stand-alone category, here is a little gem of a book for SF coaching practitioners:
  1. Coaching Plain & Simple: Solution-focused Brief Coaching Essentials by Kirsten Dierolf, Daniel Meier, Peter Szabo
    In the spirit of “less is more”, this book embodies the idea that “perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
    -truly the essence of SF coaching
Not making the top 5, but still great books to read:
In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew E. May
- How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer; my take on it in a previous post.
Again, Happy New Year!