The 10 Best Behavioral Psychology Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Behavioral Psychology Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Behavioral psychology is broadly concerned with how and why humans act as they do. Becoming educated in this field requires a lot of reading in a range of related areas, as can be seen in the diversity of courses and textbooks that take behaviorism as their starting point. Here, we’ve included something for all interests, whether you’re an undergraduate, a graduate, or a self-directed learner. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment

2. Behavioral Neuroscience

3. Applied Behavior Analysis

Editor's Notes

April 24, 2020:

There are endless areas that behavioral psychology students need to address, and we wanted to focus on some of the most crucial here, as well as a few topics of interest for laypeople and practicing therapists. That's why you'll see the bestselling Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is not a textbook, and Criminal Profiling, which is a bit niche, alongside pragmatic texts like Methods in Behavioral Research, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

Today we said goodbye to Essentials of Statistics for The Behavioral Sciences because, while it is informative and will get the job done, it doesn't manage to make an already dry subject any less so. Some students also found it unnecessarily complicated and difficult to follow, with certain examples lacking detail. And while it is aimed at introductory learners, it is numbers-heavy and assumes prior knowledge there. We decided to add something extremely practical in its place, and so you'll find Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond joined the ranks today. This text serves as an excellent supplement to those studying behaviorism who want to learn more about CBT, compare and contrast it to other treatments, or are interested in implementing it.

We also updated Methods in Behavioral Research, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Essentials of Understanding Psychology to their most recent editions. While Essentials of Understanding may seem like a basic psychology textbook to some, it is nevertheless crucial for your understanding if you're just starting to learn about the discipline and plan to specialize. Finally, we wanted to address Behavioral Finance:, which is just as pertinent for psych majors as it is for business executives. This volume can be appreciated by anyone who deals with finance, consumer products, economics, client management, and even education.

Special Honors

The American Psychological Association The American Psychological Association is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the US. They work to promote the advancement and application of psychological science to benefit society and offer a wealth of information to those in the field. Interested researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students are welcome to join division six, in particular, which focuses on behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology. If you're picking up a textbook to teach yourself about behaviorism and would like to supplement it with an online course, consider one of the many on offer at edX. They have introductory and advanced classes in a wide array of subjects related to the field. They suggest classes like The University of Queensland’s Introduction to Developmental Psychology for beginners, while high-level learners interested in putting what they read to real-world use will appreciate the University of Michigan's six-course MicroMasters program in social work.

4. Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond

5. Essentials of Understanding Psychology

6. Criminal Profiling

7. Thinking, Fast and Slow

8. Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior

9. Methods in Behavioral Research

10. Behavioral Finance:

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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