Friend of mindhacks.com and contributor to the original Mind Hacks book, Christian Jarrett has written the “The Rough Guide to Psychology“, published this month, and a right rip roaring read it is too. It’s a whistle-stop tour through all aspects of the science of mind and behaviour, which reveals just how diverse and rich the field of psychology is. From visual perception to intelligence testing, sport psychology and gender differences to developmental disorders – Christian is the consummate guide, introducing the scientific essentials, giving the history of psychological research and highlighting links to the everyday world of our own experiences. The reader gets the benefits of Christian’s unique skills – he’s a fully trained research scientist but also has the jackdaw curiosity of the science journalist, honed by the experience of writing for the BPS Psychologist magazine and Research Digest.
It isn’t possible to download knowledge in the way Keanu does in the Matrix (“I know kung-fu“), but reading the Rough Guide to Psychology feels like the next best thing. Wonderful breadth, impressive depth and fun throughout – the next time someone asks me for an introduction to Psychology I’ll give them this book.