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21 books of Social Psychology of forced reading

21 books of Social Psychology of forced reading

May 10, 2021

Social psychology is one of the most important branches of psychology, just as clinical psychology or educational psychology are, and is responsible for investigating the way in which we relate to other people, emphasizing the influence of the social in human behavior.

In other words, it seeks to understand social factors, relationships between people, as well as society as a whole and political and social institutions.

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Great social psychology books

In its attempt, this discipline addresses issues such as: prejudice, group cohesion, intergroup and interindividual conflict, values ​​and beliefs and the attitudes or roles that individuals perform as part of society or a group.


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Throughout the years, several successful editorial works have been written about this subject . Below you can find 21 of the best books on social psychology. Enjoy them!

1. Collective behavior and social movements (Esteve Espelt, Federico Javaloy and Álvaro Rodríguez)

This reading is recommended for all those people who want to deepen knowledge of group behavior and social movements from a psychosocial perspective . In its pages it is possible to find references to the functioning of the group and how an already predisposed identity with a set of norms, values, sensations, beliefs, reasons and models of action can guide our behavior.


In this work the most important theories about social movements are explained, and the authors contribute a vision adapted to the XXI century, dealing with topics such as the feminist or environmental movement.

  • More information here.

2. Whistling to Vivaldi (Claude M. Steele)

This text was recommended by Princeton University because it is a very interesting work. It is an entertaining reading and very well explained, that examines stereotypes from an objective point of view, without making a moral analysis of the situation but rather sociological and psychological , for example, how stereotypes affect our day-to-day life or how we respond to them.

Inside, the author tells that Brent Staples, a student of color at the University of Chicago, noticed that when crossing the streets of Hyde Park at night people looked at him with fear. So he decided to whistle a tune of Antonio Vivaldi, which allowed him to escape the racial stereotype, associated with crime, that many individuals have towards African-Americans. Unfortunately, this text is only available in English.


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3. Influence (Robert Cialdini)

"Influence" is a must-read work if you are interested in the psychology of persuasion . It is a safe bet for all those interested in social psychology, because the author has created a text that is not only easy to follow thanks to his excellent examples, but Cialdini has worked to write a book that is entertaining and affordable from the point of view of its reading, so that the reader finds it easy to understand even the most technical concepts.

  • Buy it here

4. The Lucifer Effect: the why of evil (Philip Zimbardo)

Philip Zimbardo is one of the authors of compulsory study in the subject of Social Psychology of all faculties of psychology around the globe for his research and the findings of the Stanford prison experiment. This work details everything that happened in that fictitious situation but that was out of the hands of the team of researchers, and provides many data of great scientific value.

In short, reviews the influence of roles on the behavior of individuals , and explains how people, even those classified as good, can behave very cruelly in some concrete situations.

  • Buy it here

5. Social psychology of violence (María Concepción Fernández Villanueva)

The book that delves into the vision of violence as a product of a series of psychosocial factors which vary according to the characteristics and norms of the human groups or contexts in which it occurs. In order to study and understand this phenomenon, it must be approached from a psychosocial perspective. After a theoretical explanation of violence and aggression, this work analyzes several types and contexts of violence, for example, violence in school or work.

In addition, among other topics, it reviews the group character of this behavior, gender violence and its social and political factors and, in addition, analyzes the problem of violence in the media.

  • You can buy it here.

6Social Animal (Elliot Aronson)

A well-known book on social psychology and one of the best sellers today . Elliot Aronson, with a pleasant and easy to read text, invites the reader to explore the different scientific discoveries through its pages, with examples and all kinds of details of social experiments. A book highly recommended both for students and professionals of psychology.

  • You can buy it here.

7. Fundamentals of social psychology (Rosa Rodriguez Bailon and Miguel Moya Morales)

A great manual that aims to cover the basic knowledge of this branch of psychology . Especially recommended for students, the book includes different CD-ROMs (one for each chapter) that help in the acquisition of the learning of this subject. Undoubtedly, a great book to be introduced, but at the same time to deepen, in this field of psychology.

  • For sale on this link.

8. Applying social psychology (Francisca Expósito Jiménez and Miguel Moya Morales)

This text of social psychology presents a different approach to that of most manuals on this subject . After presenting a historical overview and a description of the contents of social psychology, the applicability of psychosocial knowledge on basic topics is shown, such as: attribution, attitudes or group processes; and on topics of great interest to society, for example, gender violence, migration processes, violence or political leadership or leisure and tourism. A very complete work with a very updated bibliography.

  • You can buy it in this link.

9. 50 essential experiments to understand social psychology (Armando Rodríguez, José Francisco Morales, Naira Delgado and Verónica Betancor)

The objective of this reading is to present in an entertaining and entertaining way 50 experiments that have allowed to understand and explain social psychology . There are many studies and researches that have been carried out on social behavior, and the authors, for this editorial work, have selected those most outstanding experiments of this branch of psychology.

  • You can buy it here.

10. Obedience to authority (Stanley Milgram)

Stanley Milgram is known for one of the most famous researches in social psychology . This psychologist from Yale University, in 1961, conducted a series of experiments with the idea of ​​knowing why we obey the orders of an authority. This text collects these surprising results.

If you want to know more about his famous research, you can read our article: "The Milgram Experiment: the danger of obedience to authority"
  • Buy it in this link.

11. Why we lie ... especially ourselves (Dan Ariely)

Dan Ariely gives us a mandatory reading text for lovers of social psychology . In it, he submerges us in chiaroscuro of the mind to help us understand what makes us lie and in what way we protect ourselves from it. Ariely answers questions such as: Do we lie more when they force us to collaborate? Are believers more honest? On what subjects is it easier for us to lie? Does the fear of being discovered reduce our tendency to cheat? All this while reviewing topics of social psychology as interesting as cognitive dissonance.

The lie is one of the most characteristic aspects of the social behavior of the human being. While we are able to communicate in very accurate ways through the use of language, we can also give false information to deceive others. This book is an excellent way to understand how we usually use lies and what logics are behind this behavior.

  • You can buy it conveniently in this link.

12. Treaty of social psychology Vol. I: basic processes (J. F. Morales Domínguez and Carlos Moya Montes)

Another essential manual . The book "Treaty of social psychology" has two volumes. In the first, a detailed analysis of the psychosocial processes emerging from this discipline is offered. For example, the processes that influence group interaction; stereotypes, causal analysis, intergroup conflict or attitudes and influence.

  • Acquired here.

13. Treaty of social psychology Vol. II: social interaction (J. M. Fernández Dols, P. Carrera Levillaín, L. V. Oceja Fernández, J. Berenguer Santiago)

This text, which follows the previous one, offers those interested in social psychology a set of knowledge that allows them to expand their horizons in this field . Focused on the specific processes of social interaction, he devotes his pages to attractive themes, for example, the tension between mind and society.

  • You can buy it in this link.

14. The advantages of desire

A book that addresses the issue of irrationality in our behaviors and answers questions about the decisions we make. For example, Are we really owners of our decisions or can we be manipulated as consumers?

This work shows us the surprisingly positive effects that irrationality can have on our lives.In addition, the author extracts, thanks to the conclusions of his entertaining and original experiments, incredible conclusions about how and why we behave the way we do.

  • You can buy it in this link.

15. Love from social psychology (Carlos Yela García)

Love is one of the most important issues in our lives . That is why it has aroused great interest among psychologists, and also among social psychologists.

Some experts in the field have focused their research on the biological aspects (for example, the chemistry of love), while others have contributed knowledge about the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence this phenomenon. The present work tries to answer many of the questions that arise when dealing with the subject of love and makes interesting contributions to the scientific literature in this field.

  • You can also buy it here.

Social psychology books beyond Spanish

There are many excellent titles that, unfortunately, have not yet been translated into Spanish. Here you can find a selection of these works in relation to social psychology books.

16. Drive (Daniel H. Pink)

One of the most interesting social psychology books for those who want to learn to motivate work teams . In its pages you will find ways to understand job satisfaction and formulas to improve the fit between members of a group.

  • You can know more about him here.

17. Mistakes were made ... but not by me (Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson)

If you do not mind moving away from books in Spanish, this interesting work will enchant you. Similar to Dan Arielly's, here the idea that we are rational beings is questioned and we are oriented towards the search for truth through logical thinking. In fact, we are incredibly prone to remain blind to our own mistakes and attribute them to others or to elements of the environment.

  • Do you want to know more about this book? Click here.

18. Social Engineering (Christopher Hadnagy)

An excellent book to understand the methods of manipulation used to guide the behavior of people towards certain objectives or goals ... without them realizing it.

  • To read more about this work, click here.

19. Methods of Persuasion (Nick Kolenda)

Another excellent title to add to the list of social psychology books that focus on the phenomenon of persuasion . It is based on principles of cognitive science to apply this knowledge in business or informal personal relationships.

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20. The psychology of advertising (Bob M. Fennis and Wolfgang Stroebe)

An advertising piece of 10 seconds of duration issued by television is capable of making us want to buy a product of which we know almost nothing. That is the power of advertising , that thanks to its capacity to appeal to our emotions, it achieves incredible things. This book explains how that is possible.

  • You will find more information about this work here.

21. The Social Psychology of the Classroom (Elisha Babad)

A relatively unknown book that will undoubtedly interest all people interested in education. Their extensive documentation can be of great help, for example, to educators and pedagogues.

  • If you plan to acquire it, click here.

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