Book Review: Psychology: Essential Thinkers, Classic Theories, and How They Inform Your World

On the one hand, Psychology: Essential Thinkers, Classic Theories,and How They Inform Your World by Dr. Andrea Bonior is a compilation of useful summaries of thought-provoking ideas and influential thinkers, and on other hand, this book is an easy-to-digest,  visually appealing, and witty resource that has carved out its own little place on my bookshelf. This just-published book highlights the most significant contributions of psychology’s most influential writers and theorists by putting them into historical context, explaining why the contributions were important, and then take it a step further by demonstrating how the contributions are still relevant today. This resource puts complex ideas into relatable context, interjecting contemporary references with bits of humor sprinkled throughout. 

This is a reference all students of psychology or anyone wanting a fresh perspective on understanding psychology would both benefit from and enjoy reading. This is undoubtedly a worthwhile read for all who are curious about any or all of the influences that have shaped the psychology and its subfields, such as neuroscience. Regardless of your experience with psychology, as author Dr. Bonior says, “…if you’d like to understand more about yourself and the people around you, and about how psychology’s biggest ideas and greatest breakthroughs are reflected in how we all live our lives, this is the book for you.”

My favorite aspect of this resource is that it is unifying, tying seemingly disparate schools of thought together in a concise, well-organized manner. I find the section headings, “Big Idea”, “Then What”, and “What About Me?” highly effective in making the book relevant. For example, Broca’s findings (identification of the area in the brain associated with speech production) are put in the context of subsequent interest and research into neuroanatomy, neuroscience and the expression of behavioral traits. And it can all be summed up briefly and clearly, accessible to all, regardless of previous familiarity. 

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