What are the Best Books on Personality Psychology?
There are so many aspects to personality, so find the best books on personality psychology really depends on what you want to learn about. But once you start down the rabbit hole of psychology, you won’t want to start. Luckily, the field is vast and continues to develop today.
I first dipped my toes into psychology in my freshman year of college and I have been hooked ever since. I took psychology classes every chance I got. After my university years, I turned to Youtube to continue learning. However, Youtube can be really hit-or-miss, so eventually I upgraded to investing in learning from books.
If you look through any of my physical or digital libraries, you will find countless titles retaining to psychology as well as human biology. I think the two are quite intertwined so that is how I have decided to develop my knowledge.
Anyhow, below I share a few favorites so that you can find yourself a nice new book to learn about personality psychology. I’ll share two bonus books that will open your eyes to the crossover of psychology and biology after the list!
This book will open your eyes to the hidden frameworks of people. Robert Green is such a great author, who is an amazing investigator and communicator. He frames his arguments well and uses plenty of historical contexts to support his claims. His books are worth your time to check out. This one would be the best starting place before the others.
I actually listened to his books on Audible because the text can be a bit intimidating to read. You could get a free trial of Audible with my link here. Listening was much more manageable for me. I used to pop on headphones and listen while shooting hoops. Ahh, it was very relaxing while simultaneously eye-opening.
The next book by Robert Greene you should consider reading or listening to (on Audible) is his 48 Laws of Power one. This one is a bit more dark and reveals many overlooked sides of human nature. It explains unspoken power dynamics that you could observe in people every day.
Other Robert Green books worth mentioning to check out are Mastery and Art of Seduction. Those aren’t on personality psychology, but they are very insightful!
After delving into Robert Green’s work and his emphasis on the shadow, I started focusing to learn more about the concept because it seriously is the side of a person’s personality that really dictates their behaviors and choices unknowingly. The term “shadow” originated from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung in the early 1900’s and it is still used frequently in psychology nowadays for good reason.
If the concept of the shadow is new to you, the book Owning Your Shadow by Robert A. Johnson is the best introduction I have found to thoroughly explain the idea in an easily understandable way. I read it for free with Kindle Unlimited on my Kindle Paperwhite (with dark mode) back in the days when I used to sit in a dark room for hours holding my newborn baby for contact naps. Ah, such a funny memory now. But it was such a good read that I read it straight through within a day during my baby’s naptimes.
My personal favorite framework of psychology is the MBTI system. It was actually originally theorized also by Carl Jung, but popularized by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. It basically categorizes people into 16 different psychology types based on preferred cognitive functions. Any Linda Berens/Dario Nardi workbooks on Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) are great introductions to learning MBTI in an easy format.
I have a full post of the best books on MBTI for beginners that could check out if you’re interested in learning more about this typology framework.
Or if you’re already familiar with MBTI and want to upgrade your knowledge from beginner to advanced, this book on Socionics is very good and informative.
The enneagram is another personality framework that is quite popular. It is different from the MBTI framework in that it better describes how personality is developed from common childhood wounds. Enneagram provides a path of growth for individuals through healing core wounding. It follows the train of thought that personality is a survival mechanism developed as a means to function in a group. (In contrast, MBTI describes types based on preferred ways of decision-making and information processing.
Two books that you could also consider for learning about personality and psychology are The Female Brain (2007) and The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think (2011). Both written by Louann Brizendine, M.D. I actually again listened to these both on Audible as I did the Robert Green books
If you check out any of these books, please come back and let me know what you thought! I know you won’t be disappointed with any of these choices! Here are two other articles you may fancy checking out on my site while you’re here now: