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Nine titles on the frontiers of psychology research [reading list]

What is the responsibility of psychologists to their clients and their communities during times of crisis? Annually, the American Psychological Association meets to present the research and best practices to meet the needs of the profession and the broader world.  These nine new titles present the latest, most advanced research to create a bridge between the academy and practitioners as we work to address racism and hate, face the psychological toll of COVID-19, and strive for sustainable leadership.

  1. The Tough Standard: The Hard Truths About Masculinity and Violence by Ronald F. Levant and Shana Pryor Written by past president of American Psychological Association, this book synthesizes over four decades of research in the psychology of men and the role of masculine norms in the present moment in American including the Me Too movement, March for Our Lives, and Black Lives Matter.
  2. The Legacy of Racism for Children: Psychology, Law, and Public Policy edited by Margaret C. Stevenson, Bette L. Bottoms, and Kelly C. Burke This volume is the first book to examine issues that arise when minority children’s lives are influenced by laws and policies that are rooted in historical racism. It addresses intersections of race/ethnicity within the context of child maltreatment, custody and interracial adoption, familial incarceration, school punishment and the school-to-prison pipeline, juvenile justice, police/youth interactions, jurors’ perceptions of child and adolescent victims and defendants, and immigration law and policy.
  3. The Science of Diversity by Mona Sue Weissmark  This book uses a multidisciplinary approach to excavate the
    theories, principles, and paradigms that illuminate our understanding of the issues surrounding human diversity, social equality, and justice. Showing why diversity programs fail, the book provides tools to understand how biases develop and influence our relationships and interactions with others.
  4. Don’t Wait and See!: A Neuropsychologist’s Guide to Helping Children Who are Developing Differently by Emily Papazoglou  Written by an expert in child development, this first of its kind book will help families take quick action to identify and address areas of concern during early childhood, a time of critical brain development. Full of practical advice on how to address developmental issues, this book aims to lower stress and build hope as families learn how to maximize their child’s potential.
  5. PTSD: What Everyone Needs to Know by Barbara O. Rotbaum and Sheila A.M. Rauch  Using a reader-friendly question and answer format, the book demystifies and defines posttraumatic stress disorder, describes its effects, reveals how treatment works, and explains why everyone should know more about the role traumatic experiences play in our lives and in culture and society.
  6. The Blind Storyteller: How We Reason About Human Nature by Iris Berent An intellectual journey that draws on philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, cognitive science, and the author’s own research, this book examines the gulf that exists between our intuitive understanding of human nature and the reality evidenced by science. The book grapples with a host of provocative questions, from why we are so afraid of zombies, to whether dyslexia is just in our heads, from what happens to us when we die, to why we are so infatuated with our brains.
  7. Innumeracy in the Wild: Misunderstanding and Misusing Numbers by Ellen Peters This book presents the logic, rules, and habits that highly numerate people use in decision making. This text offers a state-of-the-art review of the now sizeable body of psychological and applied findings that demonstrate the critical importance of numeracy in our world. With more than two decades of experience in the decision sciences, Ellen Peters demonstrates how intervention can foster adult numeric capacity, propel people to use numeric facts in decision making, and empower people with lower numeracy to reason better.
  8. Leading with Feeling: Nine Strategies of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership by Cary Cherniss This book describes how 25 outstanding leaders used emotional intelligence to deal with critical challenges and opportunities. Featuring commentary from the leaders themselves, the book distills their experiences into nine strategies that can help anyone be more effective at work. Each chapter features activities designed to help readers apply the strategies to their own working lives.
  9. Reset: An Introduction to Behavior Centered Design by Robert Aunger  This book presents Behavior Centered Design, a new framework for how to change behavior and implement processes for developing change programs. Drawing on cutting-edge research in evolutionary biology, ecological psychology, and neuroscience, this  approach encourages practitioners to think differently about behavior – both in understanding how and why it is produced, and in how to design programs to change it.


These books—from leaders in academia and in the practice field—continue the critical dialog of how the field of psychology can respond proactively and adaptively to the challenges ahead.

Featured Image Credit: by Sylvia Yang on Unsplash

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