The Behavioral Science Books We Just Couldn’t Put Down in 2021 With Louise Ward

What a year for books 2021 has been! It seems like authors, editors and publishers have all been working overtime this year to bring us some incredible new content. Books that have challenged our beliefs, calmed our anxieties and transformed our habits.

To help us with the mammoth job of summarizing the best behavioral science books from 2021, we are joined by the incredible Louise Ward, who has read over 100 books this year! Louise is the co-host of the Behavioural Science Club, a LinkedIn group established in June 2020 now with over 5,000 members. If you haven’t yet joined the club, you definitely should. Today. Alongside co-host Prakash Sharma, the Behavioural Science Club interviews top authors each week about fascinating new insights in human behavior.

In our discussion with Louise, we noticed some trends among our favorite books. One is that we are moving past the presumption that humans are flawed and irrational. Books such as Useful Delusions and Nudge focus instead on the evolutionary usefulness of our biases and heuristics. In addition, we loved that after reading books on heavy topics such as suffering (The Sweet Spot), racial inequalities (The Person You Mean to Be) or conspiracy theories (How to Talk to a Science Denier), we were still left with a feeling of hope and optimism.

And if you’re new to behavioral science and wondering how to get started or underestimating the impact you can make as an individual, there was an empowering theme to this year’s books too. Dive into You Have More Influence Than You Think to recognize how you can make an impact on people, You’re Invited to reflect on the connections you make in your life or Non Obvious Megatrends to start noticing more of the world around you.

We would LOVE to hear your favorite books of 2021. Did your favorites overlap with ours? Please send us an email at info@behavioralgrooves.com, or connect with us on social media with your top reads of the year.

Twitter: @behavioralgroov

LinkedIn: Behavioral Grooves

Instagram: @behavioralgrooves 

Facebook: Behavioral Grooves

Behavioural Science Club Links

Join over 5000 members in the LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13871707/

More group info: https://lnkd.in/grjWMrQ

Twitter: @BehSciClub 

Our Favorite Books of 2021



  • The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, by Dolly Chugh: https://amzn.to/3rSsEHQ
  • Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done, by Chester Elton And Adrian Gostick: https://amzn.to/3EMgofA
  • Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, by Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler: https://amzn.to/3rVh8Ma
  • The Unconscious: Theory, Research, and Clinical Implications, by Joel Weinberger: https://amzn.to/3H5P5xA
  • How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love, by Logan Ury: https://amzn.to/3GC8VR3
  • Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future, by Rohit Bhargava: https://amzn.to/3phL4jv


 A couple of non-2021 favorites

  • Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, by Robert Sapolsky: https://amzn.to/3H5ALp6 (Kurt)
  • The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health–and How We Must Adapt, by Sinan Aral: https://amzn.to/3EgsSLv (Louise)

After getting through this list, you can check out our favorite books of 2020 here.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

AIRDATE: December 26, 2021 EPISODE 270

This episode also available via:

The Behavioral Science Books We Just Couldn’t Put Down in 2021 With Louise Ward

Featured Guest

Louise Ward