Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Top 10 Best Psychology Books on Human Behavior

Top 10 Best Psychology Books on Human Behavior

1. The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Image Source: Amazon

Author Charles Duhigg
Published Date 2014
Pages 416


“The Power of Habit” is a bestselling book written by Charles Duhigg that explores the science of habits and how they can be transformed to achieve positive change in individuals and organizations. Three parts of the book discuss different aspects of the habit loop – cue, routine, and reward – and how they can be manipulated in order to change behavior for the better.


Part 1: The Habits of Individuals

A comprehensive discussion of the neurological and psychological mechanisms responsible for habits follows. A habit loop – cue, routine, and reward – is explained by Duhigg to explain how habits are formed and maintained. He uses numerous examples to illustrate the concepts, from personal routines to organizational procedures.

Part 2: The Habits of Successful Organizations

Duhigg examines the habits that drive successful organizations and how to transform them for greater productivity. In his case studies, he provides compelling examples of how changing organizational habits can have an enormous impact on performance, including Alcoa’s turnaround under Paul O’Neill’s leadership.

Part 3: The Habits of Societies

The final part of the book examines the role of habits in societal contexts. In the book, Duhigg examines movements, such as the Civil Rights Movement, and the habits that led to them. He emphasizes the power of small habits to influence larger social patterns.

Key Points

1. Habit Loop:

A habit loop consists of three elements – cue, routine, and reward. Understanding it is critical to changing habits.

2. Neurological Basis:

A neurological explanation of habit formation is presented by Duhigg, who explains how habits become engrained in our brains via the basal ganglia.

3. Keystone Habits:

A keystone habit is one that can trigger positive changes in many areas of one’s life. By identifying and focusing on keystone habits, one can enhance the quality of one’s life.

4. Small Wins:

It’s great to see people making small, incremental changes and celebrating “small wins” when it comes to achieving larger goals as it’s an effective strategy to build momentum and maintain motivation.

5. Organizational Habits:

The book outlines how habits shape the culture and success of an organization and provides guidance on how leaders can change key organizational habits to influence overall performance in their organization.

6. Crisis as Catalyst:

Professor Duhigg explains how crises can be used to ignite habit change both on an individual level and at an organizational level, depending on how they are interpreted.

7. Social Habits:

This book discusses the role habits play in social movements, as well as how individual habits can contribute to the broader success of a movement.

In The Power of Habit, the author explores the science behind habits and offers practical insights into how individuals and organizations can leverage this knowledge to create positive and lasting change in their lives and organizations.

2. Outliers  


Image Source: Amazon

Author Malcolm Gladwell
Published Date 2011
Pages 336


The book “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell explores the factors that contribute to high levels of success and achievement, challenging the notion of individual merit and emphasizing the role of external circumstances and cultural context. There are two parts to the book: “Opportunity” and “Legacy.”


Part 1: Opportunity

A successful person does not simply possess talent and effort; he argues that success is heavily influenced by external factors, including cultural background, family upbringing, and opportunities available.

In the “10,000-Hour Rule,” it is suggested that to become proficient in a specific field, one must practice for approximately 10,000 hours. To achieve that level of practice, Gladwell emphasizes the importance of meaningful opportunities and cultural conditions.

Part 2: Legacy

The second section, Legacy, discusses the importance of cultural legacies, family backgrounds, and birthdates to an individual’s success.

From the biblical verse “For to everyone who has, more will be given,” Gladwell introduces the Matthew Effect, which suggests that initial advantages can accumulate over time, resulting in a growing divide between the successful and the less successful. A discussion of the birthdate effect in youth sports illustrates how relative age can affect opportunities and success.

Key Points

The 10,000-Hour Rule: Gladwell suggests that mastery in any field requires approximately 10,000 hours of practice. However, the quality and nature of that practice are crucial, as well as access to opportunities.

1. Cultural Legacy:

A Cultural Legacy explores the impact of cultural legacies on behavior and success by emphasizing how attitudes and norms can influence opportunities and mindsets.

2. Opportunity and Advantage:

This book challenges the myth of the “self-made” individual by demonstrating that success is largely the result of outside factors, such as family background, upbringing, and access to opportunities.

3. Matthew Effect:

According to the Matthew Effect, which has its origins in the Bible, those who have an initial advantage are more likely to acquire further advantages as time goes on, thus creating a cumulative advantage as a result.

4. Birthdate Effect:

Gladwell discusses how the relative age of individuals, particularly in the context of youth sports, can influence opportunities and success. Older individuals may have the advantage over younger individuals due to the physical maturity that they possess.

5. Cultural Context:

An important aspect of the book is that it emphasizes the importance of cultural context in influencing an individual’s approach to success, suggesting that cultural norms and attitudes can have a profound impact on one’s future career trajectory.

6. Success as a Collective Effort:

The notion of success in the book “Outliers” challenges an individualistic view of the concept of success, positing that success is often a result of a combination of an individual effort and external factors, such as cultural, familial, and societal factors.

The book “Outliers” challenges the reader to reevaluate conventional notions of success and to begin to recognize the intricate web of factors that contribute to a high level of achievement, emphasizing the role of opportunity, cultural context, and family legacy in shaping the path to success of each individual.

3. Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

Image Source: Amazon

Author Simon Sinek
Published Date 2014
Pages 368

“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek explores the dynamics of effective leadership, emphasizing the importance of creating supportive, nurturing organizational cultures.

An environment where people feel valued and inspired is fostered by great leaders, who prioritize the well-being and fulfillment of their team members. Key principles are illustrated by examples taken from various organizations and leaders.


According to Sinek, true leadership is not about rank or privilege, but about taking care of those under one’s charge. In the story, “Leaders Eat Last,” the idea is conveyed that leaders should prioritize their team members’ needs before their own, thus fostering loyalty within their organization.

A supportive culture that prioritizes the wellbeing of individuals is critical to enhancing performance and achieving organizational success in the book.

Key Points:

1. The Circle of Safety:

Sinek introduces the concept of the “Circle of Safety” as a way to maintain a sense of safety within an organization so that collaboration, innovation, and risk-taking are encouraged.

2. Chemical Basis of Trust:

The book explores the chemistry behind trust, emphasizing the role oxytocin plays in creating feelings of belonging and cooperation. Leaders who prioritize trust-building behaviors enhance team dynamics.

3. Choosing to lead:

Sinek argues that leadership is not a rank, but a choice. Leaders who prioritize the well-being of their team members produce long-term success through trust and cooperation.

4. Service to Others:

Leaders who are effective develop a service-oriented mindset, focusing on the needs of their team members. This approach fosters trust and loyalty among employees.

5. Leadership Behaviors and Hormone Release:

This book examines how leadership behaviors can affect the release of hormones in individuals, which affects stress levels and overall well-being.

6. The Infinite Game:

Sinek introduces the concept of the “infinite game,” in which leaders focus on long term goals and values rather than short term rewards. This perspective encourages sustained success and resilience.

7. Examples of Leadership:

Sinek provides examples of leaders who have effectively prioritized their teams’ well-being and created environments that encourage collaboration and innovation.

8. Culture of Belonging:

The importance of creating an inclusive culture for all employees is stressed. Leaders who prioritize inclusivity and a sense of purpose contribute to a positive workplace environment.

Leaders Eat Last encourages them to adopt a selfless and service-oriented approach, focusing on their team members’ well-being. By encouraging a culture of trust, collaboration, and shared values, leaders can motivate their teams.

4. Influence


Image Source: Amazon

Author Robert Cialdini
Published Date 2006
Pages 336

An influential book by Robert B. Cialdini, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, discusses the psychology behind why people say “yes” and how to leverage influence in various situations. In this book, Cialdini discusses six key principles of influence and provides insights into how they can be applied in business, marketing, and everyday life.


In Cialdini’s book, he explores the psychology of persuasion, aiming to discover the underlying principles that influence people. As a result of his extensive research, the author identifies six key principles of influence: reciprocity, commitment, consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.

As Cialdini illustrates, these principles can be applied to a variety of situations, ranging from sales and marketing to daily social interactions.

Key Points:

1. Reciprocity:

A strong tendency in human beings is to reciprocate favors. When someone does for us or gives us something, we feel an obligation to return the favor. Marketing and relationship-building use this concept regularly.

2. Commitment and Consistency:

A consistent commitment makes people more likely to follow through with subsequent requests consistent with their initial commitment. Small commitments can ultimately lead to larger ones.

3. Social Proof:

The behavior of others influences people. People often look to others for guidance when they don’t know how to act. Testimonials, reviews, and a social group’s actions can serve as powerful sources of influence.

4. Authority:

According to Cialdini, trust in authority figures can lead to compliance with requests and recommendations. His analysis highlights how symbols of authority, titles, and expertise can influence decision-making.

5. Liking:

Likeability and rapport are factors that contribute to persuasion. People are more likely to be persuaded by those they like. Similarity, compliments, and cooperation contribute to likability.

6. Scarcity:

People are more motivated to take action when they perceive something to be scarce or limited. Scarcity can dramatically influence decision-making.

7. Contrast Principle:

In the contrast principle, Cialdini explains how an item’s perceived value can be altered by the preceding item. For example, a very expensive item may seem more reasonable following another very expensive item.

8. Unity:

A sense of unity is a feeling of belonging, or of belonging to something larger than ourselves. When people perceive themselves as part of a group, they are more likely to be influenced by others who belong to the group.

As a result of “Influence,” we gain valuable insights into human behavior and decision-making. Individuals can become more aware of how they are influenced and how to apply these principles ethically in their professional and personal lives by understanding these principles.

5. Sapiens


Image Source: Amazon

Author Yuval Noah Harari
Published Date 2017
Pages 464


The history of Homo sapiens is portrayed in a captivating way in “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by historian Yuval Noah Harari, which has become one of the best-selling books in the world. According to Harari, the course of human history has been shaped by key events, revolutions, and cognitive developments.


There are four major parts to the story of “Sapiens,” each of which focuses on a different era in human history:

1. The Cognitive Revolution:

Harari explores the evolution of Homo sapiens and the cognitive abilities that set them apart from other species by exploring the evolution of Homo sapiens. Language and the ability to create myths and beliefs that shared with others allowed humans to cooperate in large groups, which led to significant societal advancements as a result.

2. Agricultural Revolution:

This book examines the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to settled agricultural communities in the era of the Agricultural Revolution. During this period, social structures, economic systems, and human relationships with the natural environment underwent profound changes as a result of this revolution.

3. The Unification of Humankind:

A history of mankind reveals the unification of millions of cultures and societies, as well as the effect of empires and trade networks that led to the unification of diverse societies and cultures. By developing trade routes and empires such as the Roman Empire, material progress, information, and knowledge were brought together.

4. Science and the Industrial Revolution:

The book explores how the Scientific Revolution changed our understanding of the natural world, bringing about a new era of knowledge and understanding of nature. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, there were unprecedented technological advances and changes in society that had never been seen before.

In his work, Harari challenges many commonly held beliefs and presents a thought-provoking perspective on the impact of humans on the planet and how modern technological advancements and scientific advancements are posing ethical dilemmas to humans.

Key Points

1. Cognitive Revolution:

A cognitive revolution is a period of time where language is developed and we are able to brainstorm shared beliefs that allow us to cooperate in large groups, allowing us to dominate the planet.

2. Agricultural Revolution:

From hunting and gathering to settled agriculture, human societies underwent a great change, which led to an increase in population density, the emergence of social hierarchies, and the emergence of complex civilizations around the world.

3. Humanity’s Unification:

As empires and trade networks grew, disparate cultures became connected, allowing for the exchange of goods, ideas, and technologies and carrying on the process that eventually resulted in interracial marriages and the emergence of a more interconnected world.

4. Scientific Revolution:

A paradigm shift in human understanding took place with the Scientific Revolution, which placed a strong emphasis on empirical evidence and observation and led to the development of modern science and technology.

5. Industrial Revolution:

In the Industrial Revolution, significant technological advancements facilitated the transition of society from an agrarian to an industrial one. It had a profound impact on society’s economic, social, and environmental well-being.

6. Human Activities and the Environment:

Harari investigates the effects of human activities throughout history, especially the impact of the Industrial Revolution and Agricultural Revolution on the environment.

7. Cultural Evolution:

In his book, Harari explains how shared myths, beliefs, and cultural constructs contribute to the evolution of human societies. Such narratives are one of the most common characteristics of Homo sapiens.

In “Sapiens”, readers are challenged to reconsider common narratives of human history and consider the implications of humanity’s past for its future.

6. The Anatomy of Peace

The Anatomy of Peace

Image Source: Amazon

Author The Arbinger Institute
Published Date 2015
Pages 288


“The Anatomy of Peace” is a leadership and self-help book written by The Arbinger Institute. It explores the concept of approaching conflicts with a peace mindset through a fictional narrative. By adopting a mindset that views others as people rather than objects or obstacles, individuals and groups can achieve greater harmony and understanding.


A group of students attend a program at a fictional institute where they learn about “anatomy of peace” principles. The narrative unfolds from the perspective of one participant who shares his transformative journey. It explores the idea of shifting from seeing others as obstacles or enemies to seeing them as human beings with feelings and needs.

To convey the idea that peace is more than just the absence of conflict, it is also a state of being and relating to others, the “anatomy of peace” is a central metaphor. In the book, the author emphasizes the need to address internal conflicts before addressing external conflicts.

Key Points:

1. Heart at War vs. Heart at Peace:

The book explains the concept of the “heart at war” and the “heart at peace.” A heart at war sees other people as objects, while a heart at peace sees them as people with needs and desires.

2. Justifying our Mistreatment of Others:

A narrative on the ways in which individuals justify mistreatment of others by dehumanizing them and viewing them through prejudices. This promotes conflict and perpetuates the cycle of mistreatment and prejudice.

3. Box:

The box is used metaphorically to represent a closed-off and defensive mindset. A person puts themselves in the box by not seeing others as human beings with valid viewpoints.

4. Getting Out of the Box:

This book provides insight into how to turn your mindset around so that you see other people with empathy and understanding.

5. Developing an understanding of other people’s stories:

The goal of this program is to encourage individuals to take the time to listen to and understand the stories of others, and to acknowledge that everyone has their own struggles and perspectives to consider.

6. A Sympathetic Approach to Peace In Several Settings:

Anatomy of Peace outlines the five principles which apply to a wide range of different settings, such as family dynamics, workplace conflict, and international relations in addition to the dynamics of family dynamics.

7. Transformation of the Self:

The narrative follows the personal transformation of the characters as they apply the principles of the anatomy of peace to their own lives, resulting in better relationships and a life that is more peaceful.

8. A Breaking Cycle of Conflict:

The book presents a perspective on how to break the cycles of conflict by targeting the root causes that are at the root of conflict within individuals and fostering a mindset of understanding and compassion between them.

A unique approach to conflict resolution is provided in “The Anatomy of Peace,” emphasizing that one must undergo personal transformation and change one’s mindset in order to achieve lasting peace and understanding in various aspects of life in order to achieve lasting peace and understanding.

In order to make the principles accessible and applicable to a wide audience, the author uses a fictional narrative to illustrate the principles.

7. Factfulness


Image Source: Amazon

Author Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling
Published Date 2018
Pages 352

‘Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think’ is written by Hans Rosling, with contributions from Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling. In this book, common misconceptions about global trends are challenged and a more fact-based and optimistic outlook is offered. Here’s a summary and key points:


In “Factfulness,” the focus is on global progress, development, and well-being, debunking prevalent myths and misconceptions about the world. The world’s poverty, health, and education have improved significantly as a result of data-driven insights provided by Hans Rosling, a renowned public health expert and statistician.

This book identifies ten common cognitive biases that lead people to perceive the world as worse than it actually is, and provides a framework for understanding global realities more accurately.

Key Points

1. Ten Human Instincts:

These authors outline ten cognitive biases that shape how people see the world. Among these are instincts such as the Gap Instinct (focusing on extremes and ignoring the middle), the Negativity Instinct (noticing negative information), and the Fear Instinct (reacting to immediate danger).

2. Worldview based on Facts:

The authors argue that a more accurate understanding of global trends can lead to better decision-making and a more optimistic outlook rather than relying on outdated or biased information.

3. Global Progress:

Data analysis in the book demonstrates that the world has made substantial progress in areas such as poverty reduction, child mortality, and access to education. It challenges a narrative of a rapidly declining world.

4. Four Income Levels:

In order to provide a more complete picture of global economic realities, the authors propose a simplified model of categorizing countries into four income levels (low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high).

5. Overpopulation:

“Factfulness” discusses concerns about overpopulation, pointing out that global population growth is slowing down, and many countries are experiencing falling birth rates.

6. Health Improvements:

The book discusses improvements in global health, such as reductions in infectious diseases and improvements in life expectancy, debunking the notion that the world faces a health emergency.

7. The Danger of Single Stories:

Single stories can lead to a distorted view of reality, the authors warn. Instead, a more comprehensive and nuanced view should be formulated based on a number of stories and incidents.

8. Urgency of Factfulness:

In “Factfulness,” the author argues that understanding the world’s true state is crucial for making informed decisions and seeking effective solutions. The author stresses the urgency of adopting a fact-based approach to address global issues.

9. Data Literacy:

Modern world complexity requires data literacy – a skill that allows you to interpret and evaluate information critically. In this book, it is emphasized that this is a necessary skill for navigating the complexities of today’s world.

10. Achieving Progress:

“Factfulness” acknowledges the progress that has been made and recognizes the potential for continued development by encouraging readers to embrace a more optimistic and hopeful approach to the world.

In “Factfulness,” we are urged to reconsider our preconceptions about the world and adopt a more nuanced and fact-based perspective. As readers read this book, they will be challenged to challenge their assumptions and approach global issues in a way that is optimistic and hopeful.

8. What Every Body Is Saying

What Every Body Is Saying

Image Source: Amazon

Author Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins
Published Date 2008
Pages 250


An ex-FBI agent, Joe Navarro, and Marvin Karlins coauthored the book, “What Everybody is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People.”

The book provides insight into nonverbal communication, helping readers understand and interpret the subtle cues that people’s bodies convey. Through his experience with the FBI, Navarro gives valuable tips on reading body language to gain a deeper understanding of others.


The book begins by emphasizing the importance of nonverbal communication for understanding people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions. In his anecdotes, he discusses the importance of reading body language in investigating crimes.

There are several chapters in this book that focus on nonverbal communication in different ways, such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, and vocal cues. In this book, Navarro provides readers with practical advice and examples to improve their ability to interpret the unspoken language of their bodies.

Key Points:

1. Clusters of Behavior:

A Navarro emphasizes the importance of identifying clusters of nonverbal behaviors rather than depending solely on isolated signals when it comes to understanding a person’s feelings or intentions. These clusters of behaviors provide more accurate insight into a person’s thoughts or meanings.

2. Facial Expressions:

This book offers an out-of-this-world understanding of facial expressions, describing how the nuances of facial expressions reveal hidden emotions. In this book, Navarro explains the significance of observing the entire face rather than focusing solely on one feature to gain an understanding of your own emotions.

3. Gestures and Body Movements:

A clear understanding of the context and timing of these movements is crucial for analyzing how these movements can be interpreted as either an indication of comfort, discomfort, confidence, or deception. Navarro explains how various gestures and body movements can indicate these things.

4. Posture and Body Alignment:

The authors examine the role that posture and body alignment play in conveying attitudes and emotions. They contend that changes in posture, e.g. leaning away from the viewer or crossing arms may offer clues as to the state of mind of a particular individual.

5. Adapters and Comfort Behavior:

The concept of “adapter” refers to the behaviors people use to soothe themselves, such as playing with the hair or tapping the fingers. Recognizing these comfort behaviors allows us to gain insight into the emotional state of individuals.

6. Baseline Behavior:

The ability to detect deviations from the norm that may indicate discomfort, dishonesty, or hidden emotions can be achieved by establishing a baseline of a person’s typical behavior in a given situation.

7. Reading People in Specific Situations:

There is guidance in the book on reading people’s body language in various situations, such as job interviews, romantic interactions, and business negotiations.

8. Considerations of Culture:

Navarro acknowledges the need to consider cultural differences when considering nonverbal communication. What may be interpreted as an emotion in one culture might be understood differently in another.

9. Deceptive Behaviors:

A variety of behaviors, coupled with context, can raise suspicion in an individual, according to the authors. Rather than relying exclusively on one cue, the authors emphasize that clusters of behaviors, when combined with context, may raise suspicion in an individual.

10. Building Rapport:

Creating rapport through nonverbal signals and effective communication is one of the tips on how to build rapport in the book, contributing to a better interpersonal relationship.

“What Every Body is Saying” provides readers with practical tools to enhance their ability to understand nonverbal cues. The insights Navarro shares in this book are backed up by his experience in law enforcement, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning how the body communicates unspokenly.

9. The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind

Image Source: Amazon

Author Jonathan Haidt
Published Date 2013
Pages 528


A book by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt entitled “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” examines the moral foundations that shape people’s political and religious beliefs.

A deeper understanding of moral and political divisions can help individuals with diverse perspectives develop greater empathy and dialogue by examining the psychological underpinnings.


In his book, Haidt challenges the assumption that moral judgments are motivated by rationality and reasoning. Instead, he contends that moral decisions are usually based on intuitive and emotional responses that are then rationalized after the fact.

In the author’s text, the elephant represents the intuitive and emotional mind, and the rider represents the rational mind. Haidt contends that the rider frequently serves as an explanation and justification for the elephant’s decisions.

According to Haidt, six moral foundations are universal across cultures but are weighted differently depending on the political and cultural context.

According to Haidt, these moral frameworks are Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Liberty/Oppression, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation. According to Haidt, liberals, conservatives, and libertarians prioritize these moral foundations differently, resulting in distinct moral matrices.

A central theme of the book is “groupishness” – the tendency for humans to form tribes and groups. Humans are social creatures by nature, and Haidt believes that our moral and political beliefs are often shaped by our desire to belong to and cooperate with others.

A balanced and functional society requires individuals with a variety of moral perspectives, as he discusses the importance of moral diversity.

In his conclusion, Haidt emphasizes the importance of moral humility, perspective-taking, and finding common ground based on shared values to bridge moral and political divides.

Key Points:

1. Introducing the concept of Moral Foundations Theory:

Haidt identified six universal moral foundations that all human beings must adhere to – Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheat, Liberty/Oppression, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation.

2. Elephant and Rider:

The elephant and rider metaphor illustrates the relationship between an intuitive, emotional mind (the elephant) and a rationalizing, justifying mind (the rider).

3. Intuitive Morality:

The intuition-driven morality of Haidt argues that post hoc justification is frequently shaped by intuition and emotion.

4. Diversity of Moral Matrixes:

The book emphasizes the importance of moral diversity in society, signaling the way that different moral matrices contribute to the richness and adaptability of human cultures.

5. Identifying Political Ideologies:

Haidt explores the various political ideologies and beliefs that result from the importance of moral foundations to liberals, conservatives, and libertarians.

6. Groupishness:

The tendency of humans to form groups and tribes shapes moral and political beliefs and contributes to polarization, Haidt writes.

7. Humility:

To foster dialogue and understanding across ideological divides, cultivating moral humility – an awareness of the limitations and biases in one’s moral perspective – is emphasized.

8. Common Humanity:

There is a fundamental principle of Haidt’s work that focuses on recognizing and emphasizing our common humanity, seeking shared values and goals through which political and moral gaps can be bridged.

A Righteous Mind” explores the psychological underpinnings of moral beliefs and political beliefs, encouraging readers to create empathy for differences and to understand society’s diverse moral foundations.

10. Humankind


Image Source: Amazon


Author Rutger Bregman
Published Date 2020
Pages 480


‘Humankind: A Hopeful History’ by Rutger Bregman challenges conventional human nature views and advocates a more positive view of human nature. Human beings are innately good, according to Bregman, and he provides historical and psychological evidence for this claim. In the book, humanity can achieve a better future through collaboration, kindness, and empathy.


“Humankind” is a book by Bregman that challenges the traditional notion that humans are inherently selfish and aggressive. According to him, civilization and society are just overlays on an inherent savagery underlying human nature, a belief popularly held. Bregman instead argues for an intrinsic human goodness that has been obscured by cultural myths and historical narratives.

In Bregman’s essay, he examines examples of collective action, cooperation, and altruism throughout human history, based on historical examples and psychological and anthropological studies. According to him, when people face challenging situations, they are more likely to collaborate and support each other than to devolve into chaos and selfishness.

Moreover, Bregman discusses the role media and storytelling play in forming negative perceptions of humanity. By emphasizing positive stories and emphasizing human goodness, he suggests we can create a more compassionate and cooperative society.

In this book, readers are challenged to rethink their assumptions about human nature, encouraging a more optimistic outlook on our collective ability to generate positive change.

Key Points:

1. Inherent Goodness:

Bregman presents evidence that kindness and cooperation are fundamental to human nature, challenging the idea that humans are inherently selfish and aggressive.

2. The Veneer Theory:

Bregman argues that the concept of civilization is a thin layer covering the inherently savage nature of mankind. Instead, he argues that we need to be receptive to the view that civilization is a thin layer covering a vulnerable human nature.

3. Historical Examples:

The author uses historical examples, including the real story of the stranded boys on a deserted island (the inspiration for “Lord of the Flies”), in order to illustrate instances where cooperation and collaboration have triumphed over chaos and violence during times of trouble.

4. Moments of Humanitarianism:

The author highlights historical instances where individuals and groups have acted with extraordinary kindness and altruism, challenging the notion that selfishness has always been the norm.

5. Media Influence:

The power of media and storytelling: Bregman discusses how media and storytelling play a large role in shaping negative perceptions of humanity because they focus on crime, conflict, and sensationalism, rather than speaking positively about them. He advocates for a more positive narrative.

6. Reciprocal Altruism:

It is Bregman’s argument that reciprocal altruism has played a crucial role in human evolution and survival throughout history, that cooperation and mutual support have ever played a significant role in the process of human evolution and survival.

7. Rethinking Education:

This book asks us to rethink education in order to encourage collaboration, empathy, and a sense of shared humanity among students. It recommends reevaluating educational approaches that emphasize competition and individual achievement, advocating for a system of education that facilitates collaboration, empathy, and a sense of shared humanity.

8. ‘Hopeful History’:

In this book, Bregman encourages readers to embrace the notion that human behavior is characterized by positive elements to be embraced in our lives. This challenges the prevailing narrative that humans are selfish and violent.

Humanity is an insightful exploration of human nature that challenges negative assumptions and offers a positive perspective on our ability to be kind, cooperative, and change the world for the better. Bregman’s work encourages readers to reconsider their views on humanity and envision a more compassionate and collaborative future by challenging their negative assumptions about it.

Related Posts

Bijisha Prasain

Leave a Comment