top of page
  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

A dense collection for psychology lovers

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

These books are not for everyone.

But, if you are a psychology buff, then they are must-haves.

Jungian, Freudian, archetypes… You must have heard these three terms if you have watched a lecture by Jordan B Peterson.

Peterson’s psychological approach combines the work of the notable minds of the past. And he references them in his talks too.

The following books recommended by Jordan B Peterson will teach you a lot about psychology. They include books by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud as well.

Let’s go!

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

How does morality develop in children?

Jean Piaget is a Swiss psychologist known for his work in child development.

This book focuses on the development of morality in children. It details his interactions with children.

“The adult must therefore be a collaborator and not a master, from this double point of view, moral and rational.”

He observed children playing with marbles and asked them about the rules of the games.

Piaget findings reveal that young children know the rules to be a feature of the natural world. They believe in their sanctity but are unable to follow them.

Older children learn to play in cooperation. They change the rules of the game as per circumstances but are consistent in following them.

“The child is a realist in every domain of thought, and it is therefore natural that in the moral sphere he should lay more stress on the external, tangible element than on the hidden motive.”

This book is a great contribution to the field of child development. If you are fascinated by how children perceive the world, this book will quench your thirst.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

Death frightens us and its denial drives us.

At the very center of a human is his ‘fear of death’. This is what the author puts forward in the book.

“Every society thus is a “religion” whether it thinks so or not…”

Becker shows us that any set of values that a society might follow is akin to religious belief. They can be scientific, consumer, or political values.

“Man’s very insides — his self — are foreign to him.”

Perhaps these values are a way of dealing with the uncertainty that we all face. We don’t know who we are. Why are we here? What are we supposed to do?

“The human animal is characterized by two great fears that other animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death.”

He says that we deny our immortality to ourselves, and hence we are able to function in the world.

This book is an interesting exploration of death and our fear and denial of it.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

Discovering the hidden in the human mind.

Sigmund Freud is a well-known Austrian neurologist known for developing psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis is a way of treatment for mental disorders.

Freud believed that unresolved conflicts in the unconscious lead to mental afflictions. These conflicts can relate to past experiences or relationships.

A psychoanalyst analyzes the patient’s behavioral characteristics and thoughts. He finds the hidden conflicts to help the patient overcome them.

“The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.”

Through this book, we learn about the psychical apparatus. Our psyche has the following parts:

  1. The id: Everything we inherit.

  2. The ego: It is the outer layer of the id that deals with the world. It develops as a result of experiences.

  3. The Superego: It is formed by parents, society, and cultural expectations.

“Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”

Psychoanalysis focuses on two instincts. Eros and Thanatos. Eros seeks to join and preserve. Thanatos wants to destroy. These two can exist simultaneously in an act.

The book also mentions Freud’s approach to sexuality and its development in children.

It includes the Oedipus Complex. I find this concept personally repulsive. I mean ‘penis envy’? Seriously?

Freud discusses the conscious and unconscious mind. He also explains how psychoanalysis can be applied in practice.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

The importance of humanizing clients.

Carl Rogers puts forth a view of psychotherapy that impresses on seeing the human in the client. The client shouldn’t be seen as an object but rather as a person.

Rogers shares his personal experiences as a psychologist that developed his views.

This ‘person-centered’ approach shouldn’t only be applied to psychotherapy. It should also be applied to interpersonal relationships and education.

“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be.”

In this beautiful quote, the author likens people to sunsets.

Just like we don’t criticize the color of the sunset or find faults in it, we should do the same with people. We should appreciate our friends, loved ones, and acquaintances as they are.

“I regret it when I suppress my feelings too long and they burst forth in ways that are distorted or attacking or hurtful.”

This book is an enlightening one. The world would be a better place if we started appreciating people as they are.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

An in-depth exploration of the sense of self.

Aion was originally published in German in 1951.

This is a dense book. It explores the archetypes, mythology, psychology, and alchemy as they relate to the sense of self.

“The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.”

Jung has written it in a linguistically and intellectually challenging way.

He considers symbolic imagery to be intertwined with the unconscious. Symbols like dreams and thoughts express our unconscious. That shows your fears, desires, and unresolved emotions.

“The intellect is undeniably useful in its own field, but is a great cheat and illusionist outside of it whenever it tries to manipulate values.”

The book also talks about the concept of the shadow self.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

The making of a creative individual.

Hans Eysenck is a German-born British psychologist. He is known for his work on intelligence.

This book of his explores the concepts of genius and creativity.

“Once a theory has been widely accepted, it is difficult to displace, even though the evidence against it may be overwhelming.”

He talks about different factors that make an individual creative. To be creative one should be able to connect different things. These things might be seemingly irrelevant.

What is the line between madness and creativity?

The author tells us about ‘psychoticism’. It refers to an individual’s affinity to impulsivity and sensation-seeking. Creative people score high on psychoticism. But schizophrenics score even higher. That’s when everything falls apart.

Genetics is a factor. The way one’s brain is genetically wired to work of course affects a person’s creativity.

A good IQ is important but it is nothing without motivation. Similarly, culture and surroundings also play a role. They determine if someone will be appreciated for his creativity or not.

The author presents various studies to back up his analysis.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

Understanding the development of children…

We have all seen children copy parents and other people around them.

In this book, Piaget explores the development of imitation in children. He details his observation of children as they learn to imitate sounds and actions.

“A baby sucks his thumb sometimes as early as the second month, grasps objects at about four or five months, shakes them, swings them, rubs them, and finally learns to throw them and retrieve them.”

The book also discusses play. Using the rules and structure of games and his interaction with kids, Piaget shows us the symbolism behind them.

The author also touches on the sensory and motor development of the children.

“…the very existence of imaginative or make-believe play, which plays so important a part in the child’s thought, proves that symbolic thought extends beyond the unconscious…”

Piaget attempts to bridge the gap between psychoanalysis and contemporary psychology as well.

This book is a mind-blowing read for child development enthusiasts.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

A Canadian psychiatrist takes us to the past.

This book explores the concept of dynamic psychiatry in great detail.

“Freud found that in the unconscious it is impossible to distinguish fantasies from memories, and from that time on he was not so much concerned with the reconstruction of events from the past through the uncovering or suppressed memories, than with the exploration of fantasies”

It discusses the background and history of dynamic psychiatry.

The book goes on to cover details of Janet, Freud, Adler, and Jung. The author talks about their lives and contributions.

We learn in detail about Freud’s psychoanalytical approach.

“La Piere, for instance claims that Freudiansim ruined the ethics of individualism, self discipline, and responsibility that prevailed among the Western World…”

The author also tells us about ancient healing methods like exorcisms.

This book will take you down the historical development of dynamic psychology.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

This book is dedicated to Carl Jung by the author.

The Great Mother is one of the Jungian archetypes. This book goes into extreme detail about this archetype.

Neumann brings us many goddesses and female figures from different religions. For example, Kali and Lilith.

He also explores art, literature, and culture. Through them, we come to know the symbolism of this archetype over time.

“For [the Mother Goddess,] loving, dying, and being emasculated are the same thing.”

The female archetype is chaotic. Not in a bad sense. But because it is unknown, undefined, and it brings new life into the earth.

Some of the connections are very fascinating. Like ships are referred to as feminine. Because they carry people in them.

Similarly, there is a connection between a vessel or bowl and a female breast.

This book will show you how images from our unconscious make it out to the physical world, no matter what the culture or time.

10 Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson That Are Worth More Than a Psychology Degree

Are dreams the personification of our desires?

Freud views dreams as “wish-fulfilments”. They depict our unconscious desires.

The author gives many examples of dreamers whose wishes appeared in dreams. But the dreams are not explicit. The author says that even bad dreams refer to wishes but the actual wish has been disguised.

“The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.”

Through dreams, psychoanalysts can understand the unconscious.

Freud discusses the unconscious mind and how childhood experiences shape adult behavior. He goes into the interaction of the conscious and unconscious mind and their role in producing dreams.

He also thinks that certain issues arise when conscious and unconscious are in conflict with each other.

Through dreams, these conflicts can be recognized and resolved for personal improvement.

“Nothing that is mentally our own can ever be lost.”

Regardless of your view of Freud’s theories, this book will provide you with an interesting view of dreams. You’ll be thinking about it for some time.


If you found this article useful and want to support NovelNest, join my email list below to get notified whenever I publish something new.

If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.


bottom of page