Your Behavior: Understanding and Changing the Things You Do

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In grad school, a fellow student told me about a classic formula for educating students: tell them what you’re going to talk about, talk about it, and then remind them of what you talked about. Your Behavior follows this infinitely useful technique in each of its chapters, letting you know both that the author cares about your ability to absorb the information provided and that he knows what he’s doing, educationally-speaking.

Your Behavior is a very thorough but accessible guide to understanding the basics of human behavior from a slightly technical psychological perspective. The book assiduously gives the reader a through overview of the body’s mental and sensory processes and some of the current theories used to describe and understand human behavior, with an emphasis on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). Because it’s carefully researched, you’ll find many quotes and citations, generally of academic studies or books. But there’s also a “Recommended Reading” list at the close of each chapter that contains some suggestions more appropriate for the casual reader. Also included are plenty of diagrams to help readers visualize the thought and behavioral concepts being discussed.

I have a background in psychology, so while the book isn’t geared toward me, I can affirm that it offers a sure-footed and friendly overview of much of what you would learn in a Psychology 101 course. If you’re a novice, Your Behavior will give you a sense of how psychology (specifically the constructivist-wing of psychology) works. It then goes a step further and leads you through the how-to of assessing your own and others’ behaviors to discover why you (and they) are acting in a particular way. The book helps you uncover the motivations that drive what someone does, ranging from quotidian behaviors to new or upsetting behaviors.

Thoroughly researched, accessibly written, and insightful, Your Behavior will help you understand where your own, as well as others’ behavior, comes from. Recommended particularly if you’re curious about the basics of behavioral psychology. That being said, don’t expect the book to be a quick read. It’s dense with information and covers quite a bit of ground, so it’s a book that requires both attentiveness and patience for extended discussions of psychological theories.


Reviewed By:

Author Richard H. Pfau
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 390 pages
Publisher Paragon House
Publish Date 2018-Mar-01
ISBN 9781557789273
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2018
Category Science & Nature
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