The Top 7 Psychology Textbooks of 2020

An overview of the seven best psychology textbooks for high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals.

A stack of textbooks resting on a table.

Psychology is a complex, multi-faceted, and rapidly developing field that encompasses a large amount of scientific and clinical information. Whether you are a high school student preparing for the AP Psychology Exam or a medical professional treating patients, an effective textbook can help you to learn and review key concepts and contribute to your academic or career success. We have provided an overview of seven psychology textbooks, ranging from introductory to advanced, that we believe will serve as useful tools for learning or reviewing psychology. Our team may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the below links at no additional cost to you.

1. Psychology by David Myers, currently in its 10th edition, introduces fundamental concepts from the field of psychology with breadth and depth that can be appreciated by both the beginning student and more experienced reader. The textbook is logically organized and explains complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner. Both students and professionals may find this textbook useful.

2. Clinical Psychology: Science, Practice, and Diversity by Andrew Pomerantz educates the reader on core clinical psychology concepts while also incorporating recent research findings, dilemmas in the field, and developments in patient care. The textbook is intended to provide comprehensive coverage of the field with up-to-date DSM-5 content that would be helpful to graduate students, medical students, and clinically-oriented professionals.

3. Myers’ Psychology for AP, also by David Myers, is well-suited for high school students preparing for the AP psychology exam or individuals looking to review core concepts from the field. The textbook is well-written, thorough, and has attractive graphics.

4. Introduction to Clinical Psychology uses case studies and real-world applications to inform the reader of key clinical psychology concepts and also details the history of the field. The textbook is intended for undergraduate students taking advanced coursework, graduate students, and professionals. Healthcare providers such as practicing physicians and psychologists may find this textbook useful for reviewing theoretical concepts important to real-world patient care.

5. Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior provides an active-learning-based approach to teaching core concepts, engaging the reader through a system intended to increase the efficiency of learning. Accounts of recent research provide opportunities for students to learn about the latest developments in the field. This textbook may be useful for high school and undergraduate students taking an introductory psychology course or individuals looking to review core concepts.

6. Foundations of Clinical and Counseling Psychology by Judith Todd and Arthur Bohart describes theoretical and empirical approaches to the treatment of patients with illnesses relevant to clinical psychology, including different types of psychotherapy and counseling. The fourth edition of the textbook includes discussion of legal and ethical dilemmas in the field, among other additions. This textbook may be useful to practicing clinical psychologists, physicians, and other professionals.

7. Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology by Jonathan Comer, which covers the theoretical basis for psychological disorders and their diagnosis and treatment, may be useful to healthcare providers and more advanced psychology students studying human behavior and patient care.

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