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We’ve updated our free guide to behavioral science literature, The Essentia Reading List.

This comprehensive list includes some exciting new titles, alongside many behavioral classics. If you’re new to the subject, we’ve shortlisted below our five must-reads to get you started.

As a new feature for this update, we’ve also broken the titles down into handy categories and highlighted our team favorites.

Happy reading! And let us know if we’re missing your favorite for the next edition!

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Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

Caldini’s Influence transformed the way we think about the craft of persuasion. Here, he explores the new insight that it isn’t just what you say or how you say it that is important, but also what happens in the moments before you speak. Cialdini explores the subtle turns of phrase, slight visual cues and a range of other seemingly unimportant factors that you should be aware of if you want to maximize your powers of ‘pre-suasion’.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Why don’t spies get caught? How did Bernie Madoff get away with fraud for so long? Why did Amanda Knox look guilty even though she wasn’t? This thought-provoking book explains why we so often judge strangers incorrectly. Drawing on history and psychology, Gladwell dissects compelling stories of deceit and fatal error to take us on an intellectual journey — one that leads us to rethink our strategies for dealing with strangers and the unknown.

How to Decide by Annie Duke

Fomer professional poker player Annie Duke lays out a series of tools that anyone can use to make better decisions. Duke’s main thesis is that good decision-making is a teachable skill which can be learned and sharpened. Through a series of exercises and thought experiments, she shows how to dismantle hidden biases, incorporate feedback and become a better, more confident decision-maker — all whilst remaining true to your personal goals and values.

Return of the Active Manager by C. Thomas Howard & Jason A. Voss