Generally, you would not expect a subject such as psychology to feature in the CAT exam. However, many RC passages are based on psychological experiments and theories. These passages are usually more difficult to understand and interpret, compared to passages from other areas. But why do psychology-based RCs appear in CAT? And how do you handle these?
In this article, we explore the purpose of these complex RC passages along with a list of top Psychology Books to read for CAT.
Why are CAT RCs drawn from Psychology?
Managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders spend a lot of time and energy in making decisions on complicated matters. So, it makes sense that the management entrance tests are designed to test your understanding of the abstract and complex text. Since the material asked in the CAT exam also needs to carry a novelty factor, we see a lot of non-fiction topics that make an appearance in the exam. Most of these are from art subjects such as psychology, philosophy, sociology, etc.
How to Tackle Complex CAT passages?
You will find the abstract passages less difficult if you have already read a lot on such topics. In simple words, if you want to score high in CAT, you must read some good books on psychology and related subjects. The target of such an approach is not to make you a psychologist but rather to acquaint you with the different kinds of passages featuring in the exam. These books will expose you to the terminology and general language structure adopted by these subjects. As you read more and more books, your comprehension ability will improve and you will be able to answer the RC questions with good accuracy.
Top Psychology Books for CAT
Here, we have jotted down the best five psychology books along with their short description:
1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales is a 1985 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients. The book comprises of twenty-four essays split into four sections each of which deals with a particular aspect of the brain functions.
2. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
In this book, the author challenges the assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. Ariely explains, "My goal, by the end of this book, is to help you fundamentally rethink what makes you and the people around you tick. I hope to lead you there by presenting a wide range of scientific experiments, findings, and anecdotes that are in many cases quite amusing. Once you see how systematic certain mistakes are--how we repeat them again and again--I think you will begin to learn how to avoid some of them"
3. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
Written in 1929, it is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works. In this seminal book, Sigmund Freud enumerates what he sees as the fundamental tensions between civilization and the individual.
4. Memories, Dreams, and Reflections by C.G. Jung
Memories, Dreams, Reflections is a partially an autobiographical book by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and his associate, Aniela Jaffé. The book details Jung's childhood, his personal life, and his exploration of the psyche.
5. How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
The book attempts to explain some of the human mind's poorly understood functions and quirks in evolutionary terms. Drawing heavily on the paradigm of evolutionary psychology, Pinker covers multiple topics such as vision, emotion, feminism, and, the meaning of life.
Apart from the above-listed books, there are several amazing books that deal with different facets of psychology. Here are a few good books to choose from:
Additional Texts on Psychology
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
- Man and His Symbols by C.G. Jung
- The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
- The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip G. Zimbardo
- Games People Play by Eric Berne
- Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow
- The Psychology of Intelligence by Jean Piaget
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C.G. Jung
To assist you in diversified reading, our experts have compiled distinct lists of best books as per the different areas of study. An ideal way to healthy reading begins with easy and light reads and progresses to advanced and heavy ones. Ultimately, you will be able to ace CAT RCs with excellent speed and accuracy.
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