My shelfie… Claudia Hammond

The broadcaster, writer and psychology graduate with a shot for #EqualPayDay

Stuart Sutherland was my lecturer in my first term at university and had no idea at the time how eminent or brilliant he was. Decades before research on cognitive bias was popularised by behaviour economists, he was way ahead of his time, writing this book, Irrationality, for a general audience. It made me realise just how much psychology can reveal about the way we think. Looking back at this book now, with all the talk of echo chambers and filter bubbles, it feels even more urgent and relevant. 

The Science of well-being, edited by Felicia Huppert. The most comprehensive book on research on happiness that I’ve come across. 

A Special Scar by Alison Wertheimer. This book influenced me hugely at university and I was thrilled when years later I had the chance to interview Alison Wertheimer. It’s about the impact of suicide on those left behind and it was one of the reasons I wanted to have a career where I could raise awareness of mental health issues as well as psychology.   

Forty Studies that Changed Psychology by Roger Hock. This is the book I recommend to students who tell me they’re wondering whether to study psychology at university. If you like this you’ll like psychology. 

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. I know lots of people choose this book as one of their favourites, but there’s a good reason for that. I first read this a long time ago and yet it stays with me. Every time I get home and turn on the light in the hallway I remember him saying that in Auschwitz he fantasised about returning to his flat, unlocking the door and going inside, knowing he was safely back home. I turn the light on and it reminds me what a lovely feeling it is to get home and how lucky I am.


And since I’m holding the symbol for #equalpayday I must also include Cordelia Fine’s brilliant Delusions of Gender which has overturned plenty of assumptions I had, when I thought I was a good feminist!

- Find much more from Claudia Hammond in our archive.

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