By Derek Jones
What psychology books should somebody new to the psychology of programming read? The following list briefly reviews books that I found to be useful:
A very readable book now in its fifth edition. Let down by a poor index (and some of the references appear to be inaccurate).
A very readable book now in its fourth edition. A better index than Anderson (based on looking up entries in both).
Which would I choose? To read I preferred Anderson. But then this is the first modern introductory book on cognitive psychology I have read, which may have coloured my view. I liked his attempt to explain the purpose behind everything (having a physics/engineering background this appealed to me).
But then looking around several university bookshops and the Amazon ranking system, Eysenck & Keane win hands down. So perhaps their book appeals to a more general audience.
Those wanting a more concrete, practical applications approach to psychology might like to try:
So, what about books dealing with more specific subjects? The following list of books has some connection with software development and are probably still in print:
Aimed at the educated lay reader this book contains plenty of interesting and surprising material on how people perform arithmetic.
An up-to-date theory of text comprehension by one of the major researchers in the field (hard work in places).
A readable introduction (compared to other many books on the topic) to empirical findings and theories that have been proposed to explain them.
The standard reference on the topic and readable to boot.
Designing programs is about making lots of decisions and here is a book that discusses how people make them.
provides a comprehensive, readable account of the subject.
Writing maintaining software involves a lot of learning (about the application and its implementation). The following provides a more detailed, but very readable, discussion of this specialist topic.
A good source for locating second hand books is AddAll