Books

I am the author of 25 books a number of which have either won or been shortlisted for major national or international prizes.

'Talk: An Analysis of Speech and Non-verbal Speech in Conversation' (Open University Press) detailed the research that was awarded the Spearman Medal by the British Psychological Society for 'published psychological research of outstanding merit'. 'We Are the People: Journeys Through the Heart of Protestant Ulster' (Heinemann) and 'The Corner Boys' (Victor Gollancz) were both short-listed for the Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize. 'On the Ropes: Boxing as a Way of Life' (Victor Gollancz) was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

'Get the Edge: How Simple Changes Will Transform Your Life' (Headline/CS-Booky) has become a bestseller in China. 'The Psychology of Language and Communication' with Andy Ellis was republished in 2017 in the Psychology Press/Routledge Classic Editions series for books 'widely recognised as timeless classics.'

My books have been translated into six languages - German, Finnish, Chinese, Taiwanese, Portuguese (for Brazil) and Italian.

Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective

This book explores the psychology of trophy hunting from a critical perspective and considers the reasons why some people engage in the controversial activity of killing often endangered animals for sport.

Read more >

The Body's Little Secret: A Novel

As a Cambridge psychologist, Matt is used to an uneventful life. Now all that is about to change.

Read more >

The Psychology Of Climate Change

What explains our attitudes towards the environment? Why do so many climate change initiatives fail? How can we do more to prevent humans damaging the environment?

Read more >

The Conflicted Mind: And Why Psychology Has Failed to Deal With It

One of the greatest paradoxes of human behavior is our tendency to say one thing and do something completely different. We think of ourselves as positive and fair-minded, caring about other people and our environment, yet our behavior lets us down time and time again.

Read more >

The Psychology of Language and Communication: Psychology Press Classics Edition

This is a classic edition of Geoffrey Beattie’s and Andrew Ellis’ influential introduction to the psychology of human language and communication, now including a new reflective introduction from the authors.

Read more >

Rethinking Body Language

Challenging all of our old assumptions about the subject, Rethinking Body Language builds on the most recent cutting-edge research to offer a new theoretical perspective on this subject that will transform the way we look at other people.

Read more >

Our Racist Heart? An Exploration of Unconscious Prejudice in Everyday Life

'Our Racist Heart?' examines implicit, as opposed to explicit, racial attitudes in contemporary British society. It uses new experimental approaches to reveal these implicit attitudes and shows how unconscious biases can influence our everyday actions and thinking. In this exploration of unconscious prejudice I use my own experiences of class and religious prejudice in Northern Ireland to bring this whole process to life, and I discuss implicit prejudice in relation to the history of race, racism and social psychological theory.

Read more >

Chasing Lost Times: A Father and Son Reconciled Through Running

This was a book jointly written with my son Ben who is bordering on elite status as a distance runner. It explores how running, which is a lifetime passion of mine, brought us back together after we had drifted apart. This book explores the psychology of running but much more importantly it is a book about the psychology of a father-son relationship and those bonds that tie fathers and sons together regardless of what they go through.

Read more >

Get the Edge: How Simple Changes Can Transform Your LIfe

In this book I tried to show how the latest research in psychology could be used by people in their everyday life to make things better for themselves, things like improving one's mood or mending a broken heart, or working in a more sustained way on a project, or spotting a liar, or making what you say more memorable, or making more of a first impression. The idea behind the book is that academic research in psychology can be used by everyone.

Read more >

Why Aren't We Saving the Planet? A Psychologist's Perspective

Global warming is a truly global problem: it will affect every single one of us and will only be stopped by a huge shift in our individual attitudes and behaviour. So why aren’t we doing more to save the planet? This book follows my personal mission to find some answers to this most important of questions. In this book I detail new research into people's underlying attitudes, rather than what they just report. I discuss in detail how to change attitudes to the environment and how to encourage sustainable behaviour before it is too late.

Read more >

Protestant Boy

This is a very personal exploration of my Ulster Protestant background during some of the worst years of the Troubles. It explores my Ulster Protestant heritage and seeks to understand better the often misunderstood Protestant community. It starts with me going home to visit my mother and trying to find out more about my own family history and the cultural history of my people. I write about the Somme and the psychological consequences of trench warfare and the aftermath of the Great War for the people of Ulster.

Read more >

The Shadows of Boxing: Prince Naseem and Those He Left Behind

This book chronicles the contrasting fortunes of the hard men of Brendan Ingle's gym, and looks at how Naseem Hamed's family coped with the incredible pressures of fame. It also features the first major interview with Naz since his defeat at the hands of Marco Antonio Barrera. It is a story about the lives of boxers after the hullabaloo of world championship boxing has died away.

Read more >

Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

This book represents the new psychology of body language. It shows how the hand movements we make when we talk reveal unarticulated aspects of thinking and therefore we can sometimes literally read minds by studying these unconscious movements, which operate alongside speech but with only minimal awareness at the best of times.

Read more >

Hard Lines: Voices from Deep Within a Recession

This book takes a close look at Britain during a time of 'negative de-industrialization'. It is a book about people and the lives they lead in the midst of change and uncertainty. It is about what it was like to be there at the sharp end when the foundries and furnaces and the mines all stopped, to see the human cost of economic policy and to understand how some survived regardless.

Read more >

Head to Head: Uncovering The Psychology of Sporting Success

This book was based on two series of interviews I conducted for Radio 5 Live, where I sat down with famous individuals from the world of sport, people like Alex Ferguson, Naseem Hamed, Kelly Holmes, Jonathan Edwards, Chris Boardman and others, and probed the psychology underlying their particular sport. 'We are all psychologists', Alex Ferguson told me in the interview, 'some are just better at it than others."

Read more >

The Corner Boys

This is a novel set in a loyalist working-class neighbourhood in Belfast, a city, like many others, in industrial decline but a city at war. To be a somebody at that time you had to be in the 'Organisation'. This is a story about life on the fringes of the paramilitaries during that particular time in the Troubles; a story of a teenager trying to make sense of life in a distorted landscape. 'The Corner Boys' was shortlisted for the Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize in 1989.

Read more >

On the Ropes: Boxing as a Way of Life

I took up boxing to write this book, as more illustrious writers have done in the past. Indeed, the first 'word' in 'On the Ropes' is the noise that I made involuntarily when I was punched in the stomach by Mick 'the Bomb' Mills. I spent a number of years boxing and hanging out with Mick and the other lads from Brendan Ingle's gym in Sheffield. It was never dull and I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible as I spent my days and nights in this tough world of theirs. 'On the Ropes' was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 1996.

Read more >

We are the People: Journeys Through the Heart of Protestant Ulster

This was the first time that I had written about my Protestant working-class background in Belfast. This book is about my return home. 'We are the People' was shortlisted for the Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize in 1993.

Read more >

England After Dark

In this startling and often moving portrait of England after dark, Geoffrey Beattie reveals a world unknown to most of us after we have retired for the evening.

Read more >

All Talk: Why its Important to Watch Your Words and Anything Else You Say

This was another book based on a series of articles that I had written for the Guardian, this time about the use of language in everyday life. The starting point was my academic interest in language but I wanted to show the power of language in shaping all of our everyday lives through jokes and sales patter and insults and interruptions. I wanted to show why the common metaphors of everyday life shape our thinking and why every time a politician says something about 'curing unemployment' then we need to be extra vigilant. After all, politicians are not doctors and we have to be careful about the medicine they prescribe.

Read more >

Canderel Guide to Beach Watching

This was a book about body language on beaches, when the human body is on full display and the use of verbal language is restricted. The idea for the book came to me one long afternoon in the South of France when I started making detailed notes of people's bodily postures when they were sunbathing. I noticed that couples would change posture but still mirror each other exact's posture despite the many changes. I made nearly 4000 detailed observations over the next week or so and wrote this up for a leading academic journal in nonverbal communication. This book outlined the research in a more accessible way to show how the human body sends powerful messages unconsciously in this most public of settings.

Read more >

Making it: The Reality of Today's Entrepreneurs

I lived in Sheffield when I wrote this book about the new entrepreneurs living the Thatcherite dream. Most of the entrepreneurs were quite desperate, the vast majority were doomed to failure. The subtitle of this book is 'The Reality of Today's Entrepreneurs' because previous books about entrepreneurs seemed to always start with the successful ones and work backwards, I wanted to work in the reverse direction with those desperately trying to make it. This books covered different sorts of stories.

Read more >

The Psychology of Language and Communication

This was a wide-ranging introduction to the psychology of language and communication which I wrote with the psycholinguist Andy Ellis. We covered a vast amount of material and in the words of one reviewer we produced 'a highly readable, engaging, and comprehensive introduction to the study of language.'

Read more >

Survivors of Steel City: Portrait of Sheffield

In 1986 Sheffield has fallen on desperately hard times. In few places is the recession so painfully apparent; in few books are its consequences so movingly illuminated. Using a series of interviews as the basis for his book - with people ranging from respectable citizens to racketeers and down-and-outs - Geoff brings a struggling community vividly to life.

Read more >

Talk: Analysis of Speech and Non-verbal Behaviour in Conversation

This was my first book and detailed my academic research on the analysis of language and nonverbal communication in conversation.

Read more >

Wonderful advice based on the wisdom of a lifetime combined with lessons firmly rooted in psychological research.

Aaron.T.Beck. University of Pennsylvania