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Psychology Paper 1

UPSC MAINS SYLLABUS FOR PSYCHOLOGY - PART 1

Foundations of Psychology

Introduction

Definition of Psychology; Historical antecedents of Psychology and trends in the 21st century; Psychology and scientific methods; Psychology in relation to other social sciences and natural sciences; Application of Psychology to societal problems.

Methods of Psychology

Types of research: Descriptive, evaluative, diagnostic and prognostic; Methods of Research: Survey, observation, case-study and experiments; Characteristics of experimental design and non-experimental design, Quasi-experimental designs; Focussed group discussions, brain storming, grounded theory approach

Research Methods

Major steps in Psychological research (problem statement, hypothesis formulation, research designs, sampling, tools of data collection, analysis and interpretation and report writing) Fundamental versus applied research; Methods of data collection (interview, observation, questionnaire); Research designs (ex-post facto and experimental); Application of statistical technique (t – test, two way ANOVA correlation, regression and factor analysis); Item response theory.

Development of Human Behaviour

Growth and development; Principles of development, Role of genetic and environmental factors in determining human behaviour; Influence of cultural factors in socialization; Life span development – Characteristics, development tasks, promoting psychological well-being across major stages of the life span.

Sensation, Attention and Perception

Sensation: concepts of threshold, absolute and difference thresholds, signal-detection and vigilance; Factors influencing attention including set and characteristics of stimulus; Definition and concept of perception, biological factors in perception; Perceptual organization-influence of past experiences, perceptual defence-factors influencing space and depth perception, size estimation and perceptual readiness; The plasticity of perception; Extrasensory perception; Culture and perception, Subliminal perception.

Learning

Concept and theories of learning (Behaviourists, Gestaltalist and Information processing models); The Processes of extinction, discrimination and generalization; Programmed learning, probability learning, self-instructional learning, concepts; Types and the schedules of reinforcement, escape, avoidance and punishment, modeling and social learning.

Memory

Encoding and remembering; Short term memory, Long term memory, Sensory memory, Iconic memory, Echoic memory: The Multistore model, levels of processing; Organization and Mnemonic techniques to improve memory; Theories of forgetting: decay, interference and retrieval failure: Metamemory; Amnesia: Anterograde and retrograde.

Thinking and Problem Solving

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development; Concept formation processes; Information processing, Reasoning and problem solving, Facilitating and hindering factors in problem solving, Methods of problem solving: Creative thinking and fostering creativity; Factors influencing decision making and judgment; Recent trends.

Motivation and Emotion

Psychological and physiological basis of motivation and emotion; Measurement of motivation and emotion; Effects of motivation and emotion on behaviour; Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation; Factors influencing intrinsic motivation; Emotional competence and the related issues.

Intelligence and Aptitude

Concept of intelligence and aptitude, Nature and theories of intelligence – Spearman, Thurstone, Gullford Vernon, Sternberg and J.P; Das; Emotional Intelligence, Social intelligence, measurement of intelligence and aptitudes, concept of IQ, deviation IQ, constancy of IQ; Measurement of multiple intelligence; Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

Personality

Definition and concept of personality; Theories of personality (psychoanalytical, socio-cultural, interpersonal, developmental, humanistic, behaviouristic, trait and type approaches); Measurement of personality (projective tests, pencil-paper test); The Indian approach to personality; Training for personality development; Latest approaches like big 5 factor theory; The notion of self in different traditions.

Attitudes, Values and Interests

Definition of attitudes, values and interests; Components of attitudes; Formation and maintenance of attitudes; Measurement of attitudes, values and interests; Theories of attitude change; Strategies for fostering values; Formation of stereotypes and prejudices; Changing others behaviour; Theories of attribution; Recent trends.

Language and Communication

Human language – Properties, structure and linguistic hierarchy, Language acquisition-predisposition, critical period hypothesis; Theories of language development – Skinner and Chomsky; Process and types of communication – effective communication training.

Issues and Perspectives in Modern Contemporary Psychology

Computer application in the psychological laboratory and psychological testing; Artificial intelligence; Psychocybernetics; Study of consciousness-sleep-wake schedules; dreams, stimulus deprivation, meditation, hypnotic/drug induced states; Extrasensory perception; Intersensory perception Simulation studies.

The following are the suggested Psychology books that the students can consult while preparing for IAS Exam

  1. Introduction to Psychology
  2. Robert Baron Psychology
  3. Atkinson & Hilgard – Psychology
  4. Psychology – Ciccarelli
  5. Applied Psychology

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