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Home » IAS Exam Subjects » Civil Services Syllabus » Psychology

Psychology - Optional

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Psychology (Optional) Syllabus for Preliminary Examination

1. Introduction to psychology :
Concept and definition of psychology. Nature and Scope. Branches of psychology. Application of psychology to soceity and social problems.
2. Methods in Psychology :
Characteristics of psychological studies, Observation. Survey method, Clinical and cas

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e study method. Experimental method. Application of the method.
3. Quantitive Analysis :
Measures of central tendency and dispersion. Correlation. Levels of measurement. Reliability and validity. Application in test construction.
4. Physiological Psychology :
Structure of neuron, nerve impulses, synapse and neurotransmitters. Central and peripheral nervous system-structure and neural control of behaviour. Hemispheric specialisation. Endocrine system and hormonal control of behaviour. Application of hemispheric knowledge to diagnostic purposes.
5. Development of human behaviour :
Individual Differences : Heredity and environment. Life span developent. Role of early experience and mastering of developmental tasks. Sensitive or critical periods of development in human life cycle and its application.
6. Perception :
Preceptual processes. Perceputal organsiation. Perception of form, colour, depth and time. Perceptual readiness and constancy. Role of motivation, social and cultural factors in perception. Application of knowledge of perception to skill development (e.g. for certain jobs like that of driving, airline pilots etc.)
7. Learning :
Classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Modeling and observational learning. Transfer of training. Learing and motivation. Application of the above to the improvement of academic performance in education.
8. Memory :
Physiological basis of memory. Memory and forgetting. Measurement of memory (Recall, Recognition, Relearning). Short term and long term memory. Theories of forgetting (Decay and Interference theories and Repressive forgetting). Application of Mnemonic devices etc, to improving memory.
9. Cognition and Language :
Concept of formation. Nature and development of thinking. Language and thought and acquisition of language. Problem solving. Creative thinking and its applications.
10. Intelligence and Aptitude :
Definition and concept. Theories and models of Intelligence. Measurement of intelligence and aptitude. Exceptional intelligence. Mental retardation. Concepts of multiple, emotional and artificial intelligence and their application.
11. Motivation and Emotion :
Definition and concept of instinct, needs, drives and motives. Theories of motivation and their application (drive reduction theory, Maslows motivational hierarchy). Social motivation: Achievement, power, affiliation motives and influence of early experiences. Physiological basis of emotion. Theories of emotion (James-Lange and Cannon-Brad theories, cognitive physiological theory).
12. Personality :
Concepts and Definition of personality. Sutdy of personality (Trait, type and eclectic approaches) Development of personality (Freud, Erikson, Biological and socio-cultural determinants). Measurement of Personality (Projective tests, pencil-paper tests). Application of personality profiles in fitting a person to a job.
13. Adjustment and Stress :
Concept and definition. Factors affecting adjustment (frustration and conflict). Sources of stress and reactions to stress. Coping with stress. Application of stress management techniques.
14. Social Behaviour :
Socio-cultural factors and behaviour. Development of attitudes, stereotypes and prejudice, Measurement of Attidutes (Thurstone, Likert attitude scale and Bogardus Social Distance scale). Strategies for reducing prejudice and changing atitude. Person perception, implicit personality theory and integrating impressions. Application of person perception to impression management.
15. Application of Psychology :
Health and mental health (yoga, meditation and relaxation therapies). Education (Programmed learning,. self instructional learning and learning styles). Community (self help through group cohesiveness and leadership). Industry (Assessment centre approach in selection, recruitment and training). Environment (man-nature interaction, personal space concept, pollution reduction) Information technology (Application to commercial, educational and health areas).

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Psychology (Optional) Syllabus for Main Examination

Paper-I
Foundations of Psychology


Section-A

1. Introduction : Psychology as a Science : Definitions and perspective. Psychology in relation to other social and natural sciences. Use of interdiciplinary approach.
2. Methods of Psychology : Characteristics and components of methods in psychology (induction, deduction and introspection). Observation, Survey, Laboratory and field experiments. Clinical and Case study. Experimental and quasi experimental methods.
3. Research methods and quantitative analysis : Major steps in psychological research (problem statement, hypothesis formulation, research design, sampling, tools of data collection, analysis and interpretation and report writing). Fundamental versus applied research. Methods of data collection (interview, observation, questionnaire and case study). Research Designs (Ex-post facto and experimental). Application of statistical techniques (t-test, one-way ANOVA correlation and regression and chi-square tests).
4. Development of Human Behaviour : The nature, origin and development. Role of genetic and environmental factors in determining human behaviour. Influence of cultural factors and socialisation. Life span development-the critical periods and their handling, Mastery of the developmental tasks. Influence of child rearing practices and its impact on the growth and development of the individual, concept of national character.
5. Attention and perception : Attention - factors, influencing attention including set and characteristics of stimulus. Sensation-concepts of threshold, absolute and difference thresholds, signal detection and vigilance. Definition and concept of perception, biological factors in perception. Perceptual organisation-influence of past experiences, Perceptual defence-factors influencing. Space and depth perception, size estimation and perceptual readiness.
6. Learning : Concepts and theories of learning (Pavlov, Skimer and Piaget). The processes of extinction, discrimination and generalisation. Programmed learning, probability learning, self instructional learning, concepts, types and the schedules of reinforcement. Modelling and social learning.
7. Memory : Concepts and definition of memory and forgetting, 7+/-2 concept and clumking Encoding, storage and retrieval. Factors influencing retention and foregetting. Theories of forgetting (Repression, Decay and Interference theories). The concept of reminiscence.

Section-B

8. Thinking and Problem Solving : Concept formation processes. Reasoning and problem solving. Creative thinking and fostering creativity. Information processing. Decision making and judgment.
9. Intelligence and Aptitude : Concept and definition of Intelligence and aptitude, Nature and theories of intelligence. Measurement of Intelligence and aptitude Concepts and measurement of emotional and multiple intelligence.
10. Motivation and Emotion : Definition and concepts. Theories and physiological basis of motivation and emotion. Measurement of motivation and emotion Motivation and emotion-their effects on behaviour.
11. Personality : Concept and definition of personality. Theories of personality (psychoanalytical, socio-cultural, interpersonal and developmental, humanistic, behaviouristic, trait and type approaches). Measurement of personality (projective tests, pencil-paper test). The Indian approach to Personality. Training for personality development.
12. Language and Communication : Human language-properties, structure and linguistic hierarchy, Language acquisition-predisposition, critical period hypothesis. Theories of language development (Skinner, Chomsky), Process and types of communication. Effective communication and training.
13. Attitudes, Values and Interests : Definitions, concepts of attitudes, values and interests. Components ofattitudes, values and interests. Formation and maintenance of attitudes. Measurement of attitudes, values and interests. Theories of attitudes, and attitudes changes, strategies for fostering values.
14. Recent Trends : 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.

Paper-II

Psychology : Issues and Applications

Section-A
1. Psychological Measurement of Individual Diference : The nature of individual differences. Characteristics and construction of standardized psychological tests. Types of psychological tests. Use, misuse and limitation of psychological tests. Ethical issues in the use of psychological tests.
2. Well being and Mental Disorders : Concept of health, positive health, well being and ill health. Mental disorders (Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophernia and delusional disorders; personality disorders, substance abuse disorders). Causal factors in mental disorders. Factors influencing positive health, well being, life style and quality of life.
3. Therapeutic Approaches : Psychody-namic therapies. Behaviour therapies. Client centered therapy. Cognitive therapies. Indigenous therapies (Yoga, Reiki, Meditation) Biofeedback therapy. Prevention and rehabilitation of the mentally ill.
4. Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour : Personnel selection and training. Use of Psychological tests in the industry. Training and human resource development. Theories of work motivation. Leadership and participatory management. Advertising and marketing.
5. Application of Psychology to Educational Field : Psychological principles underlying effective teaching-learning process.Learning styles Gifted, retarded, learning disabled and their training. Training for improving memory and better academic achievement. Personality development and value education, Educational, vocational guidance and Career counselling. Use of Psychological tests in educational institutions.
6. Communty Psychology : Definition and concept of Community Psychology. Role of community psychologists in social change. Use of small groups in social action. Arousing community consciousness and action for handling social problems. Group decision making and leadership for social change.
7. Rehabilitation Psychology : Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programmes-role of psychologists. Organising of services for rehabilitation of physically, mentally and socially challenged persons including old persons. Rehabilitation of persons suffering from substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal behaviours. Rehabilitation of victims of violence. Rehabiliation of HIV/.AIDS victims.

Section-B
8. Application of Psychology to disadvantaged groups : The concepts of disadvantaged, deprivation and socially deprived. Social, physical, cultural and economic consequences of disadvantaged and deprived groups. Educating and motivating the disadvantaged towards development.
9. Psychological and the problem of social integration : The concept of social integration. The problem of caste, class, religion and language conflicts and prejudice. Nature and manifestation of prejudice between the ingroup and outgroup. Casual factors of such conflicts and prejudices. Psychological strategies for handling the conflicts and prejudices. Measures to achieve social integration.
10. Application of psychology in Information Technology and Mass media : The present scenario of information technology and the mass media boom and the role of psychologists. Selection and training of psychology professionals to work in the field of IT and mass media. Distance learning through IT and mass media. Entrepre neurship through e-commerce. Multilevel marketing. Impact of TV and fostering value through IT and mass media. Psychological consequences of recent developments in Information Technology.
11. Application of Psychology in the field of Defence : The concept of Military psychology, Aviation psychology and Psychological warfare Role of Military psychologists in the defence. Selection, recruitment and training of personnel. Facilitating the process of adjustment of personnel to military life-Role of Counselling. Devising Psychological tests for defence personnel. Psychological disorders due to war. Human engineering in Defence.
12. Psychology and Economic development : Achievement motivation and economic development. Characteristics of entrepreneurial behavior. Motivating and Training people for entrepreneurship and economic development. Women Entrepreneurs. Consumer rights and consumer courts.
13. Application of psychology to environment and related fields : Environmental psychology-effects of noise, pollution and crowding. Population psychology-psychological consequences of population explosion and high population density. Motivating for small family norms. Impact of rapid scientific and technological growth on degradation of environment.
14. Other applications of psychology : Sports psychology-improving performance of sports, personnel, psychology and understanding of political behaviour. Voting behaviours. Psychology of corruption and strategies to deal with Psychology of terrorism.




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