Paper – I

Foundations of Psychology

1. 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.

2. 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; Focused group discussions, brain storming, grounded theory approach.

3. 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.

4. Development of Human Behavior:

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

5. 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 defense-factors influencing space and depth perception, size estimation and perceptual readiness; The plasticity of perception; Extrasensory perception; Culture and perception, Subliminal perception.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Motivation and Emotion:

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

10. 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.

11. Personality:

Definition and concept of personality; Theories of personality (psychoanalytical, socio-cultural, interpersonal, developmental, humanistic, behavioristic, 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

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