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Psychology is one optional, which can be scoring if prepared well. The average time taken to prepare for this optional is 4 to 5 months because of the lengthy syllabus (28 chapters in all). But the advantage is most of the chapters are interlinking and the reader will find them interesting because they relate to our day-to-day understanding of others and ourselves. 

The advantage of preparing for psychology is it helps to understand ourselves better. And after completing the course one can really appreciate the individual differences. Most of the aspirants take it as their second optional so, only the mains preparation is discussed.

Sources/Material for psychology optional:

NCERT XI- two books

Introduction to psychology by Morgan and King

Psychology by Baron

Social Psychology by Baron & Byrne,

Inner World by Sudhir Kakar,

The Psychology of Small Groups by Shaw,

Achieving Society by David McClelland,

Theories of Personality by Hall & Lindzey,

Systems & Theories of Psychology by Krawiec & Chaplin,

Abnormal Psychology & Modern Life by James.C.Coleman.

Mr. Mukul Pathak’s class notes (his notes is followed by most of the aspirants and is available almost everywhere. He teaches in Vajiram and Ravi institute.

          But too many books may not be covered because of paucity of time.The above-mentioned four should suffice. The strategy to prepare is first complete the whole syllabus once. Now a days the pattern of the question paper is such leaving out some chapters is not suggested.

Then in the second reading one is able to interlink the topics. For example the concepts of learning and memory (paper-I) will come to use at learning styles of the gifted, retarded and learning disabled (paper-II). Then analyze the old question papers and practice writing them within the word limit (20 markers in about 200 to 230 words and 60 markers in about 600 to700 words) and correct yourselves. This process will make you prepared for the final examination.

Reference Books

1. Atkinson

2. Eysench - "Psychology-Ashrdent's Handbook"

3. Chaplin and Kraweik - Systems and theories of psychology

Reference Books for specific topics: 
1. Theories of personality - Hall and Lindxy

2. Abnormal psychology and modern life - Cokman Vead, well being & Mental disorders, therapeutic approaches and coping mechanisms.

3. Community psychology - Pande

4. Organisational behaviour - Stephen P. Robbins

5. Educational psychology - Mattur

6. Social psychology - Baros & Bryne

7. Psychological testing - A.K. Singh

8. Statistical Analysis Garette

9. Development psychology - Hurlock

Suggested Important Portions

Paper I Section A

Introduction: Psychology as a Science: Definitions and perspective. Psychology in relation to other social and natural sciences. Use of interdisciplinary approach

Methods of Psychology: Characteristics and components of methods in psychology (induction, deduction and introspection). Observation, survey, laboratory and field experiments. Clinical and case study.

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.

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.

Memory: Concepts and definition of memory and forgetting, 7+/-2 concept and clumking encoding, storage and retrieval. Factors influencing retention and forgetting. Theories of forgetting (Repression, Decay and I n te r fe re n ce theories). The concept of reminiscence

Paper I Section B
Thinking and Problem Solving: Concept formation processes. Reasoning and problem solving. Creative thinking and fostering creativity. Information processing. Decision making and judgement

Intelligence and Aptitude: Concept and definition of Intelligence and aptitude, Nature and theories of intelligence. Measurement of Intelligence and aptitude. Attitudes, Values and Interests: Definitions, concepts of attitudes, values and interests. Components of attitudes, values and interests. Formation and maintenance of attitudes. Measurement of attitudes, values and interests. 

Paper II Section A
Psychological Measurement of Individual Difference: The nature of individual differences. Characteristics and construction of standardised psychological tests. Types of psychological tests.

Therapeutic Approaches: Psychodynamic therapies. Behaviour therapies. Clientcentered therapy. Cognitive therapies. Indigenous therapies (Yoga, Reiki, Meditation) Biofeedback therapy. 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.

Community 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. 

Paper II Section B 
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.

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.

Other applications of psychology: Sports psychology - improving performance of sports, personnel, psychology and understanding of political behaviour, Voting behaviours.

How to Write ?

• Don't exceed limit in short answer questions

• Try to make the introduction catchy while answering short and long questions. Students should use real-life examples to make the answers lively

• Make a framework of the answer in mind like what would you write in the lead paragraph, body text and the conclusion before you proceed with writing the answer

• Time management is key and candidates should ensure that they have at least 25 minutes in hand before they attempt the last question



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