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MPSC Main - Psychology Syllabus

Updated on: Mar 20, 2013

Paper I

Standard : Degree Total Marks : 200
Nature of Paper : Conventional Type Duration : 3 Hours


Note : 1) Answers to this paper must be written in English only
  2) This paper will test the candidate's ability to comprehend, to analyse, to interpret, to criticise and to appraise subject matter related to the topics/sub- topics mentioned below.
  3) It is expected from candidates to study the latest and recent developments and happenings pertaining to the topics/sub- topics mentioned below.


Section - A (Marks : 50)
1) Introduction :

01) Psychology as a science : nature and definition

02) Basic Perspectives - biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioural, humanistic

03) Psychology in relation to other social sciences

04) Using interdisciplinary approach to the study of human behaviour
2) Methods of Study in Psychology :

01) The Correlation method (knowledge through systematic observation) and Experimentation (knowledge through systematic intervention)

02) Different Research Methods in Psychology - archival research, naturalistic observation, survey research, the case study, experimental research (laboratory and field experiments)
3) The Process of Psychological Research :

01) Types of Research : fundamental v/s applied

02) Steps involved in the psychological research-
a)Statement of the problem- Hypothesis etc
b)Design of research study (laboratory study, quasi-experiment or field experiment, ex-post-facto research)
c)Sampling and data collection
d)Analysis of data (statistical techniques - t test, one-way ANOVA, correlation and regression analysis, Chi-square)
e)Conclusion from research
Section - B (Marks : 50)
4) Attention and Perception:

01) Attention process - determinants - external and internal, selective attention - filter theory, multimode theory

02) Perception - Gestalt laws of organization, feature analysis - focusing on the parts of the whole (top-down and bottom-up process)

03) Perceptual constancy, depth perception, motion perception

04) Subliminal perception, perceptual defence, extra-sensory perception (process of Psi)

05) The plasticity of perception - to what extent is it innate or learned ?
5) Learning :

01) Concept and nature of learning

02) Basic forms of learning :a)Classical conditioning and its applications
b)Operant conditioning (nature and principles of operant conditioning and its applications)
c)Social learning (learning through imitation - modelling, basic principles and applications)
6) Memory :

01) Concept and nature of memory - encoding, storage and retrieval

02) Three systems of memory - sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory
a)Sensory memory : iconic and echoic memory
b)Short-term memory : chunk (transfer and storage of seven plus or minus two chunks to short-term memory), rehearsal, working memory
c)Long-term memory (the final store house) : the modules of memory - declarative memory (semantic and episodic memory) and procedural memory, explicit and implicit memory, level of processing theory

03) Recalling long-term memory - retrieval cues, flash bulb memories, constructive processes in memory - schemas

04) Forgetting - memory trace, interference (proactive and retroactive interference)

  • Section - C (Marks : 50)
    7) Human Development :

    01) Biological contribution - the role of heredity, the role of brain

    02) Cultural influence, impact of family, the socialization process, the immediate situational impact

    03) Development across the entire life span - Erikson’s eight stages of life

    04) Social change in adulthood - tasks and stages of adult life, Levinson’s stages of adult life

    05) Parenting and social development

    06) Aging and death : theories of aging (wear and tear, genetic theories), meeting death - facing the end of life
    8) Motivation and Emotions :

    01) The concept of motivation, components of motivation - needs and incentives

    02) Theories of motivation : instinct theory, drive reduction theory, arousal theory, cognitive theory, need-hierarchy theory

    03) Primary drives and secondary drives (achievement, affiliation and power)

    04) Emotions : the concept of emotions, functions of emotions

    05) Theories of emotion : James-Lange theory, Canon-Bard theory, Schachter and Singer theory

    06) Physiological reactions in emotions, external expressions of emotions (facial expressions, body language - gestures, posture and movement)
    9) Personality :

    01) Personality - Concept, Nature & development

    02) Theories of personality (psychoanalytic approach, trait approach, learning approach, social-cognitive approach, humanistic approach)

    03) Measurement of personality (projective test, self-report inventories)

    04) Indian approach : Triguna theory, the concept of Sthitaprajna (a man of settled wisdom)

    05) Personality development through training
    10) Attitudes and Values :

    01) The concept of attitude and its components

    02) Forming and maintaining attitudes

    03) Measuring attitudes (attitude scales)

    04) Persuasion - changing attitudes

    05) The concept of values

    06) Types of values and their impact on behaviour

    07) Fostering attitudes and values - strategies
    Section - D (Marks : 50)
    11) Cognition - Thinking, Decision Making and Problem Solving :

    01) Thinking : concept and nature, mental images

    02) Concepts : categorizing, prototypes, artificial and natural concepts

    03) Problem solving : steps involved
    a)Preparation
    b)Production and judgment
    c)Generating solutions - trial and error, means-end-analysis, sub goals, insight

    04) Creativity : Definition of creativity, divergent and convergent thinking, and fostering creativity

    05) Decision making : heuristics (availability, representativesness, anchoring, framing and escalation of commitment)
    12) Intelligence :

    01) Nature of intelligence - is intelligence unified or multifaceted ? - views of Spearman, Thurstone, Cattell, Gardner, Guilfold

    02) Information processing approach - Stenberg’s triarchic theory

    03) Measuring human intelligence - concepts of IQ and mental age, nature of intelligence tests

    04) Individual differences in intelligence - role of heredity and environment

    05) Emotional intelligence : the concept of emotional intelligence and its measurement
    13) Language and Communication :

    01) Language - basic nature : production of speech (phonemes, morphemes and syntax), speech comprehension, surface structure and deep structure

    02) Development of language : theories (learning theory - Skinner, universal grammar and language acquisition device - Chomsky)

    03) Language and thought : linguistic reality hypothesis

    04) Communication : nature of communication process, making communication effective
    14) Emerging Trends :

    01) Use of computers in the psychological experimentation and testing

    02) Artificial Intelligence

    03) Psychocybernatics

    04) States of consciousness : sleep-wake schedules

    05) Hypnosis - its use in therapy and individual development

    06) Meditation - its use in stress management and improving the sense of well-being


    Paper II

    Standard : Degree Total Marks : 200
    Nature of Paper : Conventional Type Duration : 3 Hours


    Note : 1) Answers to this paper must be written in English only
      2) This paper will test the candidate's ability to comprehend, to analyse, to interpret, to criticise and to appraise subject matter related to the topics/sub- topics mentioned below.
      3) It is expected from candidates to study the latest and recent developments and happenings pertaining to the topics/sub- topics mentioned below.


    Section - A(Marks : 50)
    1) Psychological Measurement of Individual Differences:

    01) The nature of individual differences

    02) Basic requirements for all psychologicaltests - reliability, validity, norms, standardization

    03) Types of psychological tests

    04) Uses and limitations of psychological tests

    05) Ethical issues and socio-cultural biases in IQ and other tests
    2) Well-being and Mental Health :

    01) The concepts of mental health and well-being

    02) Psychological disorders - anxiety, mooddisorders, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders, schizophreniaand delusional disorders

    03) Determinants of disorders, positive health and life style
    3) Approaches to the Treatment of Psychological Disorders :

    01) Psychodynamic approach

    02) Behavioural approach

    03) Cognitive approach

    04) Humanistic approach

    05) Indian approaches – Yoga and Vipassana

    06) Prevention of mental illness and rehabilitation of mentally ill
    4) Community Psychology :

    01) Community psychology nature and scope

    02) Role of community psychologists in social change

    03) Arousing community consciousness andaction for handling social problems

    04) Role of leadership in group decision making for social change
    Section - B(Marks : 50)
    5) School and Counselling Psychology :

    01) Applying psychological principles to classroom teaching andlearning

    02) Learning styles of intellectually exceptional and mentallyretarded

    03) Special education for mentally disabled

    04) Value Education and personality development of students

    05) Counselling for improving memory andacademic performance

    06) Counselling students to cope withstresses

    07) Counselling students to adjust with school environment

    08) Vocational Guidance and career counselling

    09) Using psychological tests in counselling and Scholasticperformance
    6) The Role of Psychology in Information Technology and Mass Media :

    01) Current status of the field of IT andMass Media and the role of psychology in it

    02) Selection and training of professionalpsychologists who are desirous of working in the field of IT and Mass Media

    03) Distance learningprocess through IT and Mass Media : Scope andlimitations

    04) Entrepreneurship through e-commerce

    05) Effect of TV on behaviour of people;fostering moral values through IT and Mass Media

    06) Psychological consequences of recent advancements in IT
    7) Psychology Applied to SocialIntegration:

    01) Psycho- Social integration and multiculturalism

    02) The problem of intergroup conflicts dueto caste, class, religion and language discrimination

    03) The concept of prejudice and its origins(direct intergroup conflict; social categorization; the role of sociallearning and stereotypes)

    04) Reducing prejudice and discrimination(learning not to hate, direct intergroup contact, re-categorization - toreduce the “we-they” feeling between the in-group and out-group members)
    Section - C(Marks : 50)
    8) Work Psychology, Organisational Behaviour and Psychology Appliedto Marketing :

    01) Personnel selection and evaluation of employee performance

    02) Training and HRD - employee training and management development

    03) Work Motivation - nature and concept ofwork motivation, theories of work motivation (need hierarchy, two-factortheory and expectancy theory)

    04) Leadership - the concept of leadership;what makes a leader successful (trait, behavioural and contingencyapproaches)

    05) Advertising andmarketing : psychological appeal and other factorsaffecting advertising effectiveness and marketing strategies

    06) Consumer Behaviour - consumer needs andmotivation; psychological factors in consumer buying behaviour (learningexperiences, personality, attitudes and beliefs, self-concept)
    9) Military and Police Psychology :

    01) Role of psychology inthe military services : psychological warfare; motivation andmorale of defence personnel

    02) Role of Psychology inthe Police services :
    a)Motivation and morale of police personnel
    b)Understanding criminal behavior and corrective measures
    c)Types, causes andinterventions with respect to– Crimeagainst women, Suicide, Homicide
    d)Psychological aspects in riot management

    03) Psychological counsellingof Defence personnel and Police personnel
    10) Psychology and Economic Development :

    01) Achievement, motivation and economicdevelopment

    02) Basic attributes of entrepreneurial behaviour

    03) Motivating and training people to take up entrepreneurial role

    04) Promoting entrepreneurship among women

    05) Consumer rights and consumer laws
    11) Environmental Psychology :

    01) Effects of noise, temperature andenvironmental toxins on human behaviour

    02) Architectural psychology - concept andnature; territoriality; personal space; crowding

    03) Psychological consequences of populationexplosion and high population density

    04) Motivating people to adopt small family norms

    05) The phenomenon of global warming;adverse effect of rapid scientific and technological development on theenvironment and human behaviour
    Section - D(Marks : 50)
    12) Rehabilitation Psychology :

    01) Role of psychologists in preventionprogrammes and in promotion of well-being

    02) Initiating rehabilitation programmes forphysically challenged, mentally retarded and socially disadvantaged persons

    03) Rehabilitating the victims of substanceabuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal behaviour and violence

    04) Rehabilitation of HIV/AIDS victims
    13) Application of Psychology toDisadvantaged Groups :

    01) The concept of disadvantaged and socially deprived

    02) Socio-economic and psychologicalconsequences of being socially deprived and disadvantaged

    03) Intervention strategies for development of socially disadvantaged
    14) Application of Psychology to Health,Sports and Other areas :

    01) Role of motivation in improving sports performance

    02) Personality differences between peoplewho participate in sports and exercise programmes and those who do not

    03) Relationship between psychologicalfactors and physical ailments or diseases

    04) Role of psychological factors in the prevention of and recoveryfrom illness

    05) Stress : causes, effects and coping

    06) Psychological factors in political and voting behaviour

    07) Psychological aspects of corruption

    08) Psychology of terrorism and intervention strategies
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