Psychology : An Important Analysis For Mains


Important Topics for Psychology Mains

Paper I    Section A

1      Introduction Psychology as a science

Psychology & its relation to other fields

Perspectives In Psychology (Just 6 headings – Details elsewhere)

Contribution of Gestalt School to development of Psychology (SN)

Humanistic Perspective as the third force (Short Note)

Historical Antecedents               

Trends in 21st Century

2. Methods of Psychology

Experimental Methods & Non Experimental Methods

Control Groups & Within Subject Design of Experiment

Methodological Problems in Psychology

Types of Research – Diagnostic, Prognostic, Descriptive,

Evaluative Focused Group Discussions

Brain Storming

Grounded Theory Approach

3. Research Methods &Quant Analaysis

Major Steps in Psychological Research

 Fundamental Vs. Applied Research

Methods of Data Collection (Interv, Observ, Questionnr, Case Study)

Experiment or’s effect’s influence on Findings of a study

Factor Analysis

Item Response Theory

4. Development of Human Behaviour

Socialization & Cultural Factors

Role of Environment & Genetics on development of Human Behaviour

Life Span Development – Developmental Tasks

Critical Period


Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Culture & Personality (Optional – Can be left if shortage of time)

Concept of Self – Short note (Optional)

5 .     Attention & Perception 

Perception & its characteristics.

Perceptual Organization

Perceptual  Defence  (Short Note).

Signal Detection Theory & Classical Psychophysics (Short Note).

General Concepts in Attention.

Subliminal Perception (Short Note)

Threshold – Absolute & Differential Threshold (Part of Psychophysics)

Vigilance & Factors influencing it

Plasticity of Perception

Figure after Affects

6 .     Learning

Classical Conditioning.

Operant Conditioning

Forms of Learning (including observational learning/Modelling).

Programmed Learning & its application in teaching.

Discrimination & Generalization (wrt to both CC & Operant  Conditioning)

Process of Extinction (wrt to both CC & Operant Conditioning)

Theories of Learning – Gestaltist & Information Processing Approach

Escape, Avoidance & Punishment

Attainment of Concepts & Concept Learning

7 .     Memory

Information Processing Models of Memory

Two process theories of memory (short Note)

Forgetting (Short Note)

Theories of Forgetting (Repression, Decay & Interference theories)

Ways of Memory Enhancement

Basic Processes of Remembering

Stage Vs. Process Models of Memory

Concept of working memory


Amnesia – Anteretrograde & Retrograde

Iconic & Echoic Memory

Paper I    Section B

8.Thinking & Problem Solving

Concept Formation

Convergent & Divergent thinking (Short Note)

Creativity & Fostering Creativity (Short Note).

Creativity & its link with Intelligence (Short Note)

Problem Solving & the steps involved

Mental Set & Problem Solving (short note)

Facilitatory & Hindering factors in problem solving

Methods of Problem Solving

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Concept of Problem Space

9  .    Motivation & Emotion   

Emotion – Characteristics, Components & Functions

James Lange theory of Emotion

Emergency Theory of Canon Bard

Schachter Singer Theory & Cognitive Appraisal Theory of Lazarus  

Motivation – Its characteristics & the steps involved

Theories of Motivation (Hull, Lewin, Freud, Maslow, Deci & Ryan)

Field Theory or Vector Valence Theory of Kurt Lewin (Short Note)

Need Hierarchy Theory of Motivation (Maslow)

Psychoanalytical theory of Motivation

Drive Theory or Push theory of Hull

Extrinsic & Intrinsic Motivation

Emotional Competence


Social & Economic Motives

Cognitive Evalutaion theory of Intrinsic Motivation

Cognitive Approach to Motivation & Emotion

Instinct, Drive, Arousal & Incentive Theories of Motivation

10 .    Intelligence & Aptitude  


Thurstone’s Theory of Intelligence

Concept of Intelligence – nature & development

Concept of Aptitude (Short Note).

Creativity & its link with Intelligence (Short Note)

Emotional Intelligence & how to measure it (Full Length)

Social Intelligence (Short Note).

Multiple Intelligence & its measurement (Short Note)

Theories of Intelligence – J.P Guilford, Eysenck-Vernon Model

Sternberg Theory of Intelligence

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Bruner’s Theory of Cognitive Development (Short Note)

J.P. Das – PASS Model

Concept of IQ, Deviation IQ, Constancy of IQ

Fluid Intelligence & Crystallized Intelligence (Cattell’s Theory)

11 .    Personality

Theories of Personality (Psychoanalytical)

Humanistic Approach to Personality

Rogers Concept of fully functional person.

Behaviouristic  Approach to Personality

Trait & Type approaches to Personality (V. Important)

Projective techniques of personality  assessment.

Projective Techniques Vs. Psychometric Tests in Personality assessment.

Personality – Concept & Individuality

Socio-Cultural Approach to Personality

Piagets theory of Cognitive Development

Indian Approach to Personality (Esp Guna Theory, Vedantic theory)


Big 5 Theory

12.  Attitudes, Values & Interests

Attitude – its Components & Formation

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Other theories of attitude

Attribution Theory

Attitude Change

Values – Concept, Components & Measurement (Short Note).

Strategies for fostering Values

Interest – Concept, Components & Measurement (Short Note)

How Values Motivate Individual

Measuring Attitude (Thurstone & Likert Attitude Scale)

Attribution Theories

13. Language & Communication

Communication & its process, Importance & Barriers

Persuasive & Effective Communication

Skinner & Chomsky’s theory of language development.

Human Language – Properties, Structure & Linguistic Hierarchy

Role of Language in Communication

Language Acquisition – Predisposition, Critical Period Hypothesis

14. Issues & Perspectives in Modern

Extrasensory Perception

Intersensory Perceiption.

Contemporary Psychology

Altered State of Consciousness & Meditation (short note)

Hypnosis (short note)

drug use (short note)

Sensory deprivation


Sleep & Its Stages

Artificial Intelligence (Short Note).


Use of Computers in Pyschological Experiments & Tests.

Paper II    Section A

1 .Psychological Measurement of individual Difference

Psychological Tests – Types, Uses & Limitations.

Ethical Issues (Short Note)

Examine the methods of reliability & validity of psychological tests.

Construction of Psychological tests

Nature of Individual Difference (Short Note)

Present Status of Psychological Testing in India (Short Note)

2.Well Being & Mental Disorders

Stress – it  consequences & Stess Management

Psychopathic Personality


Mental Disorders (Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia

& delusional disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders)

Happiness Disposition

Concept of Positive Health & Factors affecting it

Concept of Mental Health & Factors affecting it

Indian Techniques of Stress Management (Short Note)

3. Therapeutic Approaches

Psychodynamic therapy

Behaviour Therapy

Client Centered Therapy (Humanistic Approach)

Cognitive Therapy

Indigenous Therapy (Yoga, Meditation, Reiki).

Biofeedback (Short Note).

Prevention & Rehabilitation of the mentally ill

Concept of Mental Health & Factors affecting it

Caplan’s Threefold Model of Prevention (short note)

4. Work Psychology & Organizational

Maslow’s Theory & its application to industry

 Behaviour Herzberg theory of work motivation (Short Note)

Techniques of personnel selection (Short Note)

Participatory Management System.

Work Motivation (Definition & Concept).

Leadership & its form (Short Note).

Indian Industry illustrations for each of the cases above

Advertising & Marketing – Role of Psychology in it (Short Note)

Equity Theory, Porter & Lawler, Vroom


Transformational  Leadership

Consumer Psychology

Power & Politics in Organization

Use of Psychological tests in the industry

Human Resource Development to achieve personal & organization goals.

5. Application of Psychology

Teaching Learning Process to Education Field Learning Styles & its Uses in teaching-learning process (Full Length)

Retarded Child (Short Note).

Training of Gifted Children

Learning Disabled & their training

6. Community Psychology.

Community Psychologist & his role especially in social change.

Social Change & resistance to change & how to tackle it.

Group – its characteristics, group behaviour, cohesion.

Use of Small Groups in Social Action

Indian Society: Its resistance to change & remedy for it.

7.Rehabilitation Psychology

Drug Addiction – Causes & remedy

Juvenile Delinquency

Rehabilitation of Terrorists

Rehabilitation of Physically, Mentally & Socially challenged persons

Rehabilitation of Old Persons (Full Length)

Rehabilitation of HIV/AIDS Victims

Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence

Paper II Section B

8. Application of psychology to disadvantaged groups

Concepts of disadvantaged, deprivation and social deprivation.

Remedies for the problems mentioned above.

Examples from India of each categories (Eg. Tribals etc).

Educating & Motivating the disadvantaged towards development

Prolonged & relative deprivation (Short Note).

9.Psychological & problem of social integration

Concept of social integration & how to achieve it.

Prejudice – its origin, effect & methods to reduce it.

Examples in Indian context of prejudice & social integration (Very Important)

Conflicts (Caste, Class, Religion & Language conflicts) & how to tackle them

10.Application of Psychology in IT & Mass Media

Psychological effect of IT

Role of Psychologist in IT & Mass Media

Role Played by TV  in spreading awareness & bringing social change

Distance learning through IT & Mass Media & its benefits (Short Note)

Multi-level marketing (Short Note)

E-commerce (Short Note)

11. Psychology & Economic Development.

McClelland’s achievement motivation theory

Entrepreneur – characteristics, entrepreneur syndrome.

Women Entrepreneurs ( from Indian Context)

Missing Portion (Women Entrepreneur & Achievement Motivation)

Consumer Rights & Consumer Courts – Psychological Perspective (short note)

12.Application of psychology to Environment & Related Fields

Environment Degradation (noise, pollution and crowding)

How to motivate people to adopt small family norm.

Population Explosion – Causes & Psychological Consequences

13.Other applications of psychology

Role of psychology in the recruitment & training of defence personnel.

Human Engineering in Defence (Short Note)

Psychological Interventions in improving performance of athletes

Psychology of Terrorism – How to deal

14 .    Psychology of Gender    

Glass Ceiling Effect

Issues of Discrimination

Women & Indian Society

Self Fulfilling Prophesy

Management of Diversity

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