IAS Mains Psychology Paper-I 2011

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Time Allowed: Three Hours

Maximum Marks: 300


Each question is printed both in Hindi and in English.

The answers must be written in the medium specified in the Admission Certificate issued to you, which must be stated clearly on the cover of the answer-book in the space provided for the purpose. No marks will be given for the answers written in a medium other than that specified in the Admission Certificate.

Candidates should attempt Question Nos. 1 and 5 which are compulsory, and any three of the remaining question from each section.

The number of marks carried by each question is indicated at the end of the question.


  1. Answer the following, each in not more than 100 words: 10 × 6 = 60

    1. Describe the key assumptions on which psychology claims to be a science.

    2. Suggest a plan of an experimental study to evaluate the effect of compensatory education on academic achievement of school-going students from low income group.

    3. On what grounds are STM and LTM distinguished?

    4. How the principles of encoding help enhancing the use of mnemonic devices?

    5. Distinguish between negative reinforcement and punishment. Indicate the limitations of punishment in the context of learning.

    6. What do illusions tell about the nature of perception?

  2. Answer the following questions

    1. What is social constructionism? How does it challenge the mainstream psychology? 20

    2. Discuss the consequences of learned helplessness as demonstrated in classic experiment on dogs. Find out its parallels in real life. 20

    3. How does the brain mediate between the genotype and the phenotype for psychological characteristics? 10

    4. Contrast bottom-up and top-down theories of perception. 10

  3. Answer the following questions

    1. How does signal-detection theory envisage the decision process? In what other areas of psychology can it be applied? 30

    2. How does level of processing model differ from multistore and working memory models? Explain. 30

  4. Answer the following questions

    1. Critically evaluate the role of parenting style, peer group and media in identity formation during adolescence. 30

    2. Examine the concerns for control, measurement and artifacts, and also indicate the threats they pose to the development of scientific psychology. 30

Section B

  1. Answer the following, each in not more than 100 words: 10 × 6 = 60

    1. Differentiate between inductive and deductive reasoning, and give reasons for the preference of scientist towards inductive reasoning.

    2. How does arousal theory explain human motivation?

    3. What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? Explain with the help of examples.

    4. How is the information we hold about ourselves organized and interpreted?

    5. Compare the model of fluid and crystallized intelligence with the two factor theory of Spearman.

    6. What are the functions of emotions?

  2. Answer the following questions

    1. What are the criteria to identify creativity? How can a teacher promote creativity in the classroom setting? 30

    2. Describe and evaluate the model of intelligence proposed by J. P. Das. 30

  3. Answer the following questions

    1. How does language differ from other forms of communication? Referring to relevant studies, document children's progress from non verbal communication to the use of language. 30

    2. Compare the Indian and western constructions of ‘Self’ with reference to cross-cultural studies and bring out their implication for well-being. 30

  4. Answer the following questions

    1. Elaborate upon the salient developments in consciousness studies and indicate the effect of ‘meditation’ on psychological functions. 30

    2. Describe different psychological measures of values and outline a programme for fostering values. Among school-going children. 30