UNIT 1. Emergence of Psychology

  • Psychological thought in some major Eastern Systems: Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Sufism and Integral Yoga. Academic psychology in India: Pre-independence era; post-independence era; 1970s: The move to addressing social issues; 1980s: Indigenization; 1990s: Paradigmatic concerns, disciplinary identity crisis; 2000s: Emergence of Indian psychology in academia. Issues: The colonial encounter; Post colonialism and psychology; Lack of distinct disciplinary identity.
  • Western: Greek heritage, medieval period and modern period. Structuralism, Functionalism, Psychoanalytical, Gestalt, Behaviorism, Humanistic-Existential, Transpersonal, Cognitive revolution, Multiculturalism. Four founding paths of academic psychology – Wundt, Freud, James, Dilthey. Issues: Crisis in psychology due to strict adherence to experimental-analytical paradigm (logical empiricism). Indic influences on modern psychology.
  • Essential aspects of knowledge paradigms: Ontology, epistemology, and methodology. Paradigms of Western Psychology: Positivism, Post-Positivism, Critical perspective, Social Constructionism, Existential Phenomenology, and Co-operative Enquiry. Paradigmatic Controversies. Significant Indian paradigms on psychological knowledge: Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Sufism, and Integral Yoga. Science and spirituality (avidya and vidya). The primacy of self-knowledge in Indian psychology.

UNIT 2. Research Methodology and Statistics

  • Research: Meaning, Purpose, and Dimensions.
  • Research problems, Variables and Operational Definitions, Hypothesis, Sampling.
  • Ethics in conducting and reporting research
  • Paradigms of research: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed methods approach
  • Methods of research: Observation, Survey [Interview, Questionnaires], Experimental, Quasi-experimental, Field studies, Cross-Cultural Studies, Phenomenology, Grounded theory, Focus groups, Narratives, Case studies, Ethnography
  • Statistics in Psychology: Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion. Normal Probability Curve. Parametric [t-test] and Non-parametric tests [Sign Test, Wilcoxon Signed rank test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Friedman]. Power analysis. Effect size.
  • Correlational Analysis: Correlation [Product Moment, Rank Order], Partial correlation, multiple correlation.
  • Special Correlation Methods: Biserial, Point biserial, tetrachoric, phi coefficient.
  • Regression: Simple linear regression, Multiple regression.
  • Factor analysis: Assumptions, Methods, Rotation and Interpretation.
  • Experimental Designs: ANOVA [One-way, Factorial], Randomized Block Designs, Repeated Measures Design, Latin Square, Cohort studies, Time series, MANOVA, ANCOVA. Single-subject designs.

UNIT 3. Psychological testing

  • Types of tests
  • Test construction: Item writing, item analysis
  • Test standardization: Reliability, validity and Norms
  • Areas of testing: Intelligence, creativity, neuropsychological tests, aptitude, Personality assessment, interest inventories
  • Attitude scales – Semantic differential, Staples, Likert scale.
  • Computer-based psychological testing
  • Applications of psychological testing in various settings: Clinical, Organizational and business, Education, Counseling, Military. Career guidance.

UNIT 4. Biological basis of behavior

  • Sensory systems: General and specific sensations, receptors and processes
  • Neurons: Structure, functions, types, neural impulse, synaptic transmission. Neurotransmitters.
  • The Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems – Structure and functions. Neuroplasticity.
  • Methods of Physiological Psychology: Invasive methods – Anatomical methods, degeneration techniques, lesion techniques, chemical methods, microelectrode studies. Non-invasive methods – EEG, Scanning methods.
  • Muscular and Glandular system: Types and functions
  • Biological basis of Motivation: Hunger, Thirst, Sleep and Sex.
  • Biological basis of emotion: The Limbic system, Hormonal regulation of behavior.
  • Genetics and behavior: Chromosomal anomalies; Nature-Nurture controversy [Twin studies and adoption studies]

UNIT 5. Attention, Perception, Learning, Memory and Forgetting

  • Attention: Forms of attention, Models of attention
  • Perception:
  • Approaches to the Study of Perception: Gestalt and physiological approaches
  • Perceptual Organization: Gestalt, Figure and Ground, Law of Organization
  • Perceptual Constancy: Size, Shape, and Color; Illusions
  • Perception of Form, Depth and Movement
  • Role of motivation and learning in perception
  • Signal detection theory: Assumptions and applications
  • Subliminal perception and related factors, information processing approach to perception, culture and perception, perceptual styles, Pattern recognition, Ecological perspective on perception.
  • Learning Process:
  • Fundamental theories: Thorndike, Guthrie, Hull
  • Classical Conditioning: Procedure, phenomena and related issues
  • Instrumental learning: Phenomena, Paradigms and theoretical issues; Reinforcement: Basic variables and schedules; Behaviour modification and its applications
  • Cognitive approaches in learning: Latent learning, observational learning.
  • Verbal learning and Discrimination learning
  • Recent trends in learning: Neurophysiology of learning
  • Memory and Forgetting
  • Memory processes: Encoding, Storage, Retrieval
  • Stages of memory: Sensory memory, Short-term memory (Working memory), Long-term Memory (Declarative – Episodic and Semantic; Procedural)
  • Theories of Forgetting: Interference, Retrieval Failure, Decay, Motivated forgetting

UNIT 6. Thinking, Intelligence and Creativity

  • Theoretical perspectives on thought processes: Associationism, Gestalt, Information processing, Feature integration model
  • Concept formation: Rules, Types, and Strategies; Role of concepts in thinking Types of Reasoning
  • Language and thought
  • Problem solving: Type, Strategies, and Obstacles
  • Decision-making: Types and models
  • Metacognition: Metacognitive knowledge and Metacognitive regulation
  • Intelligence: Spearman; Thurstone; Jensen; Cattell; Gardner; Stenberg; Goleman; Das, Kar & Parrila
  • Creativity: Torrance, Getzels & Jackson, Guilford, Wallach & Kogan
  • Relationship between Intelligence and Creativity

UNIT 7. Personality, Motivation, emotion, stress and coping

  • Determinants of personality: Biological and socio-cultural
  • Approaches to the study of personality: Psychoanalytical, Neo-Freudian, Social learning, Trait and Type, Cognitive, Humanistic, Existential, Transpersonal psychology.
  • Other theories: Rotter’s Locus of Control, Seligman’s Explanatory styles, Kohlberg’s theory of Moral development.
  • Basic motivational concepts: Instincts, Needs, Drives, Arousal, Incentives, Motivational Cycle.
  • Approaches to the study of motivation: Psychoanalytical, Ethological, S-R Cognitive, Humanistic
  • Exploratory behavior and curiosity
  • Zuckerman’s Sensation seeking
  • Achievement, Affiliation and Power
  • Motivational Competence
  • Self-regulation
  • Flow
  • Emotions: Physiological correlates
  • Theories of emotions: James-Lange, Canon-Bard, Schachter and Singer, Lazarus, Lindsley.
  • Emotion regulation
  • Conflicts: Sources and types
  • Stress and Coping: Concept, Models, Type A, B, C, D behaviors, Stress management strategies [Biofeedback, Music therapy, Breathing exercises, Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Guided Imagery, Mindfulness, Meditation, Yogasana, Stress Inoculation Training].

UNIT 8. Social Psychology

  • Nature, scope and history of social psychology
  • Traditional theoretical perspectives: Field theory, Cognitive Dissonance, Sociobiology, Psychodynamic Approaches, Social Cognition.
  • Social perception [Communication, Attributions]; attitude and its change within cultural context; prosocial behavior
  • Group and Social influence [Social Facilitation; Social loafing]; Social influence [Conformity, Peer Pressure, Persuasion, Compliance, Obedience, Social Power, Reactance]. Aggression. Group dynamics, leadership style and effectiveness. Theories of intergroup relations [Minimal Group Experiment and Social Identity Theory, Relative Deprivation Theory, Realistic Conflict Theory, Balance Theories, Equity Theory, Social Exchange Theory]
  • Applied social psychology: Health, Environment and Law; Personal space, crowding, and territoriality.

UNIT 9. Human Development and Interventions

  • Developmental processes: Nature, Principles, Factors in development, Stages of Development. Successful aging.
  • Theories of development: Psychoanalytical, Behavioristic, and Cognitive
  • Various aspects of development: Sensory-motor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral.
  • Psychopathology: Concept, Mental Status Examination, Classification, Causes
  • Psychotherapies: Psychoanalysis, Person-centered, Gestalt, Existential, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Behavior therapy, REBT, CBT, MBCT, Play therapy, Positive psychotherapy, Transactional Analysis, Dialectic behavior therapy, Art therapy, Performing Art Therapy, Family therapy.
  • Applications of theories of motivation and learning in School
  • Factors in educational achievement
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Guidance in schools: Needs, organizational set up and techniques
  • Counselling: Process, skills, and techniques

UNIT 10. Emerging Areas

  • Issues of Gender, Poverty, Disability, and Migration: Cultural bias and discrimination. Stigma, Marginalization, and Social Suffering; Child Abuse and Domestic violence.
  • Peace psychology: Violence, non-violence, conflict resolution at macro level, role of media in conflict resolution.
  • Wellbeing and self-growth: Types of wellbeing [Hedonic and Eudemonic], Character strengths, Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth.
  • Health: Health promoting and health compromising behaviors, Life style and Chronic diseases [Diabetes, Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease], Psychoneuroimmunology [Cancer, HIV/AIDS]
  • Psychology and technology interface: Digital learning; Digital etiquette: Cyber bullying; Cyber pornography: Consumption, implications; Parental mediation of Digital Usage.


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