Topper's copies/notes/strategy

A.I.R. 310 (2022)
Psychology Marks in
UPSC-CSE 2022 :266
A.I.R. 199 (2021)
Psychology Marks in
UPSC-CSE 2021 :270
A.I.R. 9 (2019)
Psychology Marks in
UPSC- CSE 2019 : 306
A.I.R. 24 (2018)
Psychology Marks in
UPSC-CSE 2018 :333
A.I.R. 303 (2018)
Psychology Marks in
UPSC- CSE 2018 : 284


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Srinivas Sadi (AIR 310 - UPSC CSE 2021) has been kind enough to make his notes available for all the Psychology optional community. Click here for his Paper 1 and Paper 2 notes. Scroll below for Enserio's own chapter-wise notes of Paper 1

Previous Year Questions - Paper 1 (2017-2021)

BIG Thank You to Natansh Agarwal for this compilation

Quetions for years prior to 2017 are available inside notes of each chapter.

Ch 1.1 Introduction

Introduction: Definition of Psychology; Historical antecedents of Psychology and trends in the 21st century; Psychology and scientific methods; Psychology in relation to other social sciences and natural sciences; Application of Psychology to societal problems.

Ch 1.2-1.3 Methods of Psychological Research

Ch 2: Types of research: Descriptive, evaluative, diagnostic and prognostic; Methods of Research: Survey, observation, case-study and experiments; Characteristics of experimental design and non-experimental design, Quasi-experimental designs; Focused group discussions, brain storming, grounded theory approach.
Ch 3: Major steps in Psychological research (problem statement, hypothesis formulation, research designs, sampling, tools of data collection, analysis and interpretation and report writing) etc.

1.4 Development of Human Behaviour

Syllabus: Growth & development; Principles of development, Role of genetic & environmental factors in determining human behaviour; Influence of cultural factors in socialization; Life span development - Characteristics, development tasks, promoting psychological well-being across major stages of the life span.

1.5 Sensation, Attention and Perception

Ch 5: Sensation: concepts of threshold, absolute and difference thresholds, signal-detection and vigilance; Factors influencing attention including set and characteristics of stimulus; Definition and concept of perception, biological factors in perception; Perceptual organization-influence of past experiences, perceptual defence-factors influencing space and depth perception, size estimation and perceptual readiness; The plasticity of perception; Extrasensory perception; Culture and perception, Subliminal perception.

1.6 Learning

Syllabus: Concepts and theories of learning (Behaviourists, Gestaltalist and Information processing models); The Processes of extinction, discrimination and generalization; Programmed learning, probability learning, self-instructional learning, concepts; Types and the schedules of reinforcement, escape, avoidance and punishment, modeling and social learning.

1.7 Memory

Syllabus: Encoding and remembering; Short term memory, Long term memory, Sensory memory, Iconic memory, Echoic memory: The Multistore model, levels of processing; Organization and Mnemonic techniques to improve memory; Theories of forgetting: decay, interference and retrieval failure: Metamemory; Amnesia: Anterograde and retrograde.

1.8 Thinking and Problem Solving

Syllabus: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (dealt in Ch-4); Concept formation processes; Information processing, Reasoning and problem solving, Facilitating and hindering factors in problem solving, Methods of problem solving: Creative thinking and fostering creativity; Factors influencing decision making and judgment; Recent trends.

1.9 Motivation and Emotion

Syllabus: Psychological and physiological basis of motivation and emotion; Measurement of motivation and emotion; Effects of motivation and emotion on behaviour; Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation; Factors influencing intrinsic motivation; Emotional competence and the related issues.

1.10 Intelligence and Aptitude

Syllabus: Concept of intelligence and aptitude, Nature and theories of intelligence - Spearman, Thurstone, Guilford, Vernon, Sternberg and J.P Das; Emotional Intelligence, Social intelligence, measurement of intelligence and aptitudes, concept of IQ, deviation IQ, constancy of IQ; Measurement of multiple intelligence; Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

1.11 Personality

Syllabus: Definition and concept of personality; Theories of personality (psychoanalytical, sociocultural, interpersonal, developmental, humanistic, behaviouristic, trait and type approaches); Measurement of personality (projective tests, pencil-paper test); The Indian approach to personality; Training for personality development ; Latest approaches like big 5 factor theory; The notion of self in different traditions.

1.12 Attitudes, Values and Interests

Syllabus: Definition of attitudes, values and interests; Components of attitudes; Formation and maintenance of attitudes; Measurement of attitudes, values and interests; Theories of attitude change; Strategies for fostering values; Formation of stereotypes and prejudices; Changing others behaviour; Theories of attribution; Recent trends.

1.13 Language and Communication

Syllabus: Human language - Properties, structure and linguistic hierarchy, Language acquisition-predisposition, critical period hypothesis; Theories of language development - Skinner and Chomsky; Process and types of communication - effective communication training.

1.14 Modern Psychology

Syllabus: Computer application in the psychological laboratory and psychological testing; Artificial intelligence ; Psychocybernetics; Study of consciousness - sleep - wake schedules; dreams, stimulus deprivation, meditation, hypnotic/drug induced states; Extrasensory perception; Intersensory perception, Simulation studies.