Semester I: Foundations of Psychology – I
Unit I: What is Psychology?
The unit seeks to develop understanding and appreciation of psychology as a discipline, its evolution, its applications and its relationships with other sciences through appropriate and interesting examples and analysis of everyday experience .
What is psychology?; Popular notions about discipline of psychology; Understanding mind and behaviour; Evolution of psychology; Branches of psychology: Themes of research and applications; Psychology and other disciplines ; Psychologists at work ; Psychology in everyday life; Development of Psychology in India.
Unit II: Methods of Enquiry in Psychology
The objective of this unit is to discuss methods of enquiry for collecting psychological data.
Goals of psychological enquiry; Nature of psychological data; Some important methods: Observational, Experimental, Correlational, Survey, Psychological testing, Case Study; Analysis of data; Limitations of psychological enquiry; Ethical issues.
Unit III: The Bases of Human Behaviour
The unit will focus on the role of biological and socio-cultural factors in the shaping of human behaviour.
Evolutionary perspective; Biological basis : Biological and cultural roots; Biology of behaviour: Structure and functions of nervous system and endocrine system; Relationship of nervous system and endocrine system with behaviour and experience; Brain and behaviour; Heredity: Genes and behaviour; Cultural basis : Socio-cultural shaping of behaviour (e.g. family, community, faith, gender, caste, disability etc.); Socialisation , enculturation and acculturation.
Unit IV: Human Development
This unit deals with variations in development and the developmental tasks during the life span.
Meaning of development; Factors influencing development; Context of development; Overview of developmental stages: Infancy, Childhood, Challenges of Adolescence, Adulthood and Old age.
Unit V: Sensory, Attentional and Perceptual Processes
This unit aims at understanding how various sensory stimuli are received, attended to and given meaning.
Knowing the world ; Nature and varieties of stimulus; Sense modalities; Adaptation; Attentional processes; Selective and sustained attention ; Perceptual processes; The Perceiver; Principles of perceptual organisation; After images; Perception of space, depth and distance; Perceptual constancies; Illusions; Socio-cultural influences on perception.
Semester II: Foundations of Psychology-II
Unit VI: Learning
This unit focuses on how one acquires new behaviour and how changes in behaviour take place.
Nature of learning; Paradigms of learning: Classical and operant conditioning, Observational learning, Cognitive learning, Verbal learning, Concept learning, Skill learning; Factors facilitating learning; Transfer of learning; The Learner: Learning styles; Learning disabilities; Applications of learning principles.
Unit VII: Human Memory
This unit deals with how information is received, stored, retrieved and lost. It will also discuss how memory can be improved.
Nature of memory; Information Processing Approach; Levels of processing ; Memory systems — Sensory memory, Short-term memory, Long-term memory; Knowledge representation and organisation in memory ; Memory as a constructive process; Nature and causes of forgetting; Enhancing memory.
Unit VIII: Thinking
This unit deals with thinking and related processes like reasoning, problem-solving, decision making and creative thinking . The relationship between thought and language will also be discussed.
Nature of thinking; Thought and language; Development of language and language use; Reasoning; Problem-solving; Decision making; Nature and Process of creative thinking; Developing creative thinking.
Unit IX: Motivation and Emotion
This unit focuses on why human beings behave as they do. It also deals with how people experience positive and negative events and respond to them.
Nature of motivation; Biological motives; Social and psychological motives — Achievement, Affiliation and Power; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; Nature of emotions; Physiological, cognitive and cultural bases of emotions; Expression of emotions; Enhancing positive emotions, e.g. Happiness, Optimism etc.; Managing negative emotions, e.g. anger, fear etc.
Practicals for Semesters I and II
(Projects, Experiments, Small Studies, etc.)
The students shall be required to undertake one project and conduct three practicals. The project would involve the use of different methods of enquiry and related skills. Practicals would involve undertaking experiments and conducting small studies, exercises, related to the topics covered in the course (Human development, Learning, Memory, Motivation, Perception, Attention, Thinking).