UPSC IAS Exam 2015 – Psychology (Optional) Question Paper I

UPSC IAS Exam 2015 – Psychology (Optional) Question Paper I

The Civil Services IAS Exam 2015 was commenced from 18th December 2015 and 23rd December 2015 was the day for the exam of Optional papers. The respective two optional papers, Paper I and Paper II were conducted in morning and afternoon sessions on the same day.

The Psychology (Optional) Question Paper I of UPSC IAS Main Exam 2015 carried total 250 marks and time duration was limited to 3 hours. A candidate has to attempt five questions out of eight questions in which Question number 1 and 5 were compulsory and out of the remaining questions, three were to be attempted choosing at least one from each section.


Section- A

Q1. Answer the following questions each in about 150 words:                 10×5=50

(a) Why is it important to understand psychological processes for other disciplines of social sciences?

(b) Discuss the role of socio-cultural factors in promotion of well-being across major stages of life span.

(c) How far is it correct to state that most of the problems of psychology can be addressed more adequately by adopting quasi-experimental designs?

(d) Evaluate the notion of programmed learning and describe its relevance for modern day education with suitable examples.

(e) Bring out the disruption in retrieval processes due to anxiety, context and repression.

Q2. (a) Keeping in view the strife in current social situation, discuss how a psychologist can contribute towards providing interventions for such problems.          15

(b) Citing studies on amnesia show how the explicit and implicit memory systems are separate.     20

(c) Demonstrate with suitable examples how the signal detection theory has helped in modifying the process of vigilance.      15

Q3. (a) Under what kind of research conditions does the use of factors analysis become necessary?     20

(b) How far do you agree with the contention that research findings on infant memory can present novel approaches towards analyzing adult memories? Corroborate your answer with examples.

(c) Review Bandura’s social leaning theory and evaluate its impact on understanding aggression as a result of media generated violence.            15

Q4. (a) It is believed that non-experimental designs are relevant for explaining the emerging issues like social evils that are seen prominently in India. Discuss.        20

(b) With suitable examples, discuss the logic behind following the systematic steps in conducting psychological research.           15

(c) Do the cultural settings influence the understanding and evaluations of meaning of external stimuli? Provide suitable justification for your answer.             15


Section- B

Q5. Answer the following questions each in about 150 words:                 10×5=50

(a) Discuss the brain mechanisms underlying hunger motive.

(b) Evaluate the utility of J. P. Das’ model in understanding the concept of intelligence.

(c) Highlight the problems in assessment of personality using the pencil-paper tests.

(d) Illustrate with suitable examples the non-verbal process of communication.

(e) What are the general strategies used in problem solving? How do these differ from domain-specific procedures?

Q6. (a) Distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Which one is more powerful and why?             20

(b) Describe Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Critique his theory.          15

(c) Discuss briefly the evolution of factor theory of intelligence in the words of Spearman.  Thurstone and  Guilford           15

Q7. (a) Describe the trait and type approaches to personality. Highlight Jung’s typology with its weaknesses.                20

(b) Why are we awake at certain times and asleep at others? Explain this with help of opponent process model.                 15

(c) What is an aptitude? Describe the various tests of aptitudes.               15

Q8. (a) “Children are not born with stereotypes; they learn them from their family, peers, media and society.”- Discuss.                    20

(b) How does Chomsky’s Theory differ from that if Skinner in language development? Discuss.         15

(c) State the components of Big- 5 factors theory of personality. Why is it considered superior to other factor theories of personality?           15


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