(Paper) IAS Mains Previous Years Paper : Psychology (1979)

IAS Mains Previous Years Paper : Psychology (1979)

1. Write brief explanatory or illustrative notes on any five of the following:
(a) Autonomic nervous system
(b) Types of drives
(c) James-Lange theory of emotion
(d) Volley theory of audition
(e) Perceptual defence
(f) RG.R.
(g) Distinction between short term and long term memory.


Answer briefly any five of the following:
(a) What do you understand by Scotopic and Photopic vision?
(b) What are the characteristics of human nervous system that distinguish it from other animal's nervous system?
(c) What is the difference between frequency and place theories audition?
(d) Enumerate the factors that determine depth perception.
(e) What are the cues for knowing body position and movement?
(f) What do you mean by the term 'person perception'?
(g) How do you distinguish between reliability and validity of a test?

2. Examine critically the definition of Psychology as the study of behaviour. Point out therein how Psychology differs from other sciences that also study behaviour.

3. Explain the role of endocrinal functioning in personality development citing a few illustrations.

4. 'An individual is the product of heredity interacting with cooperating environment operating at the appropriate time of maturation.' Discuss this statement, quoting the findings of some experimental studies in this area.

5. 'We perceive what we want, and not what it is'. Examine the truth of this statement, pointing out especially the motivational factors determining perception and substantiating your answer with some research findings.

6. What are the problems studied by psychophysical methods? Examine the points of similarities and differences among these methods.

7. (a) Bring out the main issues on which learning theories divide themselves,
(b) Explain the main postulates of Hull's learning theory.

8. (a) What is the effect of storage load in the retrieval process? Cite experimental findings,
(b) Explain the factors that affect long-term recall.

9. What is the nature of a concept? Describe any investigation to study the attainment or measurement of concepts.

10. Explain and illustrate the terms 'mental age' and 'intelligence quotient', pointing out the superiority of the latter over the former in the measurement of intelligence.

11. (a) What are the different forms of thinking?
(b) Illustrate how mental set affects thinking or problem solving process.


1. Discuss how Freud's Psycho-analysis is based on his theory of Psycho-sexual development. Illustrate your answer by describing case histories of a neurotic and a psychotic

2. Describe the Lewinian Concept of Life-space with special reference to the principles of dimensions and differentiation. How does it differ from S-O-R interpretation of behaviour.

3. Discuss the basic diagnostic rationale behind the projective tests. Illustrate your answer with reference to individual projective tests. Examine the reliability, validity and utility of these tests.

4. Describe the different steps involved in the construction of a Thurstonian type of attitude scale using any social issue. What are the advantages of this technique?

5. What is meant by theory of personality? How do you explain the existence of divergent theories of personality? In what essential way does Allport's theory of personality differ from Cattell's?

6. Analyse the dynamics and the developmental processes behind psycho-somatic disorders. How do they differ from psychqtic and neurotic disorders.

7. Do you agree with the view that mal-adjustment to home is the single major factor for juvenile delinquency? Cite supporting evidence. Suggest treatment and remedial measures of juvenile delinquency.

8. What is meant by ergonomics? How does it help improve industrial productivity.

9. Discuss the basic principles and methods for effective group therapy. How does the therapist create a therapeutic climate in the group through inter-actional transference situations?

10. Write critical notes on any two of the following:
(a) Community psychiatry in the Indian context
(b) Motivational dynamics of drug addiction
(c) Behaviour modification

11. How can the problems of stagnation and wastage ridding our educational scene be solved?


What inputs could you suggest to overcome the psychological disadvantages of the culturally deprived children to motivate them for better achievement.


It is often held that achievement at school is significantly influenced by adjustment to the school. Cite findings of research studies to illustrate your answer.