IAS Mains Previous Years Paper : Psychology (1989)
PAPER - I
1. Answer any three of the following in about 200 words each:
(a) Distinguish between Classical and Instrumental conditioning on operational and theoretical
(b) Discuss the role of extraneous variables in social research. How can they be controlled?
(c) Critically examine the role of non-cognitive factors in perception.
(d) What do you understand by term 'National Character'. Critically examine the present Indian
National Character according to your perception.
2. On the basis of experimental evidence discuss whether the phenomenon of perceptual defence is an
experimental artifact and indicate the kind of mechanism that the phenomenon presupposes.
3. Discuss, with reference to suitable experimental studies, the role of positive and negative instances in
concept formation, and explain the strategies of concept learning.
4. What are the various stages involved in the processing and storage of information in human
5. Answer any three of the following in about 200 words each:
(a) Discuss the utility of psychometric vs. protective tests in personality assessment.
(b) Examine the implication of Expectancy Value theory of motivation in the light of
experimental evidence concerning achievement oriented behaviour in man.
(c) Briefly discuss either "Balance" or ""Cognitive Dissonance" theory of attitude change.
(d) Define intelligence and discuss critically Spearman's two-factor theory. What are the latest
views on the structure of human abilities.
6. Briefly describe the main factors responsible for effective communication.
7. What kind of relationship exists between culture and personality? Examine critically the concept of
personality in Indian thought.
8. Which model of man do you consider to be most appropriate in the present social context? Give your
PAPER - II
1. Answer any three of the following (Each answer should not exceed 200 words):
(a) Critically examine the effect of television on the people of rural India. Suggest suitable
measures to bring about socio-cultural change through this mass media.
(b) Discuss how certain persons are predisposed to develop neurotic behaviour under stress.
What are the adaptive functions of neurotic symptoms?
(c) Describe the major barriers of effective communication in a public sector industrial set-up in
(d) Psychological properties of a small group determine its cohesion as well as its quality of
decision making process. Illustrate your answer.
2. Critically examine the various terms of reliability and validity of psychological tests. Does reliability
guarantee validity? Cite some tests of questionable validity.
3. What are the basic experimental findings which have contributed to behaviour therapy? Can it be the
sole therapeutic method to handle all types of behaviour disorders?
4. What are the psychological resistances to social change? Draw up a programme of change in favour
of family planning in India, emphasising the successful removal of resistances existing in this area.
5. Answer any three of the following. (Each answer should not exceed 200 words):
(a) What are the Psycho-Social factors behind drug addiction? Suggest a rehabilitation
programme for the drug addicts.
(b) What are the basic psychological problems of the adolescents in the home and school
situations? Suggest measures for the proper adjustment of the adolescents both in homes and
(c) What is appropriate technology? How does technological change influence human behaviour
and interaction? Point out its psychosocial implications in rural India, citing case studies.
(d) What is prejudice? Do you think it is a part of personality syndrome which develops through
socialization? How would you intervene in this process to arrest its development?
6. Authoritative decision making on the part of a leader does not rule out participatory management
processes. Discuss. How does it operate in Indian industrial organizations?
7. Incentives do play a major role in work performance but they do not guarantee to maximize it.
Discuss this by citing examples from different work situations.
8. What are the psychological and cognitive deficiencies of socially disadvantaged children? Draw up
an effective educational training programme to remove these deficiencies and bring them to the main
stream of school children.