NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Ch 1 What is Psychology 

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Review Questions

1. What is behaviour? Give examples of overt and covert behaviour.


Behaviours are responses or reactions we make or activities we engage in.
Examples of overt behaviour:
→ Blinking of eyes when a something is hurled at a person.
→ Withdrawing the hand immediately after touching a hot pan.
Examples of covert behaviour:
→ The  twitching of hand muscles while playing a game of chess.
→ Pounding of heart during an interview.

2. How can you distinguish scientific psychology from the popular notions about the discipline of psychology?


Scientific psychology
Popular notion about psychology
It is based on scientific study of psychological phenomenon.
It uses common-sense knowledge to understand behaviour.
It explains the psychological phenomenon systematically on the basis of empirical data.
It explains the phenomenon on the basis of experiences, sayings or beliefs.
It studies the patterns of behaviour that can be predicted before they occur.
It explains events in hindsight after they occur.

3. Give a brief account of the evolution of psychology.


Modern psychology grew out of ancient philosophy concerned with questions of psychological significance. The formal beginning of modern psychology is traced back to 1879 when the first experimental laboratory was established in Leipzig, Germany by Wilhelm Wundt.

• The initial approach to study psychology was based on introspection or structuralism in which the individuals were asked to describe their experiences.

• It was followed by functionalism that studied the working of the mind and the impact of behaviour upon people’s interaction with their environment.

• Gestalt psychology emerged as a reaction to structuralism in the early 20th century and focused on the organisation of the perceptual experiences.

• Another reaction was the development of behaviourism that studied behaviour or responses in a measurable and objective form.

• This was followed by psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud that viewed human behaviour as a dynamic manifestation of unconscious desires, conflicts and their gratification.

• In contrast, the humanistic perspective emphasised the free will of human beings and their natural striving to grow and unfold their inner potential.

• Further, Cognitive perspective was a combination ofGestalt approach and structuralismand focused on how an individual perceived the world.

• Later, Constructivism viewed human beings as activelyconstructing their minds through the exploration of physical and the social world.

• It was followed by Vygotsky’s view that human mind develops through social and cultural processes in which the mind is perceived as culturally constructed by joint interaction between children and adults.

Therefore, the evolution of psychology passed through various stages and levels. Starting from the roots of philosophy, it took a new direction and included numerous theories of structuralism, functionalism, behaviourism, constructivism, etc. However, in contemporary era the discipline of psychology has grown into a scientific discipline, which deals with various processes underlying human experiences and behaviours.

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4. What are the problems for which collaboration of psychologists with other disciplines can be fruitful? Take any two problems to explain.


The problems for which collaboration of psychologists with other disciplines can be fruitful are:

→ In Medical science, Doctors have realised that the maxim, healthy body requires a healthy mind. A large number of hospitals now employ psychologists. The role of psychologists in preventing people from engaging in health hazardous behaviours and in adhering to the prescribed doctors’ regimen. While treating patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, and the physically challenged have also felt the need for psychological counselling.

→ In Engineering, it is necessary for an architecture to satisfy her/his clients by providing mental and physical space through her design and satisfy aesthetically. Engineers must also take into account human habits in their plans for safety, for example, on streets and highways. Psychological knowledge helps in a big way in designing of all mechanical devices and displays.

5. Differentiate between (a) a psychologist and a psychiatrist (b) a counsellor and a clinical psychologist.


A psychologist deals with the psychological phenomenon. A psychiatrist deals with serious mental problems.
His/her main work is research in psychology and formulation of psychological conclusions that are derived on the basis of data. A psychiatrist studies the causes, treatment and prevention of psychological disorders.
A psychologist does not hold a medical degree and is mainly into academic and research fields. A psychiatrist holds a medical degree and he/she can use medical treatment to cure the patients.

Clinical Psychologist
A counsellor deals with the causes, treatment and prevention of different types of psychological disorders, which are related to motivational and emotional problems. A clinical psychologist provides therapy for behavioural problems, which are related to mental disorders.
Counsellors help people in vocational rehabilitation programmes, making professional choices and adjusting to new situations in life. Clinical psychologists conduct interviews and administer psychological tests to diagnose various problems.
A counsellor deals with different types of psychological disorders in everyday life of the patient. A clinical psychologist deals with specific and complicated psychological disorders

6. Describe some of the areas of everyday life where understanding of psychology can be put to practice.


Some of the areas of everyday life where understanding of psychology can be put to practice are:

→ Psychology helps to understand various personal problems like family, marriage and work sphere and also helps to deal with larger problems related to community, society, national or international.

→ Psychology enables an individual to understand oneself in a balanced and positive way without being reactionary, in order to deal with everyday challenges and meet with personal expectations.

→ It also suggest solutions to a variety of problems related to children, adolescents, adults and the elderly people.

→ It also helps in analysing vital social problems relating to social change and development, population,  poverty, interpersonal or intergroup violence, and environmental  degradation.

→ Psychological principles helps to develop good habits of study for improving your learning and memory, and for solving your personal and interpersonal problems by using appropriate decision- making strategies.

7. How can knowledge of the field of environmental psychology be used to promote environment friendly behaviour?


The knowledge of the field of environmental psychology used to promote environment friendly behaviour because:

→ It studies the interaction of physical factors such as temperature, humidity, pollution, and natural disasters on human behaviour.

→ It investigates the influence of physical arrangement of the workplace on health, the emotional state, and interpersonal relations.

→ It also research the topics like disposal of waste, population explosion, conservation of energy, efficient use of community resources are associated with and are functions of human behaviour.

8. In terms of helping solve an important social problem such as crime, which branch of psychology do you think is most suitable. Identify the field and discuss the concerns of the psychologists working in this field.


Social psychology is most suitable branch for the purpose of solving social problems like crime.
It explores the thought process of people and their influence upon others and evaluates the impact of social environment upon the actions of an individual.
Social psychologists are concerned with topics like attitudes, conformity and obedience to authority, interpersonal attraction, helpful behaviour, prejudice, aggression, social motivation and inter-group relations.

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