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Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus for Psychology

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CBSE has revised the pattern and scheme of the exam from July 2018. The pattern of the exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). There are no changes in the pattern of paper 1, but paper 2 & paper 3 has been merged into One paper.


Hence, there will be only one question paper in CBSE UGC NET Exam in Psychology, called Paper 2. Paper 2 (Paper II) will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. All questions are compulsory in the papers. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true / false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

For CBSE UGC NET aspirants, we have merged the entire Syllabi of Paper II and Paper III of the subject of Psychology.



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Unit – I
Perceptual Processes
Approaches to the Study of Perception: Gestalt and physiological approaches.
Perceptual Organization: Gestalt, Figure and Ground, Laws of Organization.
Perceptual Constancy: Size, Shape and Brightness, Illusion; Perception of Depth and Movements.
Role of motivation and learning in perception.

Unit – II
Learning Process
Classical conditioning: Procedure, Phenomena and related issues.
Instrumental learning: Phenomena, Paradigms and theoretical issues.
Reinforcement: Basic variables and schedules.
Verbal learning: Methods and materials, organizational processes.

Unit – III
Memory and forgetting
Memory Processes: Encoding, Storage, Retrieval.
Stages of Memory: Sensory memory, Short – term Memory (STM) and Long – term Memory (LTM).
Episodic and Semantic memory.
Theories of Forgetting: Interference, decay, retrieval.

Unit – IV
Thinking and Problem Solving
Theories of thought processes: Associationism, Gestalt, Information processing.
Concept formation: Rules and strategies.
Reasoning: Deductive and inductive.
Problem – Solving: Type and strategies.
Role of concepts in thinking.

Unit – V
Motivation and Emotion
Basic Motivational Concepts: Instincts, needs, drives, incentives, motivational cycle.
Approaches to the Study of Motivation: Psychoanalytical, ethological, S – R Cognitive, humanistic.
Biological Motives: Hunger, thirst, sleep and sex.
Social Motives: Achievement, affiliation, approval
Exploratory behaviour and curiosity
Physiological correlates of emotions.
Theories of emotions: James – Lange, Canon – Bard, Schachter and Singer.
Conflicts: Sources and types.

Unit – VI
Human Abilities
Intelligence: Biological, Social, Eco – cultural determinants.
Theories of intelligence: Spearman, Thurston, Guilford.
Individual and group differences : Extent and causes.
Measurement of human abilities.

Unit – VII
Determinants of personality: Biological and socio – cultural.
Approaches to the study of personality: Psychoanalytic, neo – freudian, social learning, trait and type, cognitive.
Personality Assessment: Psychometric and projective tests.
Self – Concept: Origin and development.

Unit – VIII
Research Methodology
Research problems, hypothesis, variables and their operationalization
Types of psychological research.
Methods of Psychological Research: Experimental, Quasi – experimental, case studies, field studies and cross – cultural studies.
Methods of data collection: Observation, interview, questionnaire, tests and scales. Non – parametric tests

Unit – IX
Measurement and Testing
Test Construction: Item writing, item analysis.
Test Standardization: Reliability, validity and norms.
Types of Tests: Intelligence, aptitude, personality – characteristics and important examples.
Attitude scales and interest inventories.
Educational measurement and evaluation.

Unit – X
Biological Basis of Behaviour
Receptors, effectors and adjuster mechanisms.
Neural impulse: Origin, conduction and measurement.
Sensory system: Vision and Audition.
Human nervous system: Structure and functions.

Unit – XI
Signal detection theory, subliminal perception and related factors, information processing approach to perception, culture and perception, perceptual styles. Ecological perspective on perception.

Unit – XII
Learning theories: Hull, Tolman, Skinner.
Cognitive approaches in learning: Latent learning, observational learning.
Experimental analysis of behaviour: Behaviour modification, shaping Discrimination learning.
Neurophysiology of learning.

Unit – XIII
Models of memory: Atkinson and Shiffrin, Craik and Lockhart, Tulving.
Semantic memory: Episodic, trace model and network model.
Long – term memory: Retrieval cues, flashbulb memory, constructive processes in memory, eyewitness testimony, autobiographical memory.
Biological basis of memory: The search for the engram, PET scan, and biochemical factors in memory.
Improving memory: Strategies.

Unit – XIV
Cognitive Strategies: Algorhythms and heuristics.
Convergent and divergent thinking.
Decision – making; impediments to problem – solving.
Creative thinking and problem – solving.
Language and thought.

Unit – XV
Historical antecedents of motivation from Mechanism to Cognition.
Cognitive bases of motivation: Intrinsic motivation, Attribution, Competence.
Measurement of motives: Issues and techniques.
Cross – cultural perspectives of motivation: Achievement, Aggression.
Components of Emotion: Physiological, expressive and cognitive.
Neural mechanism of emotion: Central and peripheral.
Measurent of Emotions: Physiological, expressive and cognitive measures.
Current theories of emotions and facial feedback hypothesis.
Stress and coping: Reactions to stress, outcomes of stress.

Unit – XVI
Theories of intelligence : Cattell, Jensen, Sternberg Goleman.
Creativity: Views of Torrance, Getzels, Guilford.
Intelligence and creativity: Relationship.
Abilities and achievement: Concept and role of emotional intelligence.

Unit – XVII
Clinical and growth approaches to personality.
Existential and humanistic theories of personality: Frankl, Rollo May, Maslow, Rogers.
Personality assessment: Projective, psychometric and behavioural measures.
Psychology of self: Western and Eastern perspectives, measurement of self.

Unit – XVIII
Research designs: Correlational, factorial, randomized block, matched group, quasi – experimental, time series design.
ANOVA: Randomized and repeated.
Correlational analysis: Partial, multiple and regression analysis.
Factor analysis: Assumptions, methods, rotation and interpretation.

Unit – XIX
Psychological scaling: Purpose and methods.
Sources of bias in psychological testing.
Ethical issues in psychological testing.
Application of factor analysis in standardization of tests – with Important illustrations.

Unit – XX
Methods of Physiological psychology: Lesion and Brain Stimulation.
Sleep and waking: Stages of sleep, Disorders of sleep and Physiological mechanisms of sleep and waking.
Ingestive Behaviour: Drinking and its neural mechanism; hunger and its neural mechanism.
Endocrine System: Chemical and glandular.

Unit – XXI
Current trends in Social Psychology.
Social cognition.
Social influence.
Prosocial behaviour.
Applied social psychology: Health, Environment and Law.

Unit – XXII
Development processes: Nature, Principles and related.
concepts – maturity, experience factors in development : Biogenic, Psychogenic and Sociogenic
Stages of Development: Theories of Development: Psychoanalytic, Behaviouristic and cognitive.
Various aspects of development: Sensory – motor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral.

Unit – XXIII
Human development and individual differences.
Motivation and learning.
Factors in educational achievement.
Social psychology of education.
Teacher effectiveness.
Guidance in schools: Needs, organizational set up and techniques.
Counselling: Process and areas.

Unit – XXIV
Development of industrial and organizational psychology.
Selection processes in organization.
Organizational training.
Performance appraisal.
Motivation and work.
Work environment.
Organizational behaviour: Theories, socialization, effectiveness.

Unit – XXV
Psychopathology: Concepts, classification and causes: clinical diagnostics.
Common clinical disorders.
Mental Retardation.
Mental Health: Intervention models and psychotherapies.


Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus of Psychology (PDF)


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