UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Psychology Optional 2018 Paper-I
Baljit Dhaka
hcs prelims testseries image
hcs prelims mains testseries image
HCS Mains test series

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Psychology Optional 2018 Paper-I

Validity: 9 Months
What you will get
Course Highlights
  • Based on latest Pattern
  • English Medium eBooks
Click to Bookmark

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Psychology Optional 2018 Paper-I

Marks-250                                                                                                                                        Time: Three Hours

Question Paper Specific Instructions:

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • There are EIGHT questions divided into two sections.
  • A candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Questions no 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • The number of marks carried by a question /part is indicated against it.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.


1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each:10x5=50 marks

(a) Discuss how psychology can be applied in solving the problem of global climate change. 10 marks

(b) "Human memory is not like information stored in a tape recorder or compact disc." Critically evaluate the statement. 10 marks

(c) According to Piaget, the egocentric preschooler is not intentionally 'inconsiderate' but rather has difficulty taking another's viewpoint. Explain. 10 marks

(d) Explain and critically evaluate the phenomenon of perceptual defense. 10 marks

(e) Examine how probability learning is different from other types of learning Give examples. 10 marks

2. (a) Perception is plastic. However, it may also be affected by innate tendencies. Critically evaluate. 20 marks

(b) How have neuroscientists and evolutionary scientists contributed to modern psychology? 15 marks

(c) Demonstrate the importance of the shallow and deep levels of processing in remembering. With the help of daily life examples, explain how retrieval cues enable us to remember. 15 marks

3. (a) Why is the principle of random assignment of participants used in experimental method? How do experimenter effects and demand characteristics influence participants' behaviour in experimentation? What procedures can be adopted to minimize such pitfalls? 20 marks

(b) Differentiate between positive and negative types of reinforcement and punishment. Describe how these could be applied to enforce putting on the seat belts while driving. 15 marks

(c) Differentiate between various developmental tasks of young men and women in India. 15 marks

4. (a) What are the assumptions underlying ANOVA? Discuss the conditions when two-way ANOVA is applied and how the results are interpreted with a hypothetical example. 20 marks

(b) Discuss signal detection theory and explain its applications. 15 marks

(c) How can different methods of sampling and data collection be useful in impact evaluation of government social schemes? Describe with a suitable example. 15 marks


5. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks

(a) Explain the use of availability heuristic and representativeness heuristic in problem-solving with the help of research studies.  10 marks

(b) Do you think being in a good mood reduces your capacity to process incoming information? Examine-in the light of research studies.  10 marks

(c) According to Bandura, human beings often demonstrate impressive capacity for the self-regulation of their own behaviour. Evaluate.  10 marks

(d) In what way can dissonance be an effective means for changing attitudes and behaviour. 10 marks

(e) Explain various limitations of verbal communication. 10 marks

6. (a) Compare the trait perspective and humanistic perspective on personality. 20 marks

(b) "Creativity refers to novel ideas that address some problems in a useful way." Critically examine the statement and discuss how creative insight can be explained. 15 marks

(c) Is sleep a passive process? Justify your answer with proper scientific support. 15 marks

7. (a) Describe the structure and features of language focussing on what makes human language unique in comparison to communication in animals. 20 marks

(b) Discuss contemporary researches on simulating human intelligence using machines and their implications for understanding human behavior. 15 marks

(c) Discuss the significance and correlates of values. Comment on the impact of social media on values. 15 marks

8. (a) Describe how J. P. Das' theory is distinct from other theories of intelligence. 20 marks

(b) Explain the concepts of self-serving bias and fundamental attribution error. How do they affect problem-solving? 15 marks

(c) Are emotionally competent people internally controlled? Explain. What are the ways to enhance intrinsic motivation of young adults? 15 marks