NET Psychology Syllabus

1. Emergence of Psychology

Psychological thought in some major Eastern Systems: Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Sufism, and Integral Yoga. Academic psychology in India: Pre-independence era; post-independence era; 1970s: The move to addressing social issues; 1980s: Indigenization; 1990s: Paradigmatic concerns, disciplinary identity crisis; 2000s: Emergence of Indian psychology in academia. Issues: The colonial encounter; Postcolonialism and psychology; Lack of distinct disciplinary identity.
Western: Greek heritage, the medieval period and the modern period. Structuralism, Functionalism, Psychoanalytical, Gestalt, Behaviorism, Humanistic-Existential, Transpersonal, Cognitive revolution, Multiculturalism. Four founding paths of academic psychology – Wundt, Freud, James, Dilthey. Issues: Crisis in psychology due to strict adherence to the experimental-analytical paradigm (logical empiricism). Indic influences on modern psychology.
Essential aspects of knowledge paradigms: Ontology, epistemology, and methodology. Paradigms of Western Psychology: Positivism, Post-Positivism, Critical perspective, Social Constructionism, Existential Phenomenology, and Co-operative Enquiry. Paradigmatic Controversies. Significant Indian paradigms on psychological knowledge: Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Sufism, and Integral Yoga. Science and spirituality (avidya and vidya). The primacy of self-knowledge in Indian psychology.

2. Research Methodology and Statistics

Research: Meaning, Purpose, and Dimensions.
Research problems, Variables, and Operational Definitions, Hypothesis, Sampling.
Ethics in conducting and reporting research
Paradigms of research: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed methods approach
Methods of research: Observation, Survey [Interview, Questionnaires], Experimental, Quasi-experimental, Field studies, Cross-Cultural Studies, Phenomenology, Grounded theory, Focus groups, Narratives, Case studies, Ethnography
Statistics in Psychology: Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion. Normal Probability Curve. Parametric [t-test] and Non-parametric tests [Sign Test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Friedman]. Power analysis. Effect size.
Correlational Analysis: Correlation [Product Moment, Rank Order], Partial correlation, multiple correlations.
Special Correlation Methods: Biserial, Point biserial, tetrachoric, phi coefficient.
Regression: Simple linear regression, Multiple regression.
Factor analysis: Assumptions, Methods, Rotation and Interpretation.
Experimental Designs: ANOVA [One-way, Factorial], Randomized Block Designs, Repeated Measures Design, Latin Square, Cohort studies, Time series, MANOVA, ANCOVA. Single-subject designs.

3. Psychological testing

Types of tests
Test construction: Item writing, item analysis
Test standardization: Reliability, validity, and Norms
Areas of testing: Intelligence, creativity, neuropsychological tests, aptitude, Personality assessment, interest inventories
Attitude scales – Semantic differential, Staples, Likert scale.
Computer-based psychological testing
Applications of psychological testing in various settings: Clinical, Organizational, and business, Education, Counseling, Military. Career guidance.

4. The biological basis of behavior

Sensory systems: General and specific sensations, receptors and processes
Neurons: Structure, functions, types, neural impulse, synaptic transmission. Neurotransmitters.
The Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems – Structure and functions. Neuroplasticity.
Methods of Physiological Psychology: Invasive methods – Anatomical methods, degeneration techniques, lesion techniques, chemical methods, microelectrode studies. Non-invasive methods – EEG, Scanning methods.
Muscular and Glandular system: Types and functions
The biological basis of Motivation: Hunger, Thirst, Sleep, and Sex.
The biological basis of emotion: The Limbic system, Hormonal regulation of behavior.
Genetics and behavior: Chromosomal anomalies; Nature-Nurture controversy [Twin studies and adoption studies]

5. Attention, Perception, Learning, Memory, and Forgetting

Attention: Forms of attention, Models of attention
Perception:
Approaches to the Study of Perception: Gestalt and physiological approaches
Perceptual Organization: Gestalt, Figure and Ground, Law of Organization
Perceptual Constancy: Size, Shape, and Color; Illusions
Perception of Form, Depth, and Movement
Role of motivation and learning in perception
Signal detection theory: Assumptions and applications
Subliminal perception and related factors, information processing approach to perception, culture and perception, perceptual styles, Pattern recognition, Ecological perspective on perception.
Learning Process:
Fundamental theories: Thorndike, Guthrie, Hull
Classical Conditioning: Procedure, phenomena, and related issues
Instrumental learning: Phenomena, Paradigms and theoretical issues; Reinforcement: Basic variables and schedules; Behaviour modification and its applications
Cognitive approaches in learning: Latent learning, observational learning.
Verbal learning and Discrimination learning
Recent trends in learning: Neurophysiology of learning
Memory and Forgetting
Memory processes: Encoding, Storage, Retrieval
Stages of memory: Sensory memory, Short-term memory (Working memory), Long-term Memory (Declarative – Episodic and Semantic; Procedural)
Theories of Forgetting: Interference, Retrieval Failure, Decay, Motivated forgetting

6. Thinking, Intelligence and Creativity

Theoretical perspectives on thought processes: Associationism, Gestalt, Information processing, Feature integration model
Concept formation: Rules, Types, and Strategies; Role of concepts in thinking Types of Reasoning
Language and thought
Problem-solving: Type, Strategies, and Obstacles
Decision-making: Types and models
Metacognition: Metacognitive knowledge and Metacognitive regulation
Intelligence: Spearman; Thurstone; Jensen; Cattell; Gardner; Stenberg; Goleman; Das, Kar & Parrila
Creativity: Torrance, Getzels & Jackson, Guilford, Wallach & Kogan
Relationship between Intelligence and Creativity

7. Personality, Motivation, emotion, stress, and coping

Determinants of personality: Biological and socio-cultural
Approaches to the study of personality: Psychoanalytical, Neo-Freudian, Social learning, Trait and Type, Cognitive, Humanistic, Existential, Transpersonal psychology.
Other theories: Rotters Locus of Control, Seligmans Explanatory styles, Kohlbergs theory of Moral development.
Basic motivational concepts: Instincts, Needs, Drives, Arousal, Incentives, Motivational Cycle.
Approaches to the study of motivation: Psychoanalytical, Ethological, S-R Cognitive, Humanistic
Exploratory behavior and curiosity
Zuckermans Sensation seeking
Achievement, Affiliation, and Power
Motivational Competence
Self-regulation
Flow
Emotions: Physiological correlates
Theories of emotions: James-Lange, Canon-Bard, Schachter and Singer, Lazarus, Lindsley.
Emotion regulation
Conflicts: Sources and types
Stress and Coping: Concept, Models, Type A, B, C, D behaviors, Stress management strategies [Biofeedback, Music therapy, Breathing exercises, Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Guided Imagery, Mindfulness, Meditation, Yogasana, Stress Inoculation Training].

8. Social Psychology

Nature, scope, and history of social psychology
Traditional theoretical perspectives: Field theory, Cognitive Dissonance, Sociobiology, Psychodynamic Approaches, Social Cognition.
Social perception [Communication, Attributions]; attitude and its change within a cultural context; prosocial behavior
Group and Social influence [Social Facilitation; Social loafing]; Social influence [Conformity, Peer Pressure, Persuasion, Compliance, Obedience, Social Power, Reactance]. Aggression. Group dynamics, leadership style, and effectiveness. Theories of intergroup relations [Minimal Group Experiment and Social Identity Theory, Relative Deprivation Theory, Realistic Conflict Theory, Balance Theories, Equity Theory, Social Exchange Theory]
Applied social psychology: Health, Environment, and Law; Personal space, crowding, and territoriality.


9. Human Development and Interventions

Developmental processes: Nature, Principles, Factors in development, Stages of Development. Successful aging.
Theories of development: Psychoanalytical, Behavioristic, and Cognitive
Various aspects of development: Sensory-motor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral.
Psychopathology: Concept, Mental Status Examination, Classification, Causes
Psychotherapies: Psychoanalysis, Person-centered, Gestalt, Existential, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Behavior therapy, REBT, CBT, MBCT, Play therapy, Positive psychotherapy, Transactional Analysis, Dialectic behavior therapy, Art therapy, Performing Art Therapy, Family therapy.
Applications of theories of motivation and learning in School
Factors in educational achievement
Teacher effectiveness
Guidance in schools: Needs, organizational setup and techniques
Counseling: Process, skills, and techniques

10. Emerging Areas
 
Issues of Gender, Poverty, Disability, and Migration: Cultural bias and discrimination. Stigma, Marginalization, and Social Suffering; Child Abuse and Domestic violence.
Peace psychology: Violence, non-violence, conflict resolution at the macro level, the role of media in conflict resolution.
Wellbeing and self-growth: Types of wellbeing [Hedonic and Eudemonic], Character strengths, Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth.
Health: Health-promoting and health-compromising behaviors, Lifestyle and Chronic diseases [Diabetes, Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease], Psychoneuroimmunology [Cancer, HIV/AIDS]
Psychology and technology interface: Digital learning; Digital etiquette: Cyberbullying; Cyber pornography: Consumption, implications; Parental mediation of Digital Usage

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