UPSC IAS Exam 2015 – Psychology (Optional) Question Paper II

The Civil Services Mains 2015 Exam – Psychology Paper II (Optional) was held on 23rd December 2015. Here, we have provided IAS Main Psychology Paper II in linear format:

The Civil Services IAS Exam 2015 was commenced from 18th December 2015 and 23rd December 2015 was the day for the exam of Optional papers. The respective two optional papers, Paper I and Paper II were conducted in morning and afternoon sessions on the same day.

The Psychology (Optional) Question Paper II of UPSC IAS Main Exam 2015 carried total 250 marks and time duration was limited to 3 hours. A candidate has to attempt five questions out of eight questions in which Question number 1 and 5 were compulsory and out of the remaining questions, three were to be attempted choosing at least one from each section.


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

(a) What is the phenomenon of 'group think’? How can it influence the quality of group decision making?

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(b) How are indigenous knowledge system related to environmental degradation? Mention some psychological processes underlying environmental attitudes and values.

(c) Discuss some strategies for dealing with academic underachievement in Indian school.

(d) What role can psychologists play in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programmes in relation to terminal illness such as coronary heart disease and cancer?

(e) Socioeconomic and educational disadvantages have been viewed from ‘deficit’ as well as ‘difference’ perspectives. Citing examples of each approach, discuss the difference between the two and their implications.

2. (a) Does the notion of self-fulfilling prophecy relating to achievement satisfactorily explain gender difference in achievement?    15

(b) Critically evaluate the relationship between economic growth and human well being in the light of contemporary research on happiness.   15

(c) What is the relationship that has been found between need for achievement, need for affiliation and need for power with economic development? Discuss the relevance of these findings in the context ofIndian society.   20

3. (a) Do you think that efficacy of personnel selection can be improved by using multiple methods?     15

(b) Elucidate the learning principles underlying behaviour therapies. Examine the relative efficacy of cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy in helping students overcome social anxiety.     15

(c) Why do teaching-1earning processes in Indian classrooms tend to be teacher centred? If knowledge is viewed as a constructive process, what kind of classroom would be suitable for rural Indian schools?      20

4. (a) Indian soldiers defend the country in extreme and, at times hostile physical environments. What kind of psychological problems are they likely to experience?      15

(b) What specific role can psychologists play in the management and rehabilitation of persons suffering from HIV/AIDS?      15

(c) According to Social Identity Theory, social categorization and differentiation processes are implicated in the intergroup conflict. Evaluate the theory against available evidence.           20


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

(a) To what extent would you agree that human resources development is more about inculcation of human values and less about development of competencies?

(b) Discuss the psychological mechanisms by which television viewing affects aggression and consumer behaviour in children.

(c) How can ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ help in fostering holistic health? Support your answer with research evidence.

(d) Substance abuse is a growing phenomenon among Indian youths. Discuss the psychological causes of and intervention measures for substance abuse.

6. (a) Indian defence personnel tend to experience depression, sometimes leading to suicides. What type of psychological interventions can foster positive mental health in them?      15

(b) “Glass ceiling effects in organizations are rooted in socialization and family.” Discuss with reference to the psychological bases of gender role development.         15

(c) It has been found that cultural factors can be used to facilitate social change. What cultural factors can be made use of, and how, in making a success of the governmental programme called “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan”?           20

7. (a) Religious violence in India has shown only a marginal decline over the years. What social and psychological factors explain it the most?         15

(b) How is population growth in India affected by psychological processes of attribution, and beliefs and values? Discuss possible implication educations of these processes for population education in India.         15

(c) How will you go about constructing a test for assessing aptitude for Civil Services? Discuss the details.         20

8. (a) What are the some important ethical principles that psychologists must adhere to while making use of psychological tests?         15

(b) Psychologists have recently identified a disorder which they term ‘internet-addiction’. What are its presenting features? How can those sufferings from this addiction be helped?         15

(c) Tribal children in India are disadvantaged partly because of the neglect of their language and culture in education. How can education for tribal children be reformed to deal with such disadvantage?     20


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