Chapter 8: Psychology and Life

List of Questions and Answers

1.Explain the term frustration.


  • Frustration is a consequence of aggression, i.e. an emotional state that arises when a person is prevented from reaching a goal, or attaining an object that s/he wants.
  • The person may be very close to the goal, and yet does not attain it.
  • It has been found that people in frustrating situations show more aggression than those who are not frustrated.

2.Explain the term aggression.


  • Psychologists use the term ‘aggression’ to refer to any behaviour by one person/ persons that is intended to cause harm to another person/persons.
  • It can be demonstrated in actual action or through the use of harsh words or criticism, or even hostile feelings against others.
  • Some psychologists distinguish aggression from violence by pointing out that aggressive behaviour involves the intention to harm or injure another person.

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3.Explain discrimination in the context of poverty.


  • Discrimination refers to the behaviour that makes a distinction between the rich and the poor, favouring the rich and the advantaged over the poor and the disadvantaged.
  • This distinction is seen in matters of social interaction, education, and employment.
  • The poor or disadvantages are kept away from opportunities that are enjoyed by the rest of society.
  • Discrimination prevent the poor from improving their socio-economic condition through their own efforts, and this makes the poor even poorer.
  • Poverty and discrimination are related in such a way that discrimination becomes both a cause and a consequence of poverty.

4.Explain the term crowding.


  • Crowding to a feeling of discomfort because there are too many people or things around us, giving us the experience of physical restriction, and sometimes the lack of privacy.
  • Crowding is the person’s reaction to the presence of a large number of persons within a particular area or space.
  • When this crowd becomes large, it causes stress to individuals caught in that situation. In this sense, crowding is another example of an environmental stressor.

5.Differentiate between minimalistic perspective and instrumental perspective of human environment relationship.


Minimalistic Perspective Instrumental Perspective
The minimalist perspective assumes that the physical environment has minimal or negligible influence on human behaviour, health and wellbeing. The instrumental perspective suggests that the physical environment exists mainly for use by human beings for their comfort and well-being.
The physical environment and human beings exist as parallel components. Most of the human influences on the environment reflect the instrumental perspective.

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6.Explain minimalist perspective of human-environment relationship.

The minimalist perspective assumes that the physical environment has minimal or negligible influence on human behaviour, health and wellbeing. The physical environment and human beings exist as parallel components.

7.What is pro-environmental behaviour ?

Pro-environmental behaviour includes both actions that are meant to protect the environment from problems, and to promote a healthy environment.
Some promotive actions to protect the environment from pollution are :

  • Reducing air pollution
  • Reducing noise pollution
  • Managing disposal of garbage sensibly
  • Planting trees and ensuring their care
  • Saying 'no' to plastics in any form

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8.How does the traditional Indian view explain the human – environment relationship?

The traditional Indian view about the environment supports the spiritual perspective. Human beings recognise the interdependent relationship between themselves and the environment, i.e. human beings will exist and will be happy only as long as the environment is kept healthy and natural.
We have at least two examples of this perspective in our country, viz. the customs of the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan, and the Chipko movement in the Uttarakhand region.

9.What are the effects of noise on human behaviour?


  • Any sound that is annoying or irritating, and felt to be unpleasant is said to be noise.
  • Noise has negative effects on mental activity because it reduces concentration.
  • Exposure to noise for a long period of time may lead to hearing loss.
  • Noise for a long time, is uncomfortable, and puts people in an unpleasant mood.
  • Continued exposure to uncontrollable and annoying noise can have harmful effects on mental health.

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Q 10. Explain any three situational factors leading to aggression.


  • Among human beings aggression is mostly the result of learning rather than an expression of an inborn tendency.
  • An individuals may exhibit aggression because they have found it rewarding for example a hostile aggression allows the aggressive person to get what s/he wants.
  • Individuals also learn to be aggressive by observing others showing aggression and is called as learning through modelling.
Observing an aggressive model
  • If a child observes aggression and violence on television, s/he may start imitating that behaviour and it is said to be learning aggression through modelling.
  • Violence and aggression shown on television and the film media have a powerful influence on the viewers, especially the children.
  • Whether the violence seen on television makes a person aggressive ,it depends completely on the information obtained from situational factors.
Anger-provoking action by others
  • If a person watches a movie that shows violence, and later made to feel angry for example by insulting or threats, physical aggression, or dishonesty by another person, s/he may be more likely to show aggression than if s/he is not made to feel angry.
  • As per studies done on aggression/frustration shows that provoking the person and making her/him angry was one way of inducing frustration.

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Q 11. State any three causes of aggression.

Inborn tendency

  • Aggressiveness is an inborn tendency among human beings. Biologically, this inborn tendency may be meant for self-defence.
Physiological mechanisms
  • Aggression could also be indirectly triggered by physiological mechanisms, especially by the activation of certain parts of the brain that play a role in emotional experience.
  • A general physiological state of arousal, or feeling activated, might often be expressed in the form of aggression. An example of it is crowding, especially in hot and humid weather.
  • The way an individual is brought up often influences her/his aggressiveness.
  • For example, children whose parents use physical punishment end up becoming more aggressive than children whose parents use other disciplinary techniques.
  • Physical punishment makes the child angry and resentful; as the child grows up, s/he expresses this anger through aggressive behaviour.

Q 12. Explain the major consequences of crowding.

Following are the major consequences of crowding:

  • Crowding and high density may lead to abnormal behaviour and aggression.A study was conducted on rats that proved about it.These animals were placed in an enclosure, initially in small numbers. As their population increased within this enclosed space, they started showing aggressive and unusual behaviour, such as biting the tails of other rats. The aggressive behaviour increased so much that the animals died in large numbers.Same behaviour can be seen among human beings where in such condition it can lead to a lot of violence.
  • Crowding leads to lowered performance on difficult tasks that involve cognitive processes, and has adverse effects on memory and the emotional state.
  • Children growing up in very crowded households show lower academic performance. They also show a weaker tendency to continue working on a task if they are unsuccessful at it, compared to children growing up in non-crowded households.
  • The nature of social interaction determines the degree to which an individual will react to crowding. For example, if the interaction is on a happy social occasion, like party or public celebration, the presence of a large number of persons may cause no stress at all. Rather, it may lead to positive emotional reactions. At the same time, crowding, also influences the nature of social interaction.
  • Personal space, or the comfortable physical space one generally likes to maintain around oneself, is affected by a high density environment. In a crowded context, there is a restriction on personal space, and this can also be a cause of negative reactions to crowding.

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Q 13. Ecological environment influences our occupation, living style and attitudes.Justify.


  • The environment of a region determines whether people living in that region rely on agriculture, or on other occupations such as hunting and gathering, or on industries.
  • Occupation decides the lifestyle and attitudes of the people staying in that region.
  • People who depend on agriculture as their occupation has to depend on the collective efforts of its members and hence members of an agricultural society develop an attitude of cooperativeness, and consider group interests more important than the individual’s wishes.
  • They are also closer to nature, more dependent on natural events such as the monsoon, and may face situations in which necessary natural resources such as water are in limited supply.
  • People dependent on industries for their occupation are less close to the society,they have independent thinking,develop an attitude of competitiveness and less dependent on nature.

Q 14. "Poverty begets poverty".Justify the statement.

The poverty cycle is another important cause of poverty that explains why poverty tends to continue among the same sections of society and hence it is said that poverty begets poverty.
Starting with a low income and lack of resources, the poor go through low health and nutrition, lack of education, and lack of skills.This leads to low employment opportunities, which, in turn, continue their low income condition, and low health and nutrition status. The resulting lowered motivational level only makes the situation worse; the cycle starts and continues again.

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Q 15. Suggest three strategies for reducing aggression and violence.

Following are the strategies suggested for reducing aggression and violence:

  • Parents and teachers should be more careful not to encourage or reward aggression in any form. The use of punishment to bring about discipline also needs to be changed.
  • Opportunities to observe and imitate the behaviour of aggressive models should be reduced drastically. Portraying aggression as heroic behaviour should be particularly avoided, because this may set the stage for learning through observation.
  • Poverty and social injustice may be a prominent cause of aggression, because they can cause frustration in certain sections of society. Implementing social justice and equality in society may help in reducing frustration levels and thereby curb aggressive tendencies at least to some extent.

Q 16.State promotive actions to protect the environment from pollution.

Some promotive actions to protect the environment from pollution are :

  • Reducing air pollution by keeping vehicles in good condition, or changing to non-fuel driven vehicles, stopping the practice of smoking.
  • Reducing noise pollution by ensuring that noise levels are low, for example, discouraging needless honking on the road, or making rules regarding noisy music at certain hours.
  • Managing disposal of garbage sensibly, for example, by encouraging separation of biodegradable garbage from nonbiodegradable waste, or composting of kitchen waste. Special attention has to be paid to the management of industrial and hospital waste.
  • Planting trees and ensuring their care, keeping in mind that those plants and trees should not be planted that have adverse health effects.
  • Saying 'no' to plastics in any form, thus reducing toxic wastes that pollute water, air and the soil.
  • Reducing the non-biodegradable packaging of consumer goods.
  • Laws related to construction (especially in urban areas)that violate optimal environmental design

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Q 17.How does spiritual perspective explain human-environment relationship?


  • The spiritual perspective refers to the view of the environment as something to be respected and valued rather than exploited.
  • It implies that human beings recognise the interdependent relationship between themselves and the environment, i.e. human beings will exist and will be happy only as long as the environment is kept healthy and natural.
  • The traditional Indian view about the environment supports the spiritual perspective.There are two examples that practice this and they are Bishnoi community of Rajasthan, and the Chipko movement in the Uttarakhand region.

Q 18.Suggest any THREE strategies for poverty alleviation?

Following are the strategies taken for poverty alleviation:

  • Breaking the poverty cycle, and helping the poor to attain self-sufficiency i.e. by giving financial relief, medical and other facilities.It also has to make sure that this help of financial and other things does not make the poor dependent on these sources for their livelihood.
  • Creating a context for making the poor take responsibility instead of blame for their poverty. This step will help them to regain a sense of hope, control and identity.
  • Providing educational and employment opportunities, following the principles of social justice that will the poor people to discover their own abilities and skills and also reduce crime and violence by reducing frustration, and by encouraging the poor to earn their livelihood through legal rather than illegal means.

Q 19.Explain the impact of television viewing on children.


  • Television provides a large amount of infotainment and in the visual mode it became a powerful medium of instruction.
  • As the programmes are attractive, children spend huge amounts of time watching them.The consequence of spending a lot of time in front of television reduces their habit of reading and writing, and also their outdoor activities such as playing.
  • Television watching affects children’s ability to concentrate on one target, their creativity and ability to understand, and also their social interactions.
  • Watching violent and aggressive shows on television children tend to imitate them.

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