Psychology Important 4 marks Questions and Answers Class 12

List of Questions and Answers

Q 1. Explain somatoform disorders.
(Chapter 4:Psychological Disorders)

In somatoform disorders, the individual has psychological difficulties and complains of physical symptoms, for which there is no biological cause i.e absence of a physical disease.
Somatoform disorders include
Pain disorders

  • It involves reports of extreme and incapacitating pain, that are without any identifiable biological symptoms or greatly in excess of what might be expected to accompany biological symptoms.
  • Some people handle pain by remaining active and ignoring the pain. Others engage in passive coping, which leads to reduced activity and social withdrawal.
Somatisation disorders
  • Patients with somatisation has multiple recurrent chronic bodily complaints.
  • These complaints are likely to be presented in a dramatic and exaggerated way.
  • Common complaints are headaches, fatigue, heart palpitations, fainting spells, vomiting, and allergies.
  • Patients with this disorder believe that they are sick, provide long and detailed histories of their illness, and take large quantities of medicine.
Conversion disorders
  • Patients with conversion disorder mainly report loss of part or all of some basic body functions.
  • Paralysis, blindness, deafness and difficulty in walking are generally among the symptoms reported.
  • Patients with hypochondriasis disorder has a persistent belief that s/he has a serious illness, despite medical reassurance, lack of physical findings, and failure to develop the disease.
  • Hypochondriacs have an obsessive preoccupation and concern with the condition of their bodily organs, and they continually worry about their health.

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Q 2. Describe any two elements of group structure.
(Chapter 7: Social Influence and Group Processes)


  • Roles are socially defined expectations that individuals in a given situation are expected to fulfil.
  • Roles refer to the typical behaviour that depicts a person in a given social context.
  • In a role of a son or a daughter there are certain role expectations when in that role.
  • An example is , as a daughter or a son, you are expected to respect elders, listen to them, and be responsible towards your studies.
  • Norms are expected standards of behaviour and beliefs established, agreed upon, and enforced by group members.
  • They may be considered as a group's "unspoken rules".
  • In your family, there are norms that guide the behaviour of family members.
  • These norms represent shared ways of viewing the world.

Q 3. Differentiate between substance dependence and substance abuse.
(Chapter 4:Psychological Disorders)


Substance Dependence Substance Abuse
In substance dependence, there is an intense craving for the substance to which the person is addicted, and the person shows tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and compulsive drug-taking. In substance abuse, there are recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the use of substances.
A substance that has the ability to change an individual’s consciousness, mood and thinking processes. People who regularly ingest drugs damage their family and social relationships, perform poorly at work, and create physical hazards.

Q 4. Explain the behavioural approach to study personality.
(Chapter 2 : Self and Personality)


  • Behavioural approach mainly believes in data, which they feel are definable, observable, and measurable.
  • They focus on learning of stimulus-response connections and their reinforcement.
  • As per behavioural approach a person learns new behaviours in response to new environments and stimuli.
  • The structural unit of personality is the response. Each response is a behaviour, which is emitted to satisfy a specific need. As you know, all of us eat because of hunger, but we are also very choosy about foods.
  • The core tendency that organises behaviour is the reduction of biological or social needs that energise behaviour.
For example, children do not like eating many of the vegetables, but later they learn to eat them. According to the behavioural approach, children may initially learn to eat such vegetables just to please their parents. Later on they they learn to eat not to please their parents, but to get the taste of those vegetables.

Q 5. How is behaviour therapy used to treat phobia?
(Chapter 5: Therapeutic Approaches)


  • Behaviour therapy focuses on behaviour and thoughts of the client in the present.
  • The past is relevant only to the extent of understanding the origins of the faulty behaviour and thought patterns.
  • Behaviour therapy consists of a large set of specific techniques and interventions.
  • Treatment of phobias or excessive and crippling fears would require the use of one set of techniques while that of anger outbursts would require another.
  • A depressed client would be treated differently from a client who is anxious.
  • Behavioural analysis is conducted to find malfunctioning behaviours, the antecedents of faulty learning, and the factors that maintain or continue faulty learning.

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Q 5. What are defence mechanisms? Explain.
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)

Defence mechanism is a way of reducing anxiety by distorting reality.
Freud has described many different kinds of defence mechanisms.

  • Here the anxiety provoking behaviours or thoughts are totally dismissed by the unconscious.
  • When people repress a feeling or desire, they become totally unaware of that wish or desire.
  • When a person says, "I do not know why I did that", some repressed feelings or desire is expressing itself.
  • In projection, people attribute their own traits to others. Thus, a person who has strong aggressive tendencies may see other people as acting in an excessively aggressive way towards her/him.
  • In denial, a person totally refuses to accept reality. Thus, someone suffering from HIV/AIDS may altogether deny her/ his illness.
Reaction formation
  • In reaction formation, a person defends against anxiety by adopting behaviours opposite to her/his true feelings.
  • A person with strong sexual urges, who channels her/his energy into religious fervour, presents a classical example of reaction formation.
  • In rationalisation, a person tries to make unreasonable feelings or behaviour seem reasonable and acceptable.
  • For example, when a student buys a set of new pens after doing poorly in an examination, s/he may try to rationalise her/his behaviour by asserting, "I will do much better with these pens".

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Q 6. What is social loafing ? How can social loafing be reduced in group work?
(Chapter 7: Social Influence and Group Processes)

Individuals work less hard in a group than they do when performing alone. This is called as "social loafing".
Social loafing may be reduced by:

  • Making the efforts of each person identifiable.
  • Increasing the pressure to work hard (making group members committed to successful task performance).
  • Increasing the apparent importance or value of a task.
  • Making people feel that their individual contribution is important.
  • Strengthening group cohesiveness which increases the motivation for successful group outcome.

Q 8.What is prejudice? Write any THREE sources which lead to the development of prejudices.
(Chapter 6: Attitude and Social Cognition)

Prejudices refer to preconceived opinions or attitudes held by members of one group towards another. The word literally means "pre-judgement", that is, an opinion formed in advance of any familiarity with the subject, before considering any available evidence.
Here are the three sources that lead to the development of prejudices.

  • Prejudices can also be learned through association, reward and punishment, observing others, group or cultural norms and exposure to information that encourages prejudice.
  • The family, reference groups, personal experiences and the media may play a role in the learning of prejudices.
  • People who learn prejudiced attitudes may develop a "prejudiced personality", and show low adjusting capacity, anxiety, and feelings of hostility against the outgroup.
A strong social identity and ingroup bias
  • Individuals who have a strong sense of social identity and have a very positive attitude towards their own group boost this attitude by holding negative attitudes towards other groups. These are shown as prejudices.
  • In Scapegoating the majority group places the blame on a minority outgroup for its own social, economic or political problems.
  • The minority is too weak or too small in number to defend itself against such accusations.
  • Scapegoating is a group based way of expressing frustration, and it often results in negative attitudes or prejudice against the weaker group.

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Q 9. Explain Erikson's concept of identity crisis.
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)


  • Erikson's theory lays stress on rational, conscious ego processes in personality development.
  • In his theory, development is viewed as a lifelong process, and ego identity is granted a central place in this process.
  • Erikson argued that young people must generate for themselves a central perspective and a direction that can give them a meaningful sense of unity and purpose.
Psychodynamic theories face strong criticisms from many quarters. The major criticisms are as follows:
(1) The theories are largely based on case studies; they lack a rigorous scientific basis.
(2) They use small and atypical individuals as samples for advancing generalisations.
(3) The concepts are not properly defined, and it is difficult to submit them to scientific testing.
(4) Freud has used males as the prototype of all human personality development. He overlooked female experiences and perspectives.

Q 10. Explain humanistic approach to personality.
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)


  • Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow have particularly contributed to the development of humanistic perspective on personality.
  • Rogers believes that fulfilment is the motivating force for personality development.
  • Rogers makes two basic assumptions about human behaviour. One is that behaviour is goal-directed and worthwhile. The second is that people will almost always choose adaptive, self-actualising behaviour.
  • As the experience in his theory grew listening to patients , he noted that self was an important element in the experience of his clients.
  • Rogers suggests that each person also has a concept of ideal self. An ideal self is the self that a person would like to be. When there is a correspondence between the real self and ideal self, a person is generally happy.
  • Rogers views personality development as a continuous process. It involves learning to evaluate oneself and mastering the process of self-actualisation.
  • Maslow categorises psychologically healthy people in terms of their attainment of self-actualisation, a state in which people have reached their own fullest potential.
  • Maslow had an optimistic and positive view of man who has the potential for love, joy and to do creative work.

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Q 11. Describe Lazarus general model of stress appraisal.
(Chapter 3: Meeting Life Challenges)

Lazarus has distinguished between two types of stress appraisal, i.e. primary and secondary.
Primary appraisal refers to the perception of a new or changing environment as positive, neutral or negative in its consequences.

  • Negative events are appraised for their possible harm, threat or challenge.
  • Harm is the assessment of the damage that has already been done by an event.
  • Threat is the assessment of possible future damage that may be brought about by the event.
Secondary appraisal, refers to the assessment of one’s coping abilities and resources and whether they will be sufficient to meet the harm, threat or challenge of the event.
  • These resources may be mental, physical, personal or social.
  • If one thinks one has a positive attitude, health, skills and social support to deal with the crisis s/he will feel less stressed.
This two-level appraisal process determines not only our cognitive and behavioural responses but also our emotional and physiological responses to external events.

Q 15. Discuss the factors that influence attitude formation.
(Chapter 6: Attitude and Social Cognition)

Following are the factors that influence attitude formation.
Family and School Environment

  • In the early years of life, parents and other family members play a significant role in shaping attitude formation.
  • Later , the school environment becomes an important background for attitude formation.
  • Learning of attitudes within the family and school usually takes place by association, through rewards and punishments, and through modelling.
Reference Groups
  • Reference groups indicate to an individual learning of attitudes through group or cultural norms , also the acceptable behaviour and ways of thinking in a group.
  • Attitudes towards various topics, such as political, religious and social groups, occupations, national and other issues are often developed through reference groups.
  • The influence of reference group is noticed at the beginning of adolescence, at which time it is important for the individual to feel that they belongs to a group.
  • The role of reference groups in attitude formation may also be a case of learning through reward and punishment.
Personal Experiences
  • Many attitudes are formed through direct personal experiences which bring about a drastic change in our attitude towards people and our own life.
  • An example relating to personal experience : a driver in the army went through a personal experience that transformed his life. On one mission, he narrowly escaped death although all his companions got killed. Wondering about the purpose of his own life, he gave up his job in the army, returned to his native village in Maharashtra, and worked actively as a community leader.Through a purely personal experience this individual evolved a strong positive attitude towards community upliftment.
Media-related Influences
  • The media can exert both good and bad influences on attitudes.
  • The media and Internet make people better informed than other modes of communication. The bad thing is, that there is no check on the nature of information being gathered, and therefore no control over the attitudes that are being formed, or the direction of change in the existing attitudes.
  • The media can be used to create consumerist attitudes where none existed, and can also be harnessed to create positive attitudes to facilitate social harmony.

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Q 16. Discuss cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
(Chapter 5 : Therapeutic Approaches)


  • Research has shown that CBT to be a short and efficacious treatment for a wide range of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and borderline personality, etc.
  • CBT adopts a biopsychosocial approach to the delineation of psychopathology. It combines cognitive therapy with behavioural techniques.
  • The client’s distress has its origins in the biological, psychological, and social realms.
  • The biological aspects through relaxation procedures, the psychological ones through behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy techniques and the social ones with environmental manipulations makes CBT a comprehensive technique which is easy to use.
  • CBT is applicable to a variety of disorders, and has proven efficacy.

Q 17. Describe the relationship between attitude and behaviour with the help of suitable examples.
(Chapter 6 : Attitude and Social Cognition)

An individual’s attitudes may not always be exhibited through behaviour. Likewise, one’s actual behaviour may be contrary to one’s attitude towards a particular topic.
Example explaining the relationship between attitude and behaviour are as follows:
Example 1:>
A Chinese couple was asked to travel across the United States, and stay in different hotels. During their stay, one of the hotels refused service .Later, Psychologist LaPiere sent out questionnaires to managers of hotels and tourist homes in the same areas where the Chinese couple had travelled, asking them if they would give accommodation to Chinese guests. A very large percentage said that they would not do so.
This response showed a negative attitude towards the Chinese, which was inconsistent with the positive behaviour that was actually shown towards the travelling Chinese couple. Thus, attitudes may not always predict actual pattern of one’s behaviour.
Example 2: Sometimes, behaviour also decides the attitude. A experiment showed students who got only one dollar for telling others that the experiment was interesting, discovered that they liked the experiment. That is, on the basis of their behaviour (telling others that the experiment was interesting, for only a small amount of money), they concluded that their attitude towards the experiment was positive.

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Q 18. Explain the reasons for intergroup conflict.
(Chapter 7: Social Influence and Group Processes)

Mentioned below are some of the major reasons for group conflicts:

  • One major reason is lack of communication and faulty communication among parties which leads to suspicion, lack of trust.
  • Comparison of one group members with other group members, and having a feeling that they are not doing well in comparison to other groups.These leads to feelings of deprivation and discontentment, which may trigger off conflict.
  • Another cause of conflict is one group feels superior to another group and feels that what they say should be done.
  • A feeling that the other group does not respect the norms of my group, and actually violates those norms.
  • Desire for retaliation for some harm done in the past could be another reason for conflict.
  • Biased perceptions are at the root of most conflicts. As already mentioned earlier, feelings of ‘they’ and ‘we’ lead to biased perceptions.
  • In groups, people are more competitive as well as more aggressive than when they are on their own.Groups compete over scarce resources, both material resources, e.g. territory, and money as well as social resources, e.g. respect and esteem.
  • Perceived inequity is another reason for conflict i.e if you contribute more and get less, you are likely to feel irritated and exploited.

Q 19. Which disorder is the cause of distorted body image ? Explain its various forms.
(Chapter 4: Psychological Disorders)

Anorexia nervosa

  • In anorexia nervosa, the individual has a distorted body image that leads her/him to see herself/himself as overweight.
  • Often refusing to eat, exercising compulsively and developing unusual habits such as refusing to eat in front of others, the anorexic may lose large amounts of weight and even starve herself/himself to death.
The other forms of eating disorders besides Anorexia nervosa are bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.
Bulimia nervosa
  • In bulimia nervosa, the individual may eat excessive amounts of food, then purge her/ his body of food by using medicines such as laxatives or diuretics or by vomiting.
  • The person often feels disgusted and ashamed when s/he binges and is relieved of tension and negative emotions after purging.
Binge Eating
  • In binge eating, there are frequent episodes of out-of-control eating.

Q 20. Explain mental disorders from a cognitive perspective.
(Chapter 4 - Psychological Disorders)


  • The cognitive model states that abnormal functioning can result from cognitive problems.
  • People may hold assumptions and attitudes about themselves that are irrational and inaccurate.
  • People may also repeatedly think in illogical ways and make over generalisations.
  • They may draw broad, negative conclusions on the basis of a single insignificant event.

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Q 21. How does Selye's Model relate prolong stress to bodily response?Explain.
(Chapter 3 - Meeting Life Challenges)


Selye conducted his study on animals and their reaction towards high temperature, x-rays and insulin injections for a long period of time.He also observed patients with various injuries and illnesses. Selye noticed a similar pattern of bodily response in all of them. He called this pattern the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).
He has categorised GAS model in three stages:
Alarm reaction:The presence of a noxious stimulus or stressor leads to activation of the adrenal pituitary-cortex system. This triggers the release of hormones producing the stress response. Now the individual is ready for fight or flight.
Resistance:If stress is prolonged, the resistance stage begins. The parasympathetic nervous system calls for more cautious use of the body's resources. The organism makes efforts to cope with the threat, as through confrontation.
Exhaustion:Continued exposure to the same stressor or additional stressors drains the body of its resources and leads to the third stage of exhaustion. The physiological systems involved in alarm reaction and resistance become ineffective and susceptibility to stress-related diseases such as high blood pressure becomes more likely.

Q 22. Explain with examples how cognitive distortions take place.
(Chapter 5 - Therapeutic Approaches)

Cognitive distortions are ways of thinking which are general in nature but which distort reality in a negative manner. These patterns of thought are called dysfunctional cognitive structures.
They lead to errors of cognition about the social reality.
Aaron Beck, cognitive therapist states that childhood experiences provided by the family and society develop core schemas or systems.
Some few examples of same are:

  • A client, who was neglected by the parents as a child, develops the core schema of "I am not wanted".
  • During the course of life, a critical incident occurs in her/his life. S/he is publicly ridiculed by the teacher in school. This critical incident triggers the core schema of "I am not wanted" leading to the development of negative automatic thoughts.
  • Negative thoughts are persistent irrational thoughts such as "nobody loves me", "I am ugly", "I am stupid", "I will not succeed", etc.
  • Such negative automatic thoughts are characterised by cognitive distortions.

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Q 23. "Pro-social behaviour is expressed, when the situation activates certain social norms".Justify the statement.
(Chapter 6 - Attitude and Social Cognition)

Three norms have been mentioned in the context of pro-social behaviour :
(a) The norm of social responsibility : We should help anyone who needs help, without considering any other factor.
(b) The norm of reciprocity : We should help those persons who have helped us in the past.
(c) The norm of equity : We should help others whenever we find that it is fair to do so. For example, many of us may feel that it is more fair to help a person who has lost all belongings in a flood, than to help a person who has lost everything through gambling.

Q 24. Explain the concept of stress-resistant personality. Give suitable examples.
(Chapter 3 - Meeting Life Challenges)

As per studies by Kobasa it is shown that people with high level of stress and low level illness share three characteristics which are called personality traits of hardiness. The three characteristics ie the three C's are commitment , control and challenge. Hardiness is a set of beliefs about oneself, the world, and how they interact.
Commitment: It takes shape as a sense of what you are doing. For example a sense of control over your life, and a feeling of challenge.
Control: Control on purpose and direction in life. Example commitment to work, family, hobbies and social life.
Challenge: they see changes in life as normal and positive rather than as a threat.

Answers coming soon for the remaining Questions

Q 25. "I am worthless and the situation is helpless" with these thoughts a person comes to you. Being a therapist, how will you help him/ her to think in a positive way?

Q 26. What are the differences in the potential for creativity across individuals and the manner in which it is expressed? Write the features of test of creativity.

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Q 27. Explain the competencies of Indian notion of intelligence.

Q 28. What are the potential causes of inter group conflicts among two caste or community groups.Suggest some strategies to reduce such conflicts.

Q 29. Explain any two conditions which lead to learning of attitudes.

Q 30. Explain the techniques of behavioural analysis used in personality assessment.

Q 31. Describe any FOUR life skills which you think will help you in meeting the challenges of school life.

Q 32. Discuss the role of body language in communication.

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Q 33. What is Giftedness? State its characteristics.

Q 34. Describe the sources of psychological stress.

Q 35. During therapy,Rishi shows resentment towards the therapist and starts avoiding therapy sessions.Identify the therapy and the processes being referred to.

Q 36. How do Alfred Adler and Karen Horney explain personality development ?

Q 37. Discuss the main propositions of the humanistic approach to personality.

Q 38. What are defence mechanisms? Differentiate between repression and denial.

Q 39. How would you formulate the problem of a client? Discuss the role of Yoga in detail as an alternative therapy to alleviate psychological stress.

Q 40. Explain behavioural ratings used in assessment of personality.

Q 41. What is emotional intelligence? State the characteristics of emotionally intelligent people.

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Q 42. "Projective techniques were developed to assess unconscious motives and feelings". Elaborate the statement and explain TWO such techniques.

Q 43. Explain briefly four factors which facilitate development of positive health.

Q 44. Compare the trait approaches given by Allport and Cattell to understand personality.

Q 45. How would Karen Horney's explanation of psychological disorders be different from that of Alfred Adler's?

Q 46. What are the effects of stress on the psychological functioning of an Individual?

Q 47. Explain the influence of heredity and environment on intelligence.

Q 48. What is assessment?Explain briefly any two methods of psychological assessment.

Q 49. Why do people show obedience?

Q 50. Explain cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

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Q 51. What are defence mechanisms? Differentiate between repression and denail.

Q 52. How would you formulate the problem of a client? Discuss the role of Yoga in detail as an alternative therapy to alleviate psychological stress.

Q 53. Explain behavioural ratings used in assessment of personality.

Q 54. What is emotional intelligence? State the characteristics of emotionally intelligent people.

Q 55. "Projective techniques were developed to assess unconscious motives and feelings". Elaborate the statement and explain TWO such techniques.

Q 56. Explain briefly four factors which facilitate development of positive health.

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Q 57. Compare the trait approaches given by Allport and Cattell to understand personality.

Q 58. How would Karen Horney's explanation of psychological disorders be different from that of Alfred Adler's?

Q 59. What are the effects of stress on the psychological functioning of an Individual?

Q 60. Explain the influence of heredity and environment on intelligence.

Q 61. What is assessment?Explain briefly any two methods of psychological assessment.

Q 62. Why do people show obedience?

Q 63. Explain cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Q 64. Suppose you want to bring about a change in the attitude of your peers to make your city greener and cleaner. What factors should be kept in mind while preparing effective message for this purpose?

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Q 65. A client experiences irrational thoughts that are self-defeating in nature.Suggest and explain a suitable therapy that will help him to reduce his distress.

Q 66. Explain stress resistant personality with the help of examples.

Q 67. Distinguish between psychometric and information processing approaches to intelligence.Elaborate any ONE theory representing information processing approach.