Psychology Solved Question Paper Class 12 - 2017
CBSE Question Paper - 2017

Subject: Psychology
Time: 3 Hours Marks:70

General Instructions:
(i) All questions are compulsory.
(ii) Marks for each question are indicated against it.
(iii) Answers should be brief and to the point.
(iv) PART- A has 10 Learning Checks carrying one mark each. You are required to answer them as directed.
(v) Questions 11 to 16 in PART- B are Very Short Answer type questions carrying 2 marks each. Answer to each question should not exceed 30 words.
(vi) Questions 17 to 20 in PART- C are Short Answer Type I questions carrying 3 marks each. Answer to each question should not exceed 60 words.
(vii) Questions 21 to 26 in PART- D are Short Answer Type II questions carrying 4 marks each. Answer to each question should not exceed 100 words.
(viii) Questions 27 and 28 in PART- E are Long Answer Type questions carrying 6 marks each. Answer to each question should not exceed 200 words.

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1.If a person has the skill of understanding the motives, feelings and behaviours of other people , he/she is said to have (1)
(a) Interpersonal intelligence
(b) Intrapersonal intelligence
(c) Linguistic intelligence
(d) Social intelligence
(Chapter 1: Variations in Psychological Attributes)

Ans: (a) Interpersonal intelligence

2.Value judgement of a person about himself/herself is called __________ . (1)
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)

Ans: self-esteem

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3.The state of physical, emotional and psychological exhaustion is known as (1)
(a) Resistance
(b) Stress
(c) Burnout
(d) Coping
(Chapter 3: Meeting Life Challenges)

Ans: (c) Burnout

4.Compulsive behaviour is the inability to stop thinking about a particular idea or topic. (True/False) (1)
(Chapter 4: Psychological Disorders)

Ans: False.

5.A false belief that is firmly held on inadequate grounds is known as __________ . (1)
(Chapter 4: Psychological Disorders)

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Ans: delusion

6.Empathy means understanding things from other person’s perspective.(True/False) (1)
(Chapter 5: Therapeutic Approaches)

Ans: True

7.Schemas that function in the form of categories are called __________ . (1)
(Chapter 6: Attitude and Social Cognition)

Ans: prototypes

8.Collection of people assembled for a particular purpose is called an __________. (1)
(Chapter 7 : Social Influence and Group Processes)


9.__________ is the study of the relationships between living beings and their environment. (1)
(Chapter 8: Psychology and Life)

Ans: Ecology

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10.The ability of a counsellor to reflect on what the client says and feels using different words is known as (1)
(a) Decoding
(b) Communication
(c) Listening
(d) Paraphrasing
(Chapter 9: Developing Psychological Skills)

Ans: (d) Paraphrasing

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11.Explain pervasive developmental disorder. (2)
(Chapter 4: Psychological Disorders)


  • Pervasive developmental disorder is a serious disorder in children and the most common one is Autistic disorder or autism.
  • These disorders are characterised by serious issues with social interaction and communication skills, stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.

12.Explain binge eating. (2)
(Chapter 4: Psychological Disorders)


  • Binge eating is a type of eating disorder.
  • In binge eating, there are frequent episodes of out-of-control eating.

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13.What is existential anxiety? (2)
(Chapter 5: Therapeutic Approaches)


  • Existential anxiety, is a neurotic anxiety of spiritual origin.
  • Neurotic anxieties arise when the problems of life are attached to the physical, psychological or spiritual aspects of one's existence.

14.What is meant by compliance? (2)
(Chapter 7 : Social Influence and Group Processes)


  • Compliance refers to behaving in a particular way in response to a request made by someone.
  • For example , you may sign the letter with the thought that you were accepting the request, not because you agree with other students, but because you have been requested to do so by a significant member.

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15.Explain crowding. (2)
(Chapter 8 : Psychology and Life)


  • 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.

16.State two advantages of using observation as a technique. (2)
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)


  • Observation of behaviour serves as the basis of behavioural analysis.
  • With carefully designed observation, the clinical psychologist may gain considerable insight into a client's personality.

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17. Describe Type-A personality. (3)
(Chapter 2: Self and Personality)


  • People characterised by Type-A personality seem to possess high motivation, lack patience, feel short of time, be in a great hurry, and feel like being always burdened with work.
  • Such people find it difficult to slow down and relax.
  • People with Type-A personality are more susceptible to problems like hypertension and coronary heart disease (CHD). The risk of CHD is more serious than high blood pressure,high cholesterol levels, or smoking.

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18.State three characteristics of pro-social behaviour. (3)
(Chapter 6:Attitude and Social Cognition)

The behaviour that involves doing good to others ,being helpful,thinking about the welfare of others without any self-interest is called pro-social behaviour.
The three characteristics of pro-social behaviour are :

  • aim to benefit or do good to another person or other persons,
  • be done without expecting anything in return,
  • be done willingly by the person, and not because of any kind of pressure

19.Describe crowding tolerance. (3)
(Chapter 8:Psychology and Life)

Crowding tolerance refers to the ability to mentally deal with a high density or crowded environment, such as a crowded residence (a large number of persons within a small room). People who are used to an environment containing many persons around them for example individual born and brought up in joint families develop more crowding tolerance than people who are used to only a few people around them.


Enumerate the pro-environmental actions that can help protect environment from pollution. (3)
(Chapter 8:Psychology and Life)

Following are the pro-environmental actions that help protect environment from pollution:

  • 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.Also take care 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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20.Explain active listening skill of communication. (3)
(Chapter 9:Developing Psychological Skills)

Listening is an important skill that we use daily.

  • Your academic ,work, personal happiness, to a large extent, depend upon your ability to listen effectively.
  • Listening appears as a passive behaviour, as it involves silence. But this image of passivity is far from true.
  • Listening requires a person to be attentive. S/he should be patient, non-judgmental and yet have the capacity to analyse and respond.
  • Hearing and listening are not the same.Hearing involves reception of a message through sensory channels whereas listening involves reception, attention, assignment of meaning, and the listener's response to the message presented.

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21.Explain aptitude. Differentiate between aptitude and interest. (4)
(Chapter 1 - Variations in Psychological Attributes)

Aptitude:It is a combination of characteristics that indicates an individual’s capacity to acquire some specific knowledge or skill after training.

Aptitude Interest
It is a combination of characteristics that indicates an individual's capacity to acquire some specific knowledge or skill after training. Interest is an individual's preference for engaging in one or more specific activities relative to others.
Aptitude is the potential to perform the selected activity. Interest is a preference for a particular activity.
A person having potentiality for performing a job, but may not be interested in doing the job. A person may be interested in a particular job or activity, but may not have the aptitude for it.

22. Explain the psychometric approach to understand intelligence. State two theories based on this approach. (4)
(Chapter 1 - Variations in Psychological Attributes)

The psychometric approach considers intelligence as an aggregate of abilities. It expresses the individual's performance in terms of a single index of cognitive abilities.
The two theories based on this approach are:

  • Uni or one factor theory:Alfred Binet was the psychologist who proposed this theory.AS per him intelligence consists of one similar set of abilities which can be used for solving any or every problem in an individual’s environment. Later this theory was disputed when psychologists started analysing data of individuals, which was collected using Binet's test.
  • Two-factor theory: Charles Spearman proposed a two-factor theory of intelligence based on a statistical method called factor analysis.As per Spearman’s theory he showed that intelligence consists of general factor (g-factor) and some specific factors (s-factors).The g-factor includes mental operations which are primary and common to all performances.The s-factor consists of many specific abilities. For example : singers, architects, scientists, and athletes may be high on g-factor, but in addition to this, they have specific abilities which allow them to excel in their respective domains.

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23.Explain mental disorders from socio-cultural perspective. (4)
(Chapter 4 - Psychological Disorders)

According to the socio-cultural model, abnormal behaviour is best understood in light of the social and cultural forces that influence an individual.
Following are the mental disorders from socio-cultural perspective:

  • Socio-cultural factors such as war and violence, group prejudice and discrimination, economic and employment problems, and rapid social change, put stress on most of us and can also lead to psychological problems in some individuals.
  • Some families have a difficult environment in which the members are over involved in each other's activities, thoughts, and feelings.These family systems are likely to produce abnormal functioning in individual members.
  • Individuals who are isolated and lack social support, i.e. strong and fulfilling interpersonal relationships in their lives are likely to become more depressed and remain depressed longer than those who have good friendships.
  • Socio-cultural theorists also believe that abnormal functioning is influenced by the societal labels and roles assigned to troubled people.

24.Explain psychological distress according to behaviour therapy. Describe any one behavioural technique. (4)
(Chapter 5 - Therapeutic Approaches)


  • As per behaviour therapy psychological distress arises because of faulty behaviour patterns or thought patterns. It mainly focuses on the behaviour and thought patterns of a client in present tense.The past is taken into consideration only to get an understanding of the origins of the faulty behaviour and thought patterns.
  • Behaviour therapy consists of a large set of specific techniques and interventions.The symptoms of the client and the clinical diagnosis are the guiding factors in the selection of the specific techniques or interventions to be applied. 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.
  • The foundation of behaviour therapy is on formulating dysfunctional or faulty behaviours, the factors which reinforce and maintain these behaviours, and devising methods by which they can be changed.
Negative reinforcement Behaviour Technique:
It refers to following an undesired response with an outcome that is painful or not liked. For example, the teacher reprimands a child who shouts in class. This is negative reinforcement.

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Describe four factors which contribute to the treatment of psychological Distress. (4)
(Chapter 5- Therapeutic Approaches)

Following are the factors that contribute to the treatment of psychological distress:

  • A major factor in the healing is the techniques adopted by the therapist and the implementation of the same with the patient/client. If the behavioural system and the CBT school are adopted to heal an anxious client, the relaxation procedures and the cognitive restructuring largely contribute to the healing.
  • The therapeutic alliance, which is formed between the therapist and the patient/client, has healing properties, because of the regular availability of the therapist, and the warmth and empathy provided by the therapist.
  • At the outset of therapy while the patient/client is being interviewed in the initial sessions to understand the nature of the problem, s/he unburdens the emotional problems being faced. This process of emotional unburdening is known as catharsis, and it has healing properties.
  • There are several non-specific factors associated with psychotherapy. Some of these factors are attributed to the patient/client and some to the therapist. These factors are called non-specific because they occur across different systems of psychotherapy and across different clients/patients and different therapists. Non-specific factors attributable to the client/patient are motivation for change, expectation of improvement due to the treatment, etc. These are called patient variables.

25.Explain briefly the factors that influence attitude change. (4)
(Chapter 6 - Attitude and Social Cognition)

Following are the factors that influence attitude change:
Characteristics of the existing attitude

  • Positive attitudes are easier to change than negative attitudes are.
  • Extreme attitudes, and central attitudes are more difficult to change than the less extreme, and peripheral (less significant) attitudes are. Simple attitudes are easier to change than multiple attitudes are.
  • An attitude change may be congruent — it may change in the same direction as the existing attitude (for example, a positive attitude may become more positive, or a negative attitude may become more negative).
  • On the other hand, an attitude change may be incongruent — it may change in a direction opposite to the existing attitude (for example, a positive attitude becomes less positive, or negative, or a negative attitude becomes less negative, or positive).
  • An attitude may change in the direction of the information that is presented, or in a direction opposite to that of the information presented.

Source characteristics:
  • Source credibility and attractiveness are two features that affect attitude change.
  • Attitudes are more likely to change when the message comes from a highly credible source rather than from a low-credible source.For example adults who are planning to buy a laptop will listen more to a computer engineer than a schoolchild. But, if the buyers are themselves schoolchildren, they may be convinced more by another school child advertising a laptop than by a professional telling the same thing.
  • In the case of some products such as cars, sales may increase if they are publicised, not necessarily by experts, but by popular public figures.

Message characteristics:
  • The message is the information that is presented in order to bring about an attitude change.
  • Attitudes will change when the amount of information that is given about the topic is just enough, neither too much nor too little.
  • Message given can contain rational or an emotional appeal.For example a pressure cooker ad points out that using of pressure cooker will save fuel this gives a rational appeal whereas cooking in pressure cooker preservers the nutrients gives emotional appeal.
  • The motives activated by the message also determine attitude change. For example, drinking milk may be said to make a person healthy and good-looking, or more energetic and more successful at one's job.

Target characteristics:
  • Qualities of the target, such as persuasibility, strong prejudices, self-esteem, and intelligence influence the likelihood and extent of attitude change.
  • People, who have a more open and flexible personality, change more easily.
  • People with strong prejudices are less prone to any attitude change than those who do not hold strong prejudices.
  • Persons who have a low self-esteem, and do not have sufficient confidence in themselves, change their attitudes more easily than those who are high on self-esteem.

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26.What are the major determinants of cooperation and competition ? (4)
(Chapter 7 - Social Influence and Group Processes)

The major determinants of cooperation and competition are:
Reward structure

  • Psychologists believe that whether people will cooperate or compete will depend on the reward structure.
  • Cooperative reward structure is one in which there is promotive interdependence. Each is beneficiary of the reward and reward is possible only if all contribute.
  • A competitive reward structure is one in which one can get a reward only if others do not get it.
Interpersonal communication
  • When there is good interpersonal communication, then cooperation is the likely consequence.
  • Communication facilitates interaction, and discussion.
  • As a result, group members can convince each other and learn about each other.
  • Reciprocity means that people feel obliged to return what they get.
  • Initial cooperation may encourage more cooperation.
  • Competition may provoke more competition.
  • If someone helps, you feel like helping that person; on the other hand, if someone refuses to help you when you need help, you would not like to help that person also.

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27.Explain the concept of personality. Describe the cultural approach to study personality. (6)
(Chapter 2 - Self and Personality)

In psychological terms, personality refers to our characteristic ways of responding to individuals and situations.
For a layperson, personality generally refers to the physical or external appearance of an individual.
Cultural approach to study personality

  • Cultural approach focuses on the personality in relation to ecological and cultural environment.
  • The climatic conditions, the habitat and availability of food determines not only people’s economic activities, but also their settlement patterns, social structures, division of labour, and other features such as child-rearing practices.
  • People's skills, abilities, behavioural styles, and value priorities are viewed as strongly linked to these features.
  • Rituals, ceremonies, religious practices, arts, recreational activities, games and play are the means through which people’s personality gets projected in a culture.
  • The cultural approach considers personality as an adaptation of individuals or groups to the demands of their ecology and culture.
  • In case of tribal group the cultural approach mainly involves making children independent and achievement-oriented (accept risks and challenges such as those involved in hunting) from an early age of life.
  • In agricultural societies, children are socialised to be obedient to elders, nurturant to youngsters, and responsible to their duties.

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Discuss the observational methods used in personality assessment. What problems are faced in using these methods ? (6)
(Chapter 2 - Self and Personality)

Behavioural observation is another method which is very commonly used for the assessment of personality.
Though observation method looks a straightforward way of analysing people , but still observation for personality assessment is a sophisticated procedure that cannot be carried out by untrained people.
It requires careful training of the observer, and a fairly detailed guideline about analysis of behaviours in order to assess the personality of a given person. For example, a clinical psychologist may like to observe her/his client’s interaction with family members and home visitors.
With carefully designed observation, the clinical psychologist may gain considerable insight into a client’s personality.
Here are few problems faced in using these methods:
1. Professional training required for collection of useful data through these methods is quite demanding and time consuming.
2. Maturity of the psychologist is a precondition for obtaining valid data through these techniques.
3.Mere presence of the observer may contaminate the results. As a stranger, the observer may influence the behaviour of the person being observed and thus not obtain good data.

28.Explain stress according to General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) model, giving examples from everyday life. Describe any one strategy for coping with stress. (6)
(Chapter 3 - Meeting Life Challenges)

Selye introduced General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) model based on his study conducted 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.
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.

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Explain the effect of stress on the immune system. How social support can lead to positive health and well-being ? Discuss. (6)
(Chapter 3 - Meeting Life Challenges)


  • The immune system is meant to protect are body against attackers, both from within and outside but stress can cause illness by impairing the workings of the immune system.Psychoneuroimmunology is a study that focuses on the effects of stress on the immune system.
  • Stress can affect natural killer cell cytotoxicity, which is of major importance in the defence against various infections and cancer.
  • Reduced levels of natural killer cell cytotoxicity have been found in people who are highly stressed, including students facing important examinations, bereaved persons, and those who are severely depressed.
  • Psychological stress is accompanied by negative emotions and associated behaviours, including depression, hostility, anger and aggression.

Social support is defined as the existence and availability of people on whom we can rely upon, people who let us know that they care about, value, and love us.
Friends , family provide emotional support making the individual feel loved, valued and cared for. Research has signified that social support effectively reduces psychological distress such as depression or anxiety, during times of stress and hence is positively related to psychological well-being.