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BPCC-131: Foundations of Psychology

BPCC-131: Foundations of Psychology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPCC-131/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPCC-131


Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Total Marks: 100


NOTE: All questions are compulsory.

Assignment One


Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks.

3 x 20 = 60


1. Discuss the main schools of thought that contributed to the development of psychology.

Ans) By now, you should know how to define psychology and why it is considered a science. Psychology started out as a part of philosophy. About 138 years ago, it stopped being part of philosophy and became its own field. Hermann Ebbinghaus said over a hundred years ago, "Psychology has a short history but a long past." This is a kind of reflection on the Greek philosophers who wrote about how people work. Socrates (428-348 BCE), Plato (428-347 BCE), and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) all tried to explain how the mind works and how it relates to the body as early as 4 BCE. Socrates' famous saying, "Know thyself," emphasised how important it is to think about yourself. René Descartes, a French philosopher who lived from 1596 to 1650, thought that the pineal gland (body physiology) was the "seat of the soul" and where all thoughts are made.


Now, let's take a look at the main schools of thought or main points of view in psychology that have helped to shape the field. From the old to the new, these approaches focus on defining behaviour and doing research based on the preferences of the psychologists.



The main focus is on figuring out how the basic parts of the mind work. This way of thinking is called "structuralism." It has to do with Wilhelm Wundt and his student, Edward Titchener. Wundt thought that thoughts, experiences, emotions, and other basic things could be used to break down consciousness. Objective introspection was a way to look at and measure one's own subjective experiences in an objective way. In this case, "objectivity" means a fair way of looking at things, and this was the first attempt to combine "objectivity" and "measurement" in psychology.



This point of view was heavily influenced by Darwin's theory of natural selection. Functionalists thought that the theory could be used to explain psychological traits, and they studied how the mind and behaviour worked (like learning, memory, problem-solving and motivation). Functionalism was created by John Dewey, who lived from 1859 to 1952. It looks at what the mind and behaviour do and how they help a person adapt to new and complicated situations. The main contributor, William James (1842–1910), was interested in how the mind lets people work in the real world.


Gestalt Psychology

Later, psychologists did experiments to learn how the mind works by studying how things feel. Gestalt psychology was started in Germany in 1912 by Max Wertheimer (1880-1943), Kurt Koffka (1886-1941), and Wolfgang Kohler (1887-1967). They put a lot of emphasis on the idea of sensory experience as a whole, making connections between the senses and relationships and organisation as a whole. They studied the mind by applying organisational principles to how people act.



This school was started by John B. Watson (1879-1958) and Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990), who didn't study the mind and insisted that psychology should only look at observable forms of behaviour and ignore the hidden ones. They put more emphasis on learning about how people and animals act and what they do.



Sigmund Freud, an Austrian psychiatrist, came up with the idea of psychoanalysis (1856-1938). Freud thought that the unconscious plays a big role in nervous disorders and emphasised the importance of early childhood experiences in how a person develops. Freud thought that urges and drives show up in the way people act and think. The focus is on the role of thoughts, memories, and feelings that people don't know they have.


Humanistic Perspective

In psychology, this was also called the "third force," and it was all about how people can control their own lives. The most important things are having free will, being able to choose one's own fate, striving for self-actualization, and reaching one's full potential. Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) and Carl Rogers are the main people who started it (1902-1987).


2. Elucidate monocular cues and binocular cues in depth perception.


Monocular Cues

These are clues or pieces of information that our brain only gets from one eye. The strength of these cues is less than that of binocular cues. Painters use these kinds of clues to make a flat painting look like it has depth.


Relative Size

This clue tells us how far away an object is based on how big it is compared to a similar object. This clue works for both 2D and 3D images. The main idea is that if two things are about the same size, the one that seems bigger is closer.


Texture Gradient

This clue is based on how we see the change in the texture's gradient or degree. The texture of things that are closer to our eyes is rough or clear, but as you move away from them, the texture becomes less clear or smooth, which gives the impression that they are farther away.


Arial Perspective or Haze

When there is haze in the air, things look like they are farther away. Haze is caused by dust in the air, fog, or water vapour in the air. Haze can make it hard to tell how far away something is. Depending on how much haze there is, the same mountain can look closer or farther away.


Linear Perspective

Objects seem farther away when there is haze in the air. Haze is made up of dust particles, fog, or water vapour in the air. Sometimes, haze can make it hard to tell how far away something is. Depending on how much haze there is, the same mountain can seem close or far away.


Motion Parallax

J.J. Gibson calls the flow of visual information around a moving observer "motion perspective." The term is used to emphasise the important point that, as an observer moves around in the environment, things at different distances move at different speeds depending on how far away they are and where they are in relation to the observer.



When two things overlap, the thing that is covered or hidden will seem farther away than the thing that isn't covered or hidden.



Even though this cue is seen with both eyes, it is still considered a monocular cue. It's called "accommodation" because the size of our lens’s changes based on how far away something is. When an object is close to our eyes, our lenses get thicker, but when an object is far away, they get thinner.


Binocular Cues

Binocular cues are the signs that we get from both eyes. These cues are more important than cues that only one eye can see. Stereopsis is the process of using information from both eyes to figure out how far away something is. Here are two different types of binocular cues:


Retinal Disparity

People have two eyes that are usually about 6.3 cm apart. So, each person's retinal image of the same object is slightly different or has a different view. The more different an object looks on the retina, the closer it is to the eye. Our brain looks at how different these two retinal images are and makes a single image of the object that tells us about its height, width, and depth.


When we look at something, our eyes make an angle, which is called the convergence angle. The angle of convergence is different for objects far away and objects close by. When we look at something far away, our eyes make a small convergence angle, but when we look at something close up, our eyeballs rotate in and make a large convergence angle. This change in convergence lets the perceiver know how far away or deep something is.


3. Define personality. Explain Freud’s personality theory.

Ans) Personality is a person's unique traits that make him or her who he or she is. It means trying to figure out what makes each person unique and different from the others. "Personality" is how people think, feel, and act in ways that are unique to them, according to the American Psychological Association. It also says, "The study of personality focuses on two main areas. The first is understanding individual differences, such as personality traits like friendliness or irritation.


The psychoanalytic theory of personality was mostly created by Sigmund Freud, who was a doctor by trade. He came up with his theory as he worked with patients in the clinic. The most important part of his theory is "unconscious mental processes." It means what we don't know about our own wants, needs, and motivations. Freud also said that things like aggression and sexual desires are important parts of our personalities.


A topographic model of the psyche

Sigmund Freud thought that there are three parts to our minds: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. In 1901, Freud wrote about this idea in his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. He says that the part of our mind that deals with the present is our conscious mind. That is, the conscious mind is made up of all the thoughts, feelings, and actions that you are aware of right now. The preconscious or subconscious mind is in charge of everything you don't know right now but can learn if you pay attention.


A structural model of our personality

Freud thought that our personalities are made up of three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. Before going into more detail, it's important to note that the id, the ego, and the superego are just ideas that don't have any physical or physiological basis.



This part of a person's personality works without their knowing. It's about basic instincts, biological needs, and the urge to hurt other people. It is the part of a person that has been there since birth and is the most basic. Other parts of a person's personality, like the ego and the superego, come from the id. It works because most people try to avoid pain and look for pleasure. The goal of id is to meet one's needs right away, without taking into account the moral standards of society or the individual. it is driven by two things: eros and Thanatos (Eros is the god of love in Greek mythology).



Ego is the part of a person that reminds them of what's really going on. The reality principle is what the ego uses to keep the id from getting what it wants until a better and more realistic situation comes along. For example, a 10-year-old wants to eat a scoop of ice cream from the fridge. But the child knows that if they eat ice cream without asking their parents first, they will get in trouble. So, the child's ego keeps them from getting what they need right away.



It is like the moral guru of our personality. Let's keep going with the same example from above. Whether or not that 10-year-old will ask his or her parents for permission to eat a scoop of ice cream depends on how well his or her superego has grown. Since asking for permission is the right thing to do, it will show that the child has a superego. Through the process of socialisation, the role of the superego is to take on the moral and ethical values of the group. It keeps the impulsive urges of the id in check and pushes the ego to choose behaviour that is morally right instead of just behaviour that is realistic.

Assignment Two


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 5 marks.


8 x 5 = 40


4. Systematic Observation

Ans) Observation is one of the most important ways to learn about behaviour. It does a systematic job of gathering data or information. In this method, the experimenter does not change a variable that is not part of the experiment. The researcher just keeps track of the natural events and behaviours that are happening in the environment. After making a number of observations, a researcher tries to figure out what could be causing the behaviour he or she has seen (s). The researcher tries to figure out why people behave differently and then looks for reasons that make sense to explain the differences. Inductive reasoning is the process of using a number of observations to figure out the logical cause of a behaviour. But there are many things that could stop the observed behaviours from happening, and it is hard to make the deduced observations. This is different from an experiment, where information is gathered in a more controlled setting.


5. Raven’s Progressive Matrices

Ans) John C. Raven came up with Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) in 1983. It is a nonverbal test of inductive reasoning meant to measure Spearman's g factor or general intelligence. It has 60 multiple-choice questions and can be given to kids as young as 5 and adults as old as 65. The test has pictures of geometric shapes that are missing a piece. The person taking the test has to choose the missing piece from a list of six to eight options. Raven made three different kinds of tests: Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM), Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM), and Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM). SPM is good for the average person between the ages of six and eighty.


6. Insight learning

Ans) Wolfgang Kohler, one of the people who started Gestalt psychology, said that insight learning is when you suddenly see how to solve a problem. Kohler said that trial-and-error learning and conditioning are not the only ways to learn. We also learn by using the way our minds work. Using mental processes, we can picture the problem and how to solve it. Even though this learning happens unconsciously, the behaviour change is long-lasting. Kohler did a number of tests on chimpanzees, with whom humans share 99 percent of their DNA, to prove his point. Kohler put a chimpanzee in a cage and put a banana out of its reach. This was one of the experiments he did. After chimpanzee's first few failed attempts to get that banana, it started to waste time by playing and sitting around.


7. Poggendorff Illusion

Ans) The Zollner illusion was a big influence on the Poggendorff illusion. When an oblique line meets a blank space made by two parallel vertical lines, the two parts of the oblique line that are left do not look like they are in a straight line. It looks like segment "a" does not line up with segment "b." Either line an or line b seems to be too high or too low. The name for this is the Poggendorff illusion. The Poggendorff illusion is a geometrical and optical illusion in which the position of a part of a transverse line that has been broken by the shape of an object in the middle is misjudged. The editor of the journal, Johann Christian Poggendorff, found it in the figures that Johann Karl Friedrich Zollner sent in 1860 when he first wrote about what is now called the Zollner illusion. It is named after him.


8. Generalization

Ans) Pavlov also found that if an animal could be taught to react to a bell, it could be taught to react the same way to a buzzer. This is called "generalisation of the CS to other stimuli that were somewhere like the original CS where learning took place." The level of generalisation depends on how similar the new stimulus is to the control stimulus (CS). By putting a feared stimulus next to a pleasant one, this method can sometimes help treat phobias. On the other hand, if Pavlov's dog only responded to the bell used in the experiment and didn't respond to other bells that sounded similar, this would be called stimulus discrimination, or the tendency to respond to one stimulus but not to others.


9. Flashbulb Memory

Ans) When you first heard about the 9/11 attacks, what were you doing? How did you feel at first? Many people still remember the 9/11 attack very well. They could remember what they were doing when they first heard about it, where they heard it, how they felt, and other details. So, why is this memory so important? Roger Brown and James Kulik (1977) say that these memories are so clear that they seem to be kept and are quite accurate. People in India who were old enough to remember when Indira Gandhi or Rajeev Gandhi was killed may have vivid memories of these events.


10. Spearman’s Theory of Intelligence

Ans) The theory of intelligence that Charles Spearman came up with in 1904 is called the "two-factor theory." Spearman saw that kids who did well in one subject usually did well in other subjects as well. Based on what he saw, he suggested that there is one thing that affects everything you do. Using a statistical technique called "factor analysis," he said that all mental or cognitive activity is made up of two parts: the "general" or "g" factor and the "specific" or "s" factor. So, intelligence is the sum of the "g" factor and the "s" factor. The g-factor theory, also called the general-factor theory, says that intelligence is made up of a general intelligence. The g factor is the wide range of mental abilities that affect how well people do on a wide range of cognitive tasks.


11. Motivational Cycle

Ans) There is a cycle of motivation that helps us figure out why people do what they do (Morgan & King, 1979). This cycle of motivation starts with a need, which is a lack or lack of something that is important. When you are in a state of need, you are driven. Drives can be sparked by things inside or outside of the person. The environment could be an external factor, while thoughts and memories could be an internal factor. This driving state wakes you up and pushes you to act in a way that helps you reach your goals. For example, if we're thirsty, we have a need for water. This need will drive us to get water, but once we've drank it, the need is met and the drive decreases.

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