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BPCG-171: General Psychology

BPCG-171: General Psychology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BPCG-171 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject General Psychology, you have come to the right place. BPCG-171 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BAG, BAPAH, BAEGH, BAECH, BAHIH, BAPSH, BASOH, BSCANH, BAJDM courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BPCG 171/Asst /TMA /2023-24

Course Code: BPCG-171

Assignment Name: General Psychology

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Discuss the meaning, types of neurons and nerve impulse. Explain the structure and functions of nervous system.

Ans) Neurons, the fundamental units of the nervous system, are specialized cells transmitting information via electrical and chemical signals.


They consist of three main types:

a)     Sensory Neurons: Send information about the senses to the central nervous system from receptors located in the skin, eyes, ears, and other parts of the body (CNS).

b)     Interneurons: They are only found in the central nervous system, and they are responsible for transmitting messages between sensory and motor neurons.

c)     Motor Neurons: Transport signals from the central nervous system to effectors (muscles and glands), which results in a reaction.


Nerve Impulse:

When we talk about nerve impulses, we are referring to the electrochemical signals that travelled along neurons. This phenomenon takes place as a result of the flow of ions (sodium and potassium) across the membrane of the muscle cell. An action potential, which is a transient electrical charge that moves along the neuron, is produced as a result of this.


Structure of the Nervous System:

 Central Nervous System (CNS):

a)     Brain: Controls higher functions such as thinking, memory, and emotions, as well as processes and interprets information received from the senses, originates responses, and initiates responses.

b)     Spinal Cord: It is the nerve that links the brain to the rest of the body. The information is transmitted between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).


Peripheral Nervous System (PNS):

a)     Somatic Nervous System: Regulates the voluntary motions of the body and sends sensory information to the central nervous system.

b)     Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): control of internal organs that is not voluntary and that regulates body activities such as digestion, heart rate, and other functions.

c)     Sympathetic Nervous System: Prepares the body for 'fight or flight' response during stress.

d)     Parasympathetic Nervous System: It is in charge of the activities that the body does to "rest and digest," which helps to conserve energy.


Functions of the Nervous System:

a)     Sensory Input: Receives information from sensory receptors.

b)     Integration: Processes and interprets sensory information.

c)     Motor Output: Initiates appropriate responses to stimuli.


Among the components that make up the structure of the nervous system are neurons, glial cells, which are supporting cells, and synapses, which are junctions between neurons. Dendrites, which are responsible for receiving incoming signals, a cell body, which houses the nucleus, and an axon are included in neurons (conducts nerve impulses away from the cell body). Synapses are the points at which the axon connects to dendrites or the cell bodies of other neurons. The axon terminates in terminal branches.


Functions include:

a)     Sensory Processing: Interpreting sensory information.

b)     Motor Control: Regulating movement and muscle coordination.

c)     Homeostasis: Maintaining a stable internal environment.

d)     Emotional Responses: Controlling emotions and behaviour.

e)     Cognition and Memory: Enabling learning and memory.


When it comes to maintaining physical functions, reacting to stimuli, and ensuring survival, the nervous system is absolutely essential. The intricacy and precision with which it transmits messages are absolutely necessary for human behaviour and operational capabilities.



Q2) Elaborate upon the different types and theories of motivation.

Ans) Motivation is the driving force behind behaviour, influencing an individual's willingness, direction, and persistence in achieving goals. Various types and theories of motivation offer insights into why people act and how their behaviours are influenced.


Types of Motivation:

a)     Intrinsic Motivation: Resulting from elements that are intrinsic to the individual, such as personal enjoyment, curiosity, or the gratification derived from conducting the activity itself. Consider, for example, a person who pursues a hobby solely for the pleasure that it offers them.

b)     Extrinsic Motivation: originates from causes that are external to the individual, like as incentives, recognition, or the desire to avoid punishment. Additionally, it involves the pursuit of material benefits such as money, grades, or recognition.

c)     Amotivation: This condition arises when an individual is either unmotivated or unable to recognise the connection between their efforts and the results they get. Their feelings may be one of disinterest or disengagement.


Theories of Motivation:

a)     Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow): Maslow's theory posits that individuals have a hierarchy of needs, depicted as a pyramid. Basic needs like physiological requirements (food, shelter) form the base, followed by safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization at the top. The theory suggests that individuals seek to fulfil these needs in a sequential manner, starting with the lower-level needs.

b)     Two-Factor Theory (Herzberg): Herzberg introduced the two-factor theory, distinguishing between hygiene factors and motivators. Hygiene factors (like salary, working conditions) prevent dissatisfaction when adequate but don't necessarily motivate. Motivators (such as recognition, responsibility) contribute to satisfaction and higher performance.

c)     Expectancy Theory (Vroom): The importance of the connection between effort, performance, and outcomes is the primary focus of this theory. It indicates that people are driven to behave based on their expectations of getting a desirable outcome, and that these expectations lead them to take action. Expectancy, which refers to the assumption that one will be successful in accomplishing a goal, instrumentality, which refers to the belief that one's performance will lead to outcomes, and valence are the three components that are taken into consideration by the theory (value attached to the outcomes).

d)     Goal-Setting Theory (Locke): The need of setting goals that are both detailed and hard is emphasised by Locke's theory as a means of improving motivation and performance. It argues that increasing motivation by defining goals that are clear, detailed, and attainable leads to improved effort and persistence throughout the accomplishment of those goals.

e)     Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan): Intrinsic motivation is the centre of this theory, which places an emphasis on three fundamental psychological needs: autonomy (the sensation of being in charge), competence (an individual's conviction in their own talents), and relatedness (social connection). It is hypothesised that gratifying these requirements will result in the development of intrinsic motivation and best possible functioning.

f)      Cognitive Evaluation Theory: This sub-theory of self-determination theory investigates the influence that extrinsic rewards have on the drive that comes from within an individual. According to this theory, certain extrinsic rewards have the potential to weaken an individual's intrinsic drive if they impair the individual's sense of autonomy or competence.


Understanding these theories helps in comprehending why individuals behave in specific ways and what influences their motivation. Different situations might call for varying approaches to motivate individuals, considering both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.



Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3) Discuss the various theories of intelligence.

Ans) Theories of intelligence aim to define and understand the concept of intelligence, highlighting different perspectives on how intelligence operates.


Spearman's Two-Factor Theory: Spearman proposed that intelligence comprises two factors: g-factor (general intelligence) and s-factor (specific abilities). According to this theory, g-factor influences performance across different cognitive tasks, while s-factor refers to specific skills in certain areas.


Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences: Gardner suggested that intelligence isn't a single entity but a spectrum of multiple intelligences. He identified eight distinct types, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences. Each type represents different cognitive abilities and talents.


Sternberg's Triarchic Theory: Sternberg proposed three aspects of intelligence: analytical (problem-solving and logical reasoning), creative (ability to generate novel ideas and think creatively), and practical (ability to apply knowledge to real-world situations). He highlighted the importance of context in assessing intelligence.


Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory (CHC Theory): This theory combines various models of intelligence. It suggests that intelligence is composed of broad abilities (like fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence) and more specific skills that contribute to overall intelligence.


Binet-Simon Scale and IQ: Binet and Simon developed the first standardized intelligence test, focusing on mental age as an indicator of intelligence. Later, William Stern introduced the concept of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), dividing mental age by chronological age and multiplying by 100.


Emotional Intelligence (EI): According to the theory put forth by Salovey and Mayer, intelligence is not solely a cognitive ability but also encompasses emotional capabilities. These capabilities include the ability to comprehend and control emotions, empathy, and social skills.


Q4) Elaborate upon the various laws of perception.

Ans) Perception involves the process of organizing, interpreting, and making sense of sensory information received from the environment.


Gestalt Laws: Gestalt psychologists proposed these principles:

a)     Law of Similarity: Similar objects are grouped together in our perception.

b)     Law of Proximity: Objects near each other tend to be perceived as a group.

c)     Law of Closure: Incomplete figures or shapes are perceived as complete.

d)     Law of Continuity: Continuous patterns are more likely to be perceived by us than sudden shifts in the environment.

e)     Law of Figure-Ground: It describes the tendency to organize visual information into a figure that stands out against a less distinct background.

f)      Law of Pragnanz: In addition to being referred to as the law of simplicity or the principle of excellent figure, this theory proposes that our perception has a tendency to organise stimuli into the most straightforward shape that is feasible.

g)     Law of Common Fate: Elements that move in the same direction are perceived as a group or pattern.

h)     Law of Depth Perception: Binocular disparity, which refers to the minor difference in the pictures that are seen by each eye, and motion parallax, which refers to the impression of depth based on the movement of objects, are two examples of different principles that contribute to our experience of depth and distance.

i)       Law of Closure: According to this theory, people have a tendency to interpret imperfect items as complete instead of incomplete.

j)       Law of Symmetry: Symmetrical elements tend to be perceived together as a group.


Q5). Explain the models of memory.

Ans) Memory is a complex cognitive process that involves the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. Psychologists have proposed various models to explain how memory works, including the sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory models.


Sensory Memory

Sensory memory is the initial stage of memory where sensory information from the environment is briefly registered. It is divided into iconic memory, which pertains to visual information, and echoic memory, which pertains to auditory information. Sensory memory holds a large amount of information for a very short duration, ranging from fractions of a second to a few seconds. For example, when you see a lightning flash or hear a loud noise, the sensory memory briefly retains the image or sound.


Short-Term Memory (STM)

Short-term memory, also known as working memory, is the next stage of memory processing. It involves the temporary storage and manipulation of information that is actively being processed. STM has limited capacity and duration, typically holding around 7 plus or minus 2 items for about 20-30 seconds without rehearsal. This model was proposed by psychologist George A. Miller in the 1950s. Short-term memory is crucial for tasks such as mental arithmetic, comprehension, and problem-solving.


Long-Term Memory (LTM)

Long-term memory is the stage of memory where information is stored for an extended period, ranging from minutes to a lifetime. It has a potentially unlimited capacity and duration. Long-term memory is subdivided into explicit (declarative) memory and implicit (non-declarative) memory. Explicit memory involves conscious recollection and is further divided into episodic memory (personal experiences) and semantic memory (general knowledge). Implicit memory, on the other hand, involves unconscious memory processes, including procedural memory (skills and habits) and priming (subconscious activation of information).


Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q6) Nature and characteristics of behaviour.

Ans) Behaviour encompasses actions, reactions, and responses displayed by organisms in response to internal or external stimuli.


Its nature and characteristics are:

a)     Complexity: Behaviour is multi-faceted, influenced by various factors like genetics, environment, emotions, and cognition.

b)     Adaptability: It evolves and adapts to changing environments, aiding survival and coping mechanisms.

c)     Subjectivity: Behaviour differs across individuals due to diverse experiences, personalities, and beliefs.

d)     Observable and Non-observable Aspects: It includes both visible actions and internal mental processes, making some behaviours directly observable while others are inferred.

e)     Dynamic Nature: Behaviour can change over time due to learning, maturation, or alterations in the environment.


Q7) Depth and distance perception.

Ans) Depth perception refers to our ability to perceive the distance and three-dimensional nature of objects in our environment.

It relies on various cues:

Binocular Cues: Depth cues that rely on both eyes working together, such as binocular disparity (the difference in the images each eye perceives) and convergence (the extent to which eyes turn inward to focus on an object).


Monocular Cues: Depth cues perceived by one eye, like:

a)     Relative Size: Smaller objects appear farther away.

b)     Overlap/Interposition: Objects that block others are perceived as closer.

c)     Linear Perspective: Parallel lines appear to converge at a distance.

d)     Texture Gradient: Details are clearer on closer objects.


Q8) Concept of problem solving.

Ans) Problem solving involves identifying, analysing, and resolving difficulties or obstacles encountered while pursuing a goal.


It comprises several stages:

a)     Understanding the Problem: Define the issue and its parameters.

b)     Generating Solutions: Brainstorm various possible solutions or approaches.

c)     Decision Making: Evaluate and select the most appropriate solution.

d)     Implementation: Put the chosen solution into action.

e)     Evaluation: Assess the effectiveness of the solution and its impact.


It involves critical thinking, creativity, and logical reasoning to devise strategies or methods that lead to resolving the problem efficiently, both in daily life and various professional fields.


Q9) Steps of decision making.

Ans) Decision-making generally involves these steps:


a)     Identifying the Problem: Recognize the need for a decision.

b)     Gathering Information: Collect relevant data and information.

c)     Generating Alternatives: Brainstorm potential solutions or choices.

d)     Evaluating Alternatives: Assess the pros and cons of each option.

e)     Making the Decision: Choose the best alternative.

f)      Implementing the Decision: Put the chosen solution into action.

g)     Reviewing and Learning: Assess the decision's outcomes for future reference.


These steps are iterative and can vary based on the complexity of the decision and personal or professional contexts.


Q10) Learning in a digital world.

Ans) Education that makes use of digital tools, technology, and online resources is what we mean when we talk about learning in a digital world. A wide range of e-learning approaches, including online courses, interactive apps, and virtual classrooms, are included in its scope. Some of the benefits include accessibility, adaptability, and a wide variety of educational resources. On the other hand, there are obstacles such as an excessive amount of information and technological barriers. Learning through collaboration, the ability to personalise content, and access to information on a global scale are all enhanced by the digital environment. Its efficacy is contingent upon the development of new technologies, the flexibility of users, and the incorporation of digital resources into conventional educational systems.

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