ISC Psychology Class 12 Syllabus

There are two papers in the subject:

  1. Paper I - Theory: 3 hours ; 70 marks
  2. Paper II - Practical Work ; 30 marks

Paper - I (Theory): 70 Marks

Part I (20 marks) consists of compulsory short answer questions relating to the fundamental aspects of the entire syllabus. Part II (50 marks) consists of two sections, A and B.
You are required to answer two out of three questions from Section A and three out of five questions from Section B. Each question in this part shall carry 10 marks.

Section A

1. Intelligence and Ability

(i) Intelligence: what is meant by intelligence - theories regarding the nature of intelligence; how intelligence is measured - the concept of IQ, intelligence tests - Individual Tests, Group Tests, Culture Fair Tests. Levels of intelligence and associated characteristics.

Intelligence: definition of intelligence (David Wechsler); what is meant by intelligence - theories regarding the nature of intelligence; Theories of Intelligence: Two Factor Theory – Charles Spearman; Primary Mental Abilities – Thurstone; Raymond Cattell - Fluid and Crystallised Intelligence; Guilford’s Structure of Intellect Model.

Modern Theories: Information Processing; Triarchic Theory - Sternberg; Theory of Multiple Intelligence - Howard Gardner. How intelligence is measured - the concept of IQ; Intelligence Tests - Individual Tests - Stanford Binet, Wechsler, Group Tests - Raven’s Progressive Matrices, Culture Fair Tests - Cattell’s Culture Fair Test. Test details (Aim, history, description, scoring and uses) should be included; Levels of intelligence and associated characteristics (from gifted to below average).

(ii) Aptitude, Achievement and Interest: meaning of these terms. Reason for their assessment and means of assessment (different tools/ tests) used.

What is meant by Aptitude - when aptitude needs to be assessed - the GATB (General Aptitude Test Battery); meaning and usefulness of Achievement tests; why and how Interest is measured - the SCII (Strong Campbell Interest Inventory).

2. Personality

(i) What is meant by Personality.

Definitions of personality - Allport, Cattell, Eysenck.

(ii) Theories of Personality: Type Theories, Psychoanalytic Theory - Freud’s structure of personality; psycho-sexual stages of development; Post Freudians (in brief); Humanistic - Rogers and Maslow; Traits - Allport, Cattell; Social / Behavioural Learning - Bandura and Rotter.

Type Theory: Sheldon, Kreshtmer, Hippocrates, Friedman, Charak Samhita of Ayurveda. Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality: Freud's levels of consciousness, structure of personality - Id, Ego and Superego; principles on which they function; Psychosexual stages of development and fixation; Post Freudians: Erik Erikson, Horney; Humanistic theories of Rogers (concept of fully functioning persons) and Maslow (self actualization). 

Traits: Allport (central, secondary and cardinal traits), Cattell (source and surface traits). The five-factor model of Costa and McCrae. Social Cognition and Social Learning theories of Bandura and Rotter (Identification and explanation of concepts in each theoretical framework).

(iii) How personality is assessed: reports, inventories (MMPI), projective techniques - Rorschach Inkblot Test and Thematic Apperception Test.

The use of Self Reports - inventories/ questionnaires in assessing Personality - an understanding of the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory); what is meant by Projective Techniques - how the Rorschach Inkblot and TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) are used (Test details should include procedure, scoring and results).

Section B

3. Lifespan Development

(i) Meaning of Development, growth and maturation.

Why is the study of lifespan development important? Determinants - interaction of heredity and environment, context of development - Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological System Theory.

(ii) Infancy - motor, cognitive development, socio-emotional development.

Motor - milestones; cognitive - Piaget’s Sensory Motor Stage; socio-emotional development - emergence of attachment. Mary Ainsworth’s & Lamb’s strange situation test.

(iii) Childhood - motor, cognitive development, socio-emotional development.

Motor development; cognitive development - Piaget’s Theory (Preoperational, Concrete and Formal Operational); emergence of self - gender awareness, gender identity, stability, consistency, stereotype role, sex-category, constancy; Emergence of peer relationship. Moral development - Kohlberg’s perspective Experiment on Moral Dilemma -preconventional, conventional and post conventional morality.

(iv) Adolescence - physical changes, cognitive development, socio-emotional development; some major concerns.

Physical changes at puberty; Cognitive development - Piaget’s Formal Operational Stage; Socio-emotional development - forming an identity, dealing with sexuality and gender identity; some major concerns – delinquency, substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) - meaning of substance abuse, symptoms and treatment; eating disorders - bulimia, anorexia.

4. Stress and Stress Management

(i) Meaning of stress - its basic nature.

Stress as a process - stressors (negative and positive events); results of overload; the stages of GAS or the General Adaptation Syndrome (Selye's model). Cognitive appraisal of stress - primary and secondary.

(ii) Common causes of stress.

External / situational: major life events, minor hassles of everyday life, work-related causes, the physical environment. 

Internal / dispositional: Personality variables-traits and types.

(iii) Effects of stress on health and performance.

Upsets the internal mechanism and balance - immune system affected, hypertension, heart problems, ulcers, diabetes, asthma (each effect to be briefly explained). Relation between stress and performance - burnout.

(iv) Stress management - ineffective and effective strategies of handling stress.

Coping with stress: Ineffective strategies - defense mechanisms - rationalization, projection, reaction formation, regression, repression (each to be briefly explained), displacement, sublimation; Effective strategies - relaxation training and yoga. Effective lifestyles: stress cycles - distress and wellness.

5. Psychological Disorders and Psychotherapy

(i) Meaning of “Abnormal behaviour” - biological, psychological and socio-cultural perspectives. Principles of classification of psychological disorders with reference to DSM IV.

Different views of "abnormal" behaviour - the statistical stand - the biological / medical approach - the psychodynamic perspective - the sociocultural dimension; why classification of disorders is necessary - an understanding of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - IV (brief explanation of each Axis).

(ii) Characteristics of some psychological disorders: Anxiety - generalised, phobic, obsessive-compulsive; Mood - bi-polar, depression; personality - anti-social, histrionic, avoidant, dependent, passiveaggressive (causes and symptoms of all).

What is meant by anxiety - different forms of anxiety disorders: phobias, obsession - compulsive disorders; Mood disorders characteristics of severe depression, manicdepressive or bipolar disorder; personality - anti-social, histrionic, avoidant, dependent, passive-aggressive (causes and symptoms).

(iii) Schizophrenia - meaning; main types; characteristics.

Basic nature of Schizophrenia - characteristics of Disorganized Catatonic and Paranoid Schizophrenia (symptoms).

(iv) Psychotherapy - Psychoanalysis; Client-centred; Behavioural. Rehabilitation.

What is meant by Psychotherapy - central features of psychodynamic therapies - free association, dream analysis, transference and counter transference; the principles on which client centred therapy has been developed. Behavioural therapies based on classical and operant conditioning and modelling, psycho social; rehabilitation.

6. Social Thought and Social Behaviour

(i) Social Perception - attribution or the process through which people try to understand the reasons for others’ behaviour.

How people determine whether others' behaviour is a result of internal causes or external factors - biases in forming judgments (attribution). Explain with examples each of the following biases - the person positivity bias, motivational biases, self serving bias, the false consensus effect, automatic vigilance, motivated scepticism, counterfactual thinking.

(ii) Social Influence- how people try to change others’ behaviour; social norms; conformity and obedience - factors affecting them.

What is meant by social norms - why people conform to social norms and why they digress; factors affecting Conformity and Obedience. Asch's study on conformity; why and when people obey others - Milgram's experiment.

7. Attitudes

(i) Meaning of “Attitude” - the relationship between attitude, perception, belief and behaviour; how attitudes are formed and changed.

What are attitudes - the components of attitude; how far attitudes determine behaviours: the process of forming attitudes - how attitudes change: persuasion and cognitive dissonance.

(ii) Prejudice – meaning of “prejudice” and discrimination; the origins of prejudice; how to combat prejudice. The Indian context.

An understanding of the meaning of prejudice and how it works in the form of discrimination - causes of prejudice: social learning, realistic competition, social categorization and stereotyping; ways in which prejudice can be resisted. Caste, community and gender stereotypes in the Indian context.

8. Applications of Psychology

with reference to:

(i) Clinical and Counselling Psychology.

Role of a counsellor and a clinical psychologist in dealing with individuals, couples, families and groups.

(ii) Educational (School) Psychology.

How Psychology helps to facilitate learning in school - students and teachers; individual problems: learning differences, teaching and evaluation techniques, school environment. Career counselling - how Psychology helps in the choice of a career - requirements of a field or job, testing individuals, matching individual and field / job.

(iii) Organisational Psychology.

How Psychology helps to promote efficiency, well-being and profitability - study of factors involved. Recruitment, motivation, team building and leadership skills, marketing and consumer behaviour.

(iv) Crime

How Psychology helps towards: understanding criminals, rehabilitating them, preventing crime.