NCERT Class 11 Psychology What is Psychology

Read and download NCERT Class 11 Psychology What is Psychology chapter in NCERT book for Class 11 Psychology. You can download latest NCERT eBooks for 2022 chapter wise in PDF format free from Studiestoday.com. This Psychology textbook for Class 11 is designed by NCERT and is very useful for students. Please also refer to the NCERT solutions for Class 11 Psychology to understand the answers of the exercise questions given at the end of this chapter

What Is Psychology Class 11 Psychology NCERT

Class 11 Psychology students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter What Is Psychology in standard 11. This NCERT Book for Grade 11 Psychology will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

What Is Psychology NCERT Class 11

What is Psychology

Introduction 

You were, perhaps, asked by your teacher in the first class why you opted for psychology over other subjects. What do you hope to learn? If you were asked this question, what was your response? Generally, the range of responses which surface in class to this question are truly bewildering. Most students give inane responses, like they want to know what others are thinking.

But then one also comes across such responses as knowing oneself, knowing others or more specific responses like knowing why people dream, why people go out of their way to help others or beat each other up. All ancient traditions have engaged themselves with questions about human nature. The Indian philosophical traditions, in particular, deal with questions relating to why people behave in the manner in which they do. Why are people generally unhappy? What changes should they bring about in themselves if they desire happiness in their lives.

Like all knowledge, psychological knowledge too is intended to contribute to human well-being. If the world is full of misery, it is largely due to humans themselves. Perhaps, you have asked why a 9/11 or war in Iraq happened. Why innocent people in Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar or in the North-East have to face bombs and bullets? Psychologists ask what is in the experiences of young men which turn them into terrorists seeking revenge. But there is another side to human nature. You may have heard the name of Major HPS Ahluwalia,  paralysed waist down because of an injury he suffered in a war with Pakistan, who climbed the Mt. Everest. What moved him to climb such heights? These are not only questions about human nature which psychology addresses as a human science.

You will be surprised to learn that modern psychology also deals with somewhat nebulous micro-level phenomenon like consciousness, focusing attention in the face of noise, or supporters trying to burn down a shopping complex after their team had scored victory in a football game over its traditional rival. Psychology cannot claim that answers have been found to these complex questions. But it surely has improved upon our understanding and how we make sense of these phenomena. The most striking aspect of the discipline, unlike other sciences, lies in the study of psychological processes which are largely internal and available to humans for observation within themselves.

WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?

Any knowledge discipline is hard to define. Firstly, because it evolves continuously. Secondly, because the range of phenomena it studies cannot be captured by any one definition. This is even more true of psychology. Long time back, students like yourself were told that the term psychology is derived from two Greek words psyche meaning soul and logos meaning science or study of a subject.

Thus, psychology was a study of the soul or mind. But since then it has moved away considerably from this focus and established itself as a scientific discipline which deals with processes underlying human experience and behaviour. The range of phenomena it studies, some of which we mentioned above, are spread over several levels, viz. individual, dyadic (two person) group, and organisational. They also have biological as well as social bases.

Naturally, therefore, the methods required to study them also vary greatly depending on the phenomenon one wants to study. A discipline is defined both in terms of what it studies and how it studies. In fact, more in terms of how or method/s it uses. Keeping this in view, psychology is defined formally as a science which studies mental processes, experiences and behaviour in different contexts. In doing so, it uses methods of biological and social sciences to obtain data systematically. It makes sense of these data so that they can be organised as knowledge.

Let us try to understand the three terms used in the definition, namely, mental processes, experience, and behaviour. When we say experiences are internal to the experiencing person, we refer to states of consciousness or awareness or mental processes. We use our mental processes when we think or try to solve a problem, to know or remember something. One level at which these mental processes are reflected is the brain activity. As we think or solve a mathematical problem, our brain activities can be observedusing different techniques of brain imaging.

However, we cannot say that brain activities and mental processes are the same, although they are interdependent. Mental activities and neural activities are mutually overlapping processes but, they are not identical. Unlike the brain, the mind does not have a physical structure or has a location. Mind emerges and evolves as our interactions and experiences in this world get dynamically organised in the form of a system which is responsible for the occurrence of various mental processes. Brain activities provide important clues to how our mind functions.

 

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