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Faculty of Behavioral Sciences

Curriculum | M.Sc. Clinical/Counseling Psychology | Semester I


Paper 1.1: History of Psychology

Unit Contents Learning Objectives (at the end of the course, the student shall be able to) Teaching Guidelines Teaching Method-


Teaching Hrs.
I Origins of Scientific psychology: Early Psychology

Animism, religion and science

Science in Indian and Greek thought

Experimental physiology, brain functions and methods

Empiricism and associationism


·         To have a clear idea of the events which were responsible for the emergence of science in general and psychology in particular.

·         To develop an insight how in different parts of the world people craved for the knowledge of the man and its activities.

·         Describe the comparative work of Indian and Greek philosophers.

·   Introducing the need of organized thought and very early efforts.

·   How religion, dogmatism and science are related.

·   Travelling through two great schools of thought in eastern and western world.

·   Showing some big developments in Europe leading to early emerging thoughts in pre-historic Psychology.

·     Didactic

·     Small group discussion

·     Students’ seminar

·     Demonstrating through historic maps and portraits of the forefathers.

·     Developing the timeline.

·     Laboratory work for practical skills.











II Beginnings of Psychology as Science

Psychophysics – Weber, Fechner, Helmholtz

Structuralism – Wundt, Titchner

Behaviorism – Watson, Skinner; Gestalt – Wertheimer, Kohler

Psychoanalysis – Freud


·     To introduce main contributors and their works leading to the science of consciousness.

·     Demonstrating the Weber law and classical methods of psychophysics.

·     Signifying the main events that established Psychology as a separate discipline.

·     Introducing the concept of school, system, approach and perspective.

·     Detailing three major thoughts with contributions of their leaders and the way growing to separate approaches.

·      Early contribution in historical perspective shall be looked into.

·      Highlighting importance of psychophysical traditions for sensory Psychology and laboratory experimentation.

·      Taking three early school and systems with a comparative look as well focusing on propounders.

·      Didactic

·      Laboratory demonstration of laws and the verification.

·      Trying out classical psychophysical methods for some sensations.

·      Role playing of founders of schools and followers.

·      Practicum for acquiring skills in experimentation.














III Other schools and approaches

Functionalism – William James, Angell, Harvey Carr

Phenomenology and Humanism – Maslow and Rogers

Cognitive Neuroscience – Modern psychology, recent advances

Evolutionary Psychology – Theory of evolution, genetic basis of behavior, and ethology.

·     Familiarizing the reactionary and emerging thoughts in Psychology. Flowering of the subject in America is to be delineated.

·     Explaining why there had been multiplicity of schools and systems.

·     Comprehending the developments in science as well in society leading Psychology to new frontiers.

·     Further giving some explanatory concepts why do we so behave through natural history.

·         Focusing on contemporary thoughts and causes of their emergence.

·         Highlighting the humane aspect of human nature and need of new psychosocial thoughts.

·         Developments in physical sciences and information technology merging with neuropsychology.

·         The origin of man and biological basis of behavior.

·      PPT: Didactic with audio visual aids.

·      Biographies of main founders of schools.

·      Charting the timeline of modern psychology.

·      Visit to some field areas with observations on animal behavior.

·      Practical work in field and laboratory.

·      Visit to a department of radiology for familiarization of scanning techniques.
















Paper 1.2: Cognitive Psychology


Unit Contents Learning Objectives (at the end of the course, the student shall be able to) Teaching Guidelines Teaching Method-


Teaching Hrs.
I Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Nature of Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive processes


Influences in the study of Cognitive Psychology, The Cognitive Revolution, Current trends


Paradigms in the study of Cognitive Psychology: Information Processing Approach, Connectivistic Approach, Evolutionary Approach, Ecological Approach


Cognitive neuroscience: nature, different techniques: ERP, PET, CT, MRI, FMRI

·      Describe the concept and ideas of cognitive psychology and the development of this field as separate from mainstream psychology

·      Enumerate the paradigms to study cognitive psychology based on information processing theories and neuroscience

·      Describe the techniques to study neuroscientific basis of cognition

·         To cover the ideas and role of pioneers in the development of cognitive psychology

·         To develop perspectives in the areas of study in cognitive psychology.

·         Didactic,

·         Students interaction,

·         Audio-visual aids
















II Attention, Perception, Memory

Perception: Nature, Gestalt Approach, Bottom up and Top down processes, Neuroscientific aspects

Attention: Nature and types, Selective Attention: Filter Theory, Attenuation Theory, Late-Selection Theory, Schema Theory

Sensory Memory, Short-Term Memory, Capacity, Coding, Retention Duration and Forgetting, Retrieval of Information, Working Memory, Executive Functioning

Long term memory-nature, Serial position curve, Coding in long term memory, types of Long term memory, Encoding and retrieval in Long term memory

·         Describe the basic processes of cognition – perception, attention and memory

·         Describe how the information is processed through senses and thinking abilities of attention and memory

·         Discuss the processes of perception, attention and memory

·         Form the basis of learning in cognitive psychology through processes of attention

·         Didactic,

·         Students interaction,

·         Audio-visual aids

















III Higher Cognitive Processes

Language Comprehension and Production; Language and Cognition: Modularity Hypothesis, The Whorfian Hypothesis.

Thinking and Problem Solving: Classic Problems and General Methods of Solution: Generate-and-Test Technique, Means–Ends Analysis, Working Backward, Backtracking, Reasoning by Analogy;

Reasoning: Nature and types, Approaches to the Study of Reasoning: The Componential Approach,

The Rules/Heuristics Approach, The Mental Models Approach,

Decision Making: Nature and Phases, Cognitive illusions: Availability, Anchoring, Sunk Cost Effects, Illusory Correlation, Hindsight Bias, Confirmation Bias, Overconfidence

·         Describe the higher cognitive processes of language and their information processing perspective

·         Describe the nature of thinking as a process and problem solving through different perspectives

·         Describe reasoning, its nature and types and theories

·         Describe decision making, its nature and phases

·         Discuss the higher cognitive processes of language, reasoning, problem solving and decision making ·         Didactic,

·         Students interaction,

·         Audio-visual aids



















Paper 1.3: Research Designs &Methods


Unit Contents Learning Objectives (at the end of the course, the student shall be able to) Teaching Guidelines Teaching Method-


Teaching Hrs.
I Introduction to Psychological Research

Nature, purpose and scope of psychological research

Pure vs applied research; Experimental vs correlational research

Epidemiological research, ethnographic research

Hypothesis, variables, sampling, experimental bias and its control

·         Describe the nature of psychological researches, their purpose and scope

·         Enumerate the basic classes of researches like pure, applied, epidemiological, correlational, experimental, ethnographic etc.

·         Describe the nature of hypotheses, variables, and sampling methods, including the possible biases in experimentation

·         Introduce the basics of psychological research, its scope and purpose

·         Discuss about the types of researches in psychology

·         Brief about basic elements of research like hypotheses, sampling, variables and biases in researches

·         Lecture,

·         PBL: Find and describe one research from literature regarding different types of researches












II Quantitative research methods

Basic single factor designs: between- and within-group designs

Advanced multifactor experimental designs: factorial designs, main effects and interaction effects

Correlational design, longitudinal design

Quasi-experimental design; repeated measure design, survey research

·         Describe basic single factor and multifactor experimental designs.

·         Enumerate the basic concepts of correlational and longitudinal researches

·         Describe the concepts and significance of quasi-experimental and survey researches

·         Give basic details of single factor researches with between-group and within-group designs

·         Describe the concept of multifactor designs by mentioning the significance of interaction and main effects

·         Elaborate upon the basic principles and concepts of correlational, longitudinal, quasi-experimental, and survey researches

·         Lecture,

·         PBL: Perform a mini-research by taking data on any variables of interest using one of the research designs












III Issues in psychological research

APA Code of ethics, guidelines for use of humans, informed consent

Communicating research results: writing research proposals and reports, presentations and posters

Reading, reviewing and replicating research

Using internet and computer softwares for research

·         Discuss the issues in psychological researches like ethical conduct, guidelines for use of humans in researches and importance of informed consent

·         Outline the ways of communicating research like writing proposals, reports, presentations, and posters

·         Provide a sketch of how to read, review, and replicate researches

·         Make use of internet and common computer programs to facilitate in research work

·         Discuss the core issues in psychological researches like informed consent, code of ethics, using human subjects

·         Provide a brief overview of methods of communicating research results like writing reports, presentations, posters, proposals

·         Guide in skills of reviewing, reading and replicating researches

·         Instruct about making use of internet, databases, software programs in facilitating researches

·         Lecture,         Demonstration through presentations,

·         PBL: Read a research and prepare a presentation on basic components of research

·         Perform review of literature on a variable using PubMed database and gather abstracts of 10 studies














Paper 1.4: Biopsychology


Unit Contents Learning Objectives (at the end of the course, the student shall be able to) Teaching Guidelines Teaching Method-


Teaching Hrs.
I Introduction

Biopsychology – definition and approach

Relation with other disciplines of neuroscience and divisions of biopsychology

System’s approach in body and various systems of human body.

Methods of biopsychology – imaging techniques, electrophysiological methods


·         Develop the understanding of a distinct approach focusing internal environment as determinant of behavior.

·         Have a comparative picture with other approaches in Psychology.

·         Know the structure and function of human body as a system.

·         Have an idea of gross systems in human body.

·         Introduce basic methods used to study the subject matter.

·         Describing biopsychological approach to have another framework.

·         Presenting a comparative angle with other related disciplines such as physiological psychology, psychophysiology and neuropsychology etc.

·         Providing a basic knowledge of the structure and function of the major systems of human body.

·         Familiarizing with some imaging techniques used to study the structure and function systems.

·         Getting the basic knowhow of some basic electrophysiological techniques such as EEG,EMG and GSR.

·         Didactic

·         Demonstration through charts and models.

·         Visit to museum of  human anatomy and dissection hall.

·         charting out the knowledge of self system functioning.

·         Practical skill acquisition of electrophysiological methods.


















II Nervous systems and Sensory processes

General layout of the nervous system – divisions

Spinal cord and brain – structure and functions

Neural conduction – neurons, electrical potential, synaptic transmission, neurotransmitters

Sensory system – vision, audition, somatic sensation, chemical senses


·         Develop a topographic and cognitive map of the nervous system.

·         Having basic knowledge of gross neuroanatomy.

·         Get understanding of the functioning of neurons and synaptic transmission.

·         Know the electrochemical processes and neurotransmitters.

·         Know the way environment is represented in the form of neuraltransduction through major sensory receptors.

·         Gross anatomy of the nervous system will be described vis-a-vis other systems of the body.

·         Detailing out the role of spinal cord in the processing of inward and outward information.

·         Taking the brain as main controlling center for bodily processes including behavior.

·         Taking all the major sensory systems in human body as transacting with the external environment.

·         Demonstrating the structural details of nervous system and sensory systems.

·         Using charts, figures, virtual images and models to have basic understanding of structure and function.

·         Mixing the knowledge of basic psychophysics and sensory processes for developing a synthetic point of view.

·         Practical exposure of the concepts through visit to a neuroanatomy department.













III Biology of Behavioural processes

Hunger, eating and health – theories and human obesity

Hormones and sex – neuroendocrine system and sexual development

Mechanisms of learning and memory, Amnesias

Sleep – stages, disorders, sleep deprivation and sleep reduction


·         Develop an understanding of the biological basis of motivation processes.

·         Have an idea of eating disorders and some issues of feeding.

·         Get fair idea of the development of sexual characteristic and gender alongwith realizing the importance of hormones in behaviour.

·         Understand the neural basis of knowledge processes and memory disorders.

·         Understand the phenomenon of circadian rhythm, waking and sleep cycle.



·         Introducing the concept of motivation, biological motivation, and the physiological basis.

·         Describing the reproductive process, development of sex and gender through the hormonal mechanism.

·         Explaining the phenomena of learning and memory with neural substrates, its permanence and issues of forgetting.

·         Taking neuropsychology of memory with case studies of amnesia.

·         Describing the states of consciousness with arousal, waking, sleep and their physiological basis.

·         Didactic with discussion of basic issues and self observations.

·         PPT with detail diagrams of neural structures relevant to various motivations.

·         Familiarizing with land mark experiments on  neural basis of learning and memory.

·         Taking some case study of disorders with focus on obesity, sleep disorder, amnesia from the community by the students.

·         Case presentation and visit to psychiatry and neurology unit.
















Paper 1.5: Practicum – Experiments


Unit Contents Learning Objectives (at the end of the course, the student shall be able to) Teaching Guidelines Teaching Method-


Teaching Hrs.
1 History of Psychology:

Charting a timeline of 100 major events in psychology

A study of two-point threshold of two parts of the body.

Study of just noticeable difference of lifting weights

Measuring strengths and virtues / word association test

·         Develop an chronological sequence of major events including knowing about main contributors and places.

·         Perform and replicate some very early experiments of Psychology.

·         Enumerate main character strength of positive side of human nature.

·         Analyse dynamic side of human psyche.


·         Introducing laboratory of Psychology and its features particularly using human as subjects.

·         Exposing different sources of time lines in emergence and development of Psychology.

·         Introducing basic experimentation and concepts of variable and constants.

·         Sharing the findings of classical experiments.

·         Demonstration

·         Experimenting with instruments and recording.

·         Analysis of data.

·         Group sharing of results.

·         Report writing.











2 Cognitive Psychology:

Trail making test

Assignment on memory retention techniques

Experiments in problem solving (Dunker’s (1945) Candle problem for functional fixedness; 2 String Problem; Water Jug experiment by Luchin (1942, 1959)

Written assignment of types of heuristics


·         Develop understanding of cognitive processes in its working.

·         Having knowledge of tapping the process objectively.

·         Demonstrate the way to solve problems, seeking alternatives and even errors.

·         Getting to enlist various common strategies often picked up for solving problems.

·         Highlighting objective and practical side of learning memory and problem solving.

·         Familiarizing with common experiments cited in cognitive psychology text.

·         Collecting studies to familiarizing with various problem solving strategies to see the process actually.

·         Preparing the task material from various sources and standardizing the verbal material, protocols and problem situations

·         Putting the cognitive material to test with standard parameters.

·         Using instruments and application of information technology for conducting experiments of cognitive process.









3 Research Design & Methods:

Find and describe one research each from literature regarding different types of researches

Perform a mini-research by taking data on any variables of interest using one of the research designs

Read a research and prepare a presentation on basic components of research

Perform review of literature on a variable using PubMed database and gather abstracts of 10 studies

·         Conduct a study on behavioural domain using some methods with the help of research design.

·         Acquiring skills to plan study and execute it.

·         Perform a library review exercise for the development of research idea.

·         Getting a training into the use of various websites, search engines and retrieving relevant information.


·         Putting the research as a process into action.

·         Exposing the major issues in conducting research in field and laboratory.

·         Designing and planning basic and applied research at introductory level.

·         Exposing with various methods of data collection and sources of earlier researches.

·         Demonstrating online websites and searching techniques.

·         Practical exposure of laboratory and field methods.

·         Critical analysis of the problems identified by the student in a small group.

·         Using soma package programs for analyzing data.

·         Project report preparation.














4 Biopsychology:

Preparing a model of the part of the brain


GSR/EMG – a report on recording


A case study of amnesic patient


Preparing a sleep-waking checklist


·         Perform observational studies with the help of instruments on biological processes.

·         Reproduce the imagery into material form about the brain.

·         Record biological phenomena.

·         Acquire skill to prepare a case study of a patient and tracing the etiology and symptoms of memory.

·         Prepare observational chart of daily activities.

·         Introducing the techniques to understand the anatomical features of the brain.

·         Explaining and describing some of the basic peripheral processes under the skin or muscles.

·         Introducing neuropsychological features of memory.

·         Familiarizing through circadian rhythm and the states during sleep and waking cycle.

·         Demonstration

·         Laboratory experimentation

·         Visiting and selecting a case from psychiatry and neurology.

·         Case presentation and discussion.

·         Interviewing and recording.















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