Class 11 Psychology NCERT Textbook

Class 11 Psychology: Introduction

Class 11 Psychology provides an in-depth study of experiences, human behaviors, and psychological processes of human beings within a social, cultural, and socio-historical context.

Psychology of NCERT class 11 is a very helpful resource for the preparation of not only the class 11 exams but also for various other competitive exams. It provides the learners with a robust conceptual background of Psychology that could make students competent to crack various competitive exams and to pursue academic and professional courses after the higher secondary class.

In the syllabus of Class 11, Psychology students are exposed to the depth of the discipline for the first time. The book helps students to understand abstract ideas and exercise the power of thinking to develop their perception.

In the textbook of Class 11 Psychology students are introduced to key concepts, terminology, and core principles of Psychology. In-depth discussions of the themes allow students to understand the social realities and challenges that the people across the world are facing today and to be familiar with some basic research tools that enhance the understanding of these broader Psychological realities.

Class 11 Psychology also enables students to describe processes and real-life situations, to correlate with psychological perspectives, and to discover the relationship between different methods of psychological investigations.

The Class 11 Psychology courses also contain several projects and activities. These will provide opportunities for the students to wade through various economic issues from their day-to-day life and also from the prevalent issues, which are broader and crucial in nature. The academic skills that students learn in these courses help to come up with better ideas of projects and activities. The syllabus also provides opportunities to utilize information and communication technologies for the betterment of students learning process.

The NCERT class 11 Psychology includes 9 Units deeply discussed under two different parts with logical sequencing of the subject matter and proper placement of the concepts.

The three major parts covered in the book are:

1) Semester I: Foundations of Psychology – I

2) Semester II: Foundations of Psychology-II

3) Practicals for Semesters I and II

Semester I: Foundations of Psychology – I


Unit I: What is Psychology?

The unit eloquently describes the importance, basic understanding and need of psychology as a discipline, evolution of Psychology over some time, its applications in real-world, its interdisciplinary linkages with other sciences by listing many relevant and interesting examples; analysis of everyday experience, existing perspectives, and definitions of Psychology; most discussed and popular notions about psychology; the quest of understanding mind and behavior; Evolution of psychology, developments in psychology; various branches of psychology, several popular themes of research and applications; relation of psychology with other disciplines; Psychologists at work; Psychology in our day to day life; Development and scope of psychology in India.

Unit II: Methods of Enquiry in Psychology

The unit discusses various methodologies involves in an inquiry of psychological data, collecting psychological data, aims of psychological inquiry; Nature and uses of psychological data; Some important methodologies in psychology like  Observational, Correlational, Experimental, Survey, Case Study, Psychological testing, Analysis of data.

The chapter also explains certain limitations of psychological inquiry and some important Ethical issues.

Unit III: The Bases of Human Behaviour

The core focus of the unit is on the role of biological, social, and cultural factors in moulding the shape of human behavior.

The chapter also encapsulates various Evolutionary perspective towards the change of human behaviour, biological basis of understanding human behaviour, biological and cultural roots of human beings; a detailed description of the biology of behaviour, structure, and functions of the brain and nervous system, endocrine system; a relationship of the nervous system and endocrine system, impacts of the relations of the nervous system and endocrine system on behaviour and experience; Brain and its control over behaviour; Heredity, Genes and its relation with behaviour; Cultural basis of understanding impacts on behaviour, the role of family, faith, community, gender, disability, caste, creed, race, religion, and region on behaviour; Impact of  Socialisation, acculturation, and enculturation on human behaviour.

Unit IV: Human Development

In this unit learners come across variations in development, several crucial developmental tasks in a person’s life, understanding the meaning of development from the psychological viewpoint,  Factors effecting and affecting development; Context of development; Overview of the various developmental stage like infancy, growth stages during childhood,  Adolescence, Challenges, and changes during  Adolescence, Adulthood, a journey to senescence: Old age.

Unit V: Sensory, Attention and Perceptual Processes

This unit provides a deep understanding of various sensory stimuli, their role, function, and action. The chapter also entails the quest of  ‘Knowing the world’; Nature as a stimulus, varieties of stimulus; various sense modalities; Adaptation, the role of environment of an individual in adaptations and learning, Attention processes; sustained attention and Selective attention.

Learners are also exposed to the in-depth understanding of Perceptual processes, the concept of Perceiver; After images; Principles of a perceptual organization;  Perception of space, depth, breadth and distance; Illusions; Social and cultural influences on perception and Perceptual constancies.

Semester II: Foundations of Psychology-II


Unit VI: Learning

This unit elaborates about ways of acquiring new behaviour, reasons for changes in behaviour, nature of learning; various dimensions and paradigms of learning, Classical conditioning and its impact on learning, impacts of operant conditioning, Cognitive learning, Observational learning, Verbal learning, Skill learning and Concept learning.

The chapter also discusses various factors that facilitate learning; transfer of learning; nature of the learner, unique and common learning styles; Applications of learning principles, and Learning disabilities.

Unit VII: Human Memory

This chapter encapsulates various aspects of the human mind and memory. It addresses various interesting questions like: ‘How information is received, how it is stored, retrieved and gets lost.

The chapter also discusses proven ways through which memory can be improved; Nature of human memory; Information Processing Approach in humans and in some other species; Levels of the processing; various memory systems, short-term memory, sensory memory, Long-term memory; Knowledge representation, organizing knowledge in memory; a constructive process of memory; Nature and reasons of forgetting; methods of enhancing memory.

 Unit VIII: Thinking

This unit encompasses the process of thinking and related processes like reasoning, questioning, problem-solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, and decision making.

The chapter also deals with the relationship between thought and language, nature of thinking; impacts of languages on though processes; Development of language, language use; Reasoning ability; Problem-solving skills; Decision-making ability; Nature and Process of creative thinking and critical thinking; Developing creative thinking and critical thinking.

Unit IX: Motivation and Emotion

This unit encircles various reasons and perspectives regarding human behaviour.  It also eloquently describes how people take positive and negative events and respond with or without thinking to them.

The chapter also covers nature of motivation; Social motives, biological motives; psychological motives; impacts, achievement, affiliation, results and power of different types of motivations; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; physiological, cultural and cognitive and bases of emotions; Nature of emotions; Expression of emotions; reinforcing positive emotions, e.g. Happiness, Acceptance, Optimism, etc.; Managing negative emotions, e.g. Envy, anger, agitation, fear, etc.

Practicals for Semesters I and II

One project and three practical are a significant part of the course of Class 11 Psychology. This may include guided projects, interviews, experiments, surveys, case studies small studies, etc. The project generally involves the use of different methods of enquiry like questionnaires, interviews, field visits, and related skills. Practicals involve conducting experiments, studies, research and exercises, related to the topics covered under the topics:  Human development, Memory, Motivation, Learning, Perception, Thinking, and Attention.

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