Please refer to Self and Personality Class 12 Psychology Exam Questions provided below. These questions and answers for Class 12 Psychology have been designed based on the past trend of questions and important topics in your class 12 Psychology books. You should go through all Class 12 Psychology Important Questions provided by our teachers which will help you to get more marks in upcoming exams.
Class 12 Psychology Exam Questions Self and Personality
Class 12 Psychology students should read and understand the important questions and answers provided below for Self and Personality which will help them to understand all important and difficult topics.
Very Short Answer Questions
Question. What are situational stress tests?
Ans. The most commonly used test of this kind is the situational stress test. It involves a kind of role-playing in which a person performs a task with other persons who are noncooperative and interfering. Thus this test provides us with information about how a person behaves under stressful situations.
Question. Define personality.
Ans. Personality refers to our characteristic ways of responding to individuals and situations.
For example, a person who is socially active, assertive, talkative and fun-loving is an extrovert personality. Personality refers to unique and relatively stable qualities that characterize an individual’s behaviour across different situations over a period of time.
Consistency in behaviour, thought and emotion of an individual across situations and time-periods characterizes his/her personality. For example, an honest person is more likely to remain honest irrespective of time or situation.
Question. What is naturalistic observation?
Ans. Naturalistic observation is observation in a natural setting. For example, observing how people behave in response to a heavy discount provided by a shop.
Question. Explain participant observation.
Ans. In participant observation, the observer may become part of the group being observed.
In this the observer takes some time to establish a rapport with the group so that they start accepting him/her as one of the group members. E.g., a teacher may become a part with students playing in the play-ground.
Question. State two advantages of using observation as a technique.
Ans. Advantages of Observation method:
(i) It allows behaviour to be seen and studied in its natural setting.
(ii) People from outside, or those already working in a setting, can be trained to use it.
Question. Describe Type-A personality.
Ans. (i) Type A personality possess high motivation, lack patience, feel short of time.
(ii) Seem to be in a hurry and feel burdened with work.
(iii) They are susceptible to problems like hyper-tension and coronary heart disease.
Question. Describe any two factors from the 5-Factor Model of Personality. (Write any two)
Ans. The Big Five Factors include:
OO Openness to experience: Those who score high on this factor are imaginative,curious, open to new ideas, and interested in cultural pursuits. In contrast, those who score low are rigid.
Extraversion: It characterizes people who are socially active, assertive, talkative and fun-loving. On its opposite are people who are shy.
Agreeableness: This factor characterises people who are helpful, co-operative, friendly, caring, and nurturing. On the opposite are people who are hostile and selfcentered.
Neuroticism: People who score high on this factor are emotionally unstable, anxious, worried, fearful, distressed, irritable and hypertensive. On the opposite side are people who are well adjusted.
Conscientiousness: Those who score high on this factor are achievement-oriented, dependable, responsible, prudent, hardworking and self-controlled. On the opposite are people who are impulsive.
Question. What is ‘self-concept’?
Ans. The way we perceive ourselves (as either positive or negative) and the ideas we hold about our competencies and attributes is called self-concept. For e.g., view of an individual’s academic talents. At a more specific level, a person may have positive view of his athletic bravery but a negative view of academic talents. At an even more specific level, one may have a positive view about one’s reading ability but a negative one about one’s mathematical skills.
Question. What is ‘self-esteem’?
Ans. The judgment a person makes about his value or worth is called self-esteem. It can be high or low. Children with high academic self-esteem perform better in school than those with low academic self-esteem. Children with high social self-esteem are more liked by their peers than those with low social self-esteem.
Short Answer Questions
Question. State the techniques of self-control.
Enumerate any three psychological techniques of self-control.
Ans. The psychological techniques of self-control are:
(i) Observation of our own behaviour: This refers to changing, modifying or strengthening certain aspects of self.
(ii) Self instruction: This refers to instructing ourselves to do something and behave accordingly.
(iii) Self-reinforcement: This involves rewarding behaviours that have pleasant consequences. For, e.g., going to a movie after doing well in exams.
Question. Describe the unconscious as stated by Freud.
Ans. According to Freud, the unconscious is a reservoir of instinctive or animal drives, which also stores all ideas and wishes that are concealed from conscious awareness, perhaps because they lead to psychological conflicts. Most of these arise from sexual desires which cannot be expressed openly and therefore are repressed. People constantly struggle to find either some socially acceptable ways to express unconscious impulses, or to keep those impulses away from being expressed. Unsuccessful resolution of conflicts results in abnormal behaviour. Analysis of forgetting, mispronunciations, jokes and dreams provide us a means to approach the unconscious. Freud developed a therapeutic procedure, called psychoanalysis, whose basic goal is to bring the repressed unconscious materials to consciousness, helping people live in a more self-aware and integrated manner.
Question. How parents can contribute in developing self-esteem of the child?
Ans. Warm and positive parenting helps in development of high self-esteem among children as it allows them to know that they are accepted as competent and worthwhile. Children
whose parents help or make decisions for them even when they do not need assistance,often suffer from low self-esteem.
Question. Describe the relationship between culture and self.
Explain the views of self in different cultures.
Ans. Many aspects of self are linked with the characteristic features of the culture in which one lives. Analysis of self in Indian cultural context shows many features that are distinct from those found in the Western cultural context. Western cultures are characterized as individualistic, with rigid boundaries between self and others, whereas Asian cultures are characterized as collectivistic with flexible boundaries between self and others.
Question. Describe the structure of personality.
Ans. According to Freud, there are three structural elements of personality:
(i) Id: It deals with immediate gratification of primitive needs, sexual desires and aggressive impulses. It is based on the pleasure principle in which people seek pleasure and try to avoid pain. For example, a boy who wants an ice-cream cone,will grab the cone and eat it.
(ii) Ego: It grows out of id, and seeks to satisfy an individual’s instinctual needs in accordance with reality. It works on the reality principle. For example, a boy who wants an icecream cone, will ask for permission to eat the cone.
(iii) Superego: The superego tells the id and ego whether gratification in a particular instance is ethical.
It is the administrative division of personality. For example a boy who wants an ice-cream cone, his superego will indicate whether his behaviour is morally correct.
Obtaining the ice-cream cone will create guilt, fear or anxiety in the boy.
Unconscious is composed of these three competing forces. In some people, the id is stronger while in others it is the superego. The relative strength of the id, ego and superego determines each person’s stability. The instinctual life force that energizes the id is called libido. It works on the pleasure principle, and seeks immediate gratification.
Question. Describe the theory by Karen Horney.
Ans. Karen Horney criticized Freud’s theory in his treatment of women as inferior. She claimed that women are more likely to be affected by social and cultural factors than by biological factors. She argued that psychological disorders were caused by disturbed interpersonal relationships during childhood. Indifferent, discouraging and erratic behaviour of parents makes the child feel insecure and basic anxiety results. If parents are indifferent or dominant or show too much or too little approval, children feel isolated and helpless which interfere with their healthy development.
Question. Discuss Erikson’s concept of identity crisis.
Ans. Erik Erikson laid stress on rational, conscious ego processes in personality development.He viewed development as a life-long process with a central place granted to ego identity. His concept of identity crisis of adolescent age has shown considerable attention.
The primary task of adolescence is to establish an identity separate from their parents. In this process, the adolescents experience conflict with their parents and with themselves.
Those who are not able to cope with this identity crisis are confused. This ‘identity confusion’, according to Erikson, can lead them to isolate themselves from their peers and family, or they lose their identity in the crowd. Adolescents on one hand may desire independence and at the same time show a great deal of dependence on their parents.Rapid fluctuations of self-confidence and insecurity are typical of this stage.
Question. Differentiate between personal self and social self, giving examples.
Ans. Personal self: The biological self (e.g., a child cries when it is hungry which is based on reflex) modifies itself in context of socio-cultural environment and other components
of personal self emerge such as personal freedom, personal responsibility, personal achievement or personal comforts.
Social self: This emerges in relation with others and emphasizes such aspects of life as cooperation, unity, affiliation, sacrifice, support or sharing. This self values family and social relationships. Hence it is also called familial or relational self.
Question. Explain ego defence mechanisms. Illustrate with examples, the projection as a defence mechanism.
Ans. According to Freud, defence mechanisms are ways in which the ego unconsciously tries to cope with unacceptable Id desires or impulses. Human behaviour reflects an attempt to deal with or escape from anxiety. Freud described various defence mechanisms which people use to reduce anxiety by distorting reality. Defence mechanisms reduce anxiety temporarily. The optimum use of defence mechanisms is useful, normal and adaptive but excessive use is harmful which can even lead to distortion of reality and develop various forms of maladjustment and psychological problems. In projection people attribute their own traits to others. For e.g., a person who has strong aggressive tendencies may see other people as acting in an excessively aggressive way towards him or her.
By means of projection an individual:
– blames others for his own shortcomings, mistakes, anxiety, guilt, misdeeds.
– blames others for his own unacceptable impulses, thoughts and desires.
For example, a student failing in an examination blames either fate for being bad or the teacher for being unfair.
Question. Differentiate between type and trait approaches to personality. Give suitable examples.
Ans. Type approaches comprehend human personality by examining certain broad patterns in the observed behavioural characteristics of individuals. For example, Type-A personality possess high motivation, lack patience, feel short of time, are in a great hurry and always feel burdened with work.
Trait approach focuses on the specific psychological attributes along which individuals tend to differ in consistent and stable ways. For example, an individual with extraversion traits are active, gregarious, impulsive and thrill-seeking.
Question. What are defence mechanisms? Differentiate between repression and denial.
What are defence mechanisms? Explain repression.
Ans. Human behaviour reflects an attempt to deal with or escape from anxiety. Freud described various defence mechanisms which people use to reduce anxiety by distorting reality. Differences between repression and denial are:
Repression: In this anxiety-provoking behaviours or thoughts are totally dismissed by the unconscious. For e.g., when people repress a feeling or desire, they become totally unaware of that wish or desire.
Denial: In this a person totally refuses to accept reality. For e.g., someone suffering from
HIV/AIDS may altogether deny his or her illness.
Question. What are the major criticisms against the psychodynamic theories?
Ans. The major criticisms of psychodynamic theories are as follows:
(i) The theories are largely based on case studies that lack a scientific basis.
(ii) They use small and atypical individuals as samples for advancing generalizations.
(iii) The concepts are not properly defined and it is difficult to submit them to scientific testing.
(iv) Freud has used males as the prototype of all human personality development. He overlooked female experiences and perspectives.
Long Answer Questions
Question. Arihant wants to become a singer even though he belongs to a family of doctors. Though his family members claim to love him but strongly disapprove his choice of career.
Using Carl Rogers’ terminology, describe the attitudes shown by Arihant’s family.
Ans. Rogers views personality development as a continuous process. It involves learning to evaluate oneself and mastering the process of self-actualisation. He recognises the role of social influences in the development of self-concept. When social conditions are positive, the self-concept and self-esteem are high. In contrast, when the conditions are negative, the self-concept and self-esteem are low. People with high self-concept and self-esteem are generally flexible and open to new experiences, so that they can continue to grow and self-actualise.
Human beings are motivated by the desire for personal growth and self-actualisation,and an innate need to grow emotionally. When these needs are curbed by society and family, in this case Arihant’s family, human beings experience psychological distress.Self-actualisation is defined as an innate or inborn force that moves the person to become more complex, balanced, and integrated, i.e. achieving the complexity and balance without being fragmented. Integrated means a sense of whole and being a complete person. Just as lack of food or water causes distress, frustration of self-actualisation also causes distress. Self-actualisation requires free emotional expression. The family and society curb emotional expression, as it is feared that a free expression of emotions can harm society by unleashing destructive forces. This curb leads to destructive behaviour and negative emotions by thwarting the process of emotional integration.
Question. How would Horney’s explanation of depression be different from that of Alfred Adler?
Ans. Karen Horney criticized Freud’s theory in his treatment of women as inferior. She claimed that women are more likely to be affected by social and cultural factors than by biological factors. She argued that psychological disorders such as depression were caused by disturbed interpersonal relationships during childhood. Indifferent, discouraging and erratic behaviour of parents makes the child feel insecure and basic anxiety results.If parents are indifferent or dominant or show too much or too little approval, children feel isolated and helpless which interfere with their healthy development. Alfred Adler is known as Individual psychology in which he assumes that human behaviour is purposeful and goal-directed. Our personal goals are the sources of our motivation. In Adler’s view every individual suffers from the feelings of inadequacy and guilt, i.e. inferiority complex which arise from childhood. Overcoming this complex is essential for optimal personality development and if this complex is not overcome, it might result in psychological disorders such as depression.
Question. What is meant by delay of gratification? Why is it considered important for adult development?
Ans. Learning to delay or defer the gratification of needs is called self-control. For example,fasting in vrata or roza.
Many situations of life require resistance to situational pressures and control over ourselves. This becomes possible through what is commonly known as ‘will power’. As human beings we can control our behaviour the way we want. Self-control plays a key role in the fulfilment of long-term goals and hence is important in adult development.
Question. What is meant by structured personality tests? Which are the two most widely used structured personality tests?
Ans. Self-report Measures are structured personality tests that require subjects to give verbal responses on a rating scale. The method requires the subject to objectively report her/his own feelings with respect to various items. They are scored in quantitative terms and interpreted on the basis of norms developed for the test.
Some of the self-report measures (structured personality tests) are:
(i) The Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI): It contains 567 statements in which the subject has to state true or false. The test is divided into 10 subsets and diagnoses depression, hysteria, psychopathology, schizophrenia, mania, socialintroversion etc.
(ii) Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ): This test measures personality traits on three dimensions Introversion-Extraversion, Neuroticism-Emotional stability and Psychoticism-Sociability.
(iii) Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF): This test was developed by Cattell. On the basis of his studies, he identified a large set of personality descriptors,which were subjected to factor analysis to identify the basic personality structure.
This test provides with declarative statements and the subject responds to a specific situation by choosing from a set of given alternatives.
Question. What are defence mechanisms? Explain with examples.
Ans. According to Freud, defence mechanisms are ways in which the ego unconsciously tries to cope with unacceptable Id desires or impulses. Human behaviour reflects an attempt
to deal with or escape from anxiety. Freud described various defence mechanisms which people use to reduce anxiety by distorting reality. Defence mechanisms reduce anxiety temporarily. The optimum use of defence mechanisms is useful, normal and adaptive but excessive use is harmful which can even lead to distortion of reality and develop various forms of maladjustment and psychological problems.
The various defence mechanisms are:
(i) Repression: In this, anxiety-provoking behaviours or thoughts are totally dismissed by the unconscious. For example, when people repress a feeling or desire, they become totally unaware of that wish or desire.
(ii) Projection: In this, people attribute their own traits to others. For e.g. a person who has strong aggressive tendencies may see other people as acting in an excessively aggressive way towards him or her. By means of projection an individual:
– blames others for his own shortcomings, mistakes, anxiety, guilt, misdeeds.
– blames others for his own unacceptable impulses, thoughts and desires.
For example, a student failing in an examination blames the teacher for being unfair or the fate being bad (bad luck).
(iii) Denial: In this, a person totally refuses to accept reality. For example, someone suffering from HIV/AIDS may altogether deny his or her illness.
(iv) Reaction Formation: In this, a person defends against anxiety by adopting behaviours opposite to his or her true feelings. For example, a person with strong sexual urges channels his or her energy into religious fervour.
(v) Rationalisation: In this, a person tries to make unreasonable feelings or behaviour seem reasonable and acceptable. For example, a person eats the chocolate giving the reason that it will melt in the sun in his pocket.
(vi) Displacement: A frustrated person may show aggressive behaviour towards a weaker person. For example, members of a majority group in a society may be prejudiced against members of a minority group, and may show aggressive behaviour towards a minority group member, such as using abusive language or physically assaulting the minority group member.
Question. What do projective techniques bring from the unconscious mind? Explain briefly the projective techniques with examples.
Ans. Projective techniques were developed to assess unconscious motives and feelings. These
techniques are based on the assumption that a less structured or unstructured stimulus or situation will allow the individual to project his/her feelings, desires and needs on to that situation.
(i) Rorschach Inkblot test: This test consists of 10 inkblots, 5 of them are in black and white, 2 in red ink and the remaining 3 in pastel colours. The blots were prepared by dropping ink on a piece of paper and folding the paper in half. The subjects are shown the cards and are asked to tell what they see in each of the cards and where, how and what basis was a particular response made.
(ii) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): This test consists of black and white picture cards and a blank card. Each picture card depicts one or more people in a variety of situations. The cards are presented one at a time. The subject is asked to tell a story describing the situation presented in the picture: what led up to the situation, what is happening at the moment, what will happen in the future and what the characters are feeling and thinking.
(iii) Rosenzweig’s Picture-Frustration Study (P-F Study): This test presents with the help of cartoon like pictures in which one person frustrates another or calls attention to a frustrating condition. Observation is made whether the subject protects the frustrated person or finds a constructive solution to the problem. The direction of aggression may be towards the environment, towards oneself or may be to avoid the situation.
(iv) Sentence Completion Test: This test makes use of a number of incomplete sentences.The starting part of the sentence is first presented and the subject has to provide an ending to the sentence. These endings reflect the subject’s attitudes, motivation and conflicts.
Examples of sentence completion tests are:
(a) My father ____________.
(b) My greatest fear is _____________.
(c) I am proud of _______________.
(v) Draw-a-Person Test: In this test the subject has to draw a person on a sheet of paper and then the figure of an opposite sex. Then the subject is asked to make a story about the person as if s/he was a character in a novel or play. Some examples of interpretations are:
(a) Omission of facial features suggests that the person tries to evade a highly conflict-ridden interpersonal relationship.
(b) Graphic emphasis on the neck suggests lack of control over impulses.
(c) Disproportionately large head suggests organic brain disease and pre-occupation with headaches.
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