Psychology Optional Syllabus: Download Latest Psychology Optional Syllabus PDF for UPSC 2023

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : January 9th, 2023

Psychology Optional Syllabus for UPSC tests the ability of the candidates to understand the subject as science and apply that information to solve problems. The topics included in the UPSC Psychology Syllabus are related to both theoretical and applied psychology.

The Psychology Optional UPSC is one of the most opted subjects for UPSC Mains as the syllabus is short and easy to cover. Aspirants with the Psychology optional can also download the latest Psychology Optional Syllabus PDF in both English and Hindi to get started. 

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Psychology Optional Syllabus for UPSC

The UPSC Psychology Syllabus includes topics like methods of research, human behaviour, personality, attitude and more. Like all other optional subjects, the Psychology Syllabus for UPSC is divided into two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper holds 250 marks and a total of 500. The performance in the optional paper will highly impact the score on the final score of the UPSC Exam. That’s why aspirants must understand each topic of the UPSC Psychology Syllabus and prepare accordingly.

Psychology Optional for UPSC

UPSC Psychology Syllabus 


Psychology Optional Syllabus UPSC Paper 1

Methods of Psychology, Research Methods, Development of Human Behaviour, Sensation, Attention and Perception, Learning, Memory, etc

Psychology Optional Syllabus for UPSC Paper 2

Psychological Measurement of Individual Differences

Psychological well being and Mental Disorders

Therapeutic Approaches

Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour

Application of Psychology to the Educational Field

Community Psychology

Psychology Optional UPSC Syllabus PDF

Every candidate should download the Psychology Optional Syllabus and kickstart the preparation. The Psychology Optional is also famous among aspirants as it grooms them into better leaders and administrators. The topics provide a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour and community. 

☛ Download: UPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus PDF

Aspirants preparing for the IAS Exam in Hindi can also download the IAS Exam in Hindi can also download the UPSC Psychology Syllabus PDF in Hindi

UPSC Psychology Syllabus Paper 1

Paper 1 of the Psychology Optional Syllabus is more theoretical, and the topics range from Foundations of Psychology to issues and understanding of contemporary Psychology. The detailed topic-wise syllabus is given below. 

UPSC Psychology Syllabus

Psychology Optional Syllabus

Psychology Optional Syllabus for UPSC Paper 2

Paper 2 of the UPSC Psychology Syllabus is based on applied psychology and its related issues. Topics like work and community psychology also help write better answers in the Ethics paper of UPSC Mains.  Psychology UPSC Syllabus

Psychology Syllabus for UPSC

How to Prepare for Psychology Optional Syllabus?

Being familiar with the psychology optional syllabus for UPSC should be the first addition to the UPSC preparation strategy. Knowing what topics to cover at the beginning will help the candidates to strengthen their foundation, and they will be able to score well. The psychology optional UPSC syllabus is vast, so candidates must keep a few aspects in mind while studying and writing their answers.

☛ Know: How to Choose Optional for UPSC CSE?

Keeping these things in check would help them effectively cover the whole UPSC Psychology Syllabus and ace their exam. However, candidates must also complete the other papers of the UPSC Mains Syllabus to increase their overall score.

  • Candidates must clarify each topic's basic concepts from the optional psychology syllabus.
  • Including experimental studies in your paper will add a huge advantage
  • Make sure to come up with real-life examples which will help you to boost your score
  • Creating flowcharts would help you to understand the concepts in a better way
  • Attempt mock tests, and practice the previous year’s questions to cover the entire UPSC Psychology Syllabus in the best possible way.

Best Books for Psychology Syllabus for UPSC

Effective preparation for the Psychology Optional Syllabus won’t be achievable without books. Even though there are many options for choosing the UPSC Books, not all of them are worth your attention. Below we have shared some of the highly recommended Psychology Optional Books by experts to perform well in the UPSC psychology optional subject. 

  • Understanding Psychology by Robert S. Feldman
  • Psychology – Classes XI & XII NCERT textbooks
  • Psychology by Robert A Baron
  • Tests, Measurements, and Research Methods in Behavioural Sciences by A K Singh
  • Psychology by Saundra Ciccarelli
  • Applied Psychology by Smarak Swain

Who is Considered the Father of Psychology?

Psychology Optional Syllabus: UPSC 2022 Questions

As per the UPSC question paper 2022, some of the questions asked in psychology optional are as follow:

  • Describe the applications of psychological principles in managing drug abuse in adolescents.
  • Is intelligence a univariate or multivariate concept? Discuss in the light of Spearman’s and J. P. Das’s theories of intelligence.
  • What is community psychology? Mention a few skills and qualities a community psychologist should have.
  • Discuss important concepts of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy along with its applications.

Other optional subject syllabi apart from psychology are given below for comparison. 

List of UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus
UPSC Agriculture SyllabusUPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus
UPSC Anthropology SyllabusUPSC Botany Syllabus
UPSC Chemistry SyllabusUPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Commerce and Accountancy SyllabusUPSC Economics Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering SyllabusUPSC English Literature Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Geology Syllabus
UPSC Hindi Literature SyllabusUPSC History Syllabus
UPSC Law SyllabusUPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Maths Optional SyllabusUPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Medical Science SyllabusUPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC Physics SyllabusUPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus
UPSC CSAT SyllabusUPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Science and Technology SyllabusUPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
UPSC Statistics SyllabusUPSC Zoology Syllabus


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FAQs on UPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus

  • The Psychology Optional Syllabus includes two papers, namely Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 contains Foundations of Psychology, whereas paper 2 deals with Psychology: Issues and Applications.

    Download:  UPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus PDF

  • There are two papers in the Psychology Optional Syllabus, each with 250 marks, which is a total of 500 marks.

  • With a robust study schedule and proper time management, the UPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus can be covered on time. It would be wise for the candidates to start their preparation as early as possible, leaving enough time for revision.

    Go through: Time-table for UPSC Preparation

  • Some of the highly recommended books to cover the UPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus are 

    • Understanding Psychology by Robert S. Feldman
    • Psychology – Classes XI & XII NCERT textbooks
    • Psychology by Robert A Baron
    • Tests, Measurements and Research Methods in Behavioural Sciences by A K Singh
    • Psychology by Saundra Ciccarelli
    • Applied Psychology by Smarak Swain
  • No, there are no similarities between the UPSC psychology syllabus and the UPSC prelims syllabus. The psychology optional syllabus is only part of the UPSC mains exam. 

  • Yes, The UPSC Psychology Syllabus is basically of the honors degree level, i.e. a level higher than a bachelor's degree but lower than a master's degree. 

  • As per aspirants' feedback, theUPSC Psychology Optional Syllabus is balanced and short if the time is managed in a planned manner.

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