NCERT Textbook Chapter 9 Developing Psychological Skills, Psychology, Class XII Class 12 Notes | EduRev

Class 12 : NCERT Textbook Chapter 9 Developing Psychological Skills, Psychology, Class XII Class 12 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY
DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
Introduction
Developing as an Effective Psychologist
General Skills
Intellectual and Personal Skills; Sensitivity to Diversity :
Individual and Cultural Differences (Box 9.1)
Observational Skills
Specific Skills
Communication Skills
Characteristics of Communication (Box 9.2)
Some Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills (Box 9.3)
Psychological Testing Skills
Essentials of Psychological Assessment Skills (Box 9.4)
Interviewing Skills
Types of Interview Questions (Box 9.5)
Counselling Skills
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter , you would be able to:
understand the need to develop skills among psychologists,
describe the basic aspects of observational skills,
know the significance of developing communication skills,
understand the importance of psychological testing skills in individual assessment, and
explain the nature and process of counselling.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY
DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
Introduction
Developing as an Effective Psychologist
General Skills
Intellectual and Personal Skills; Sensitivity to Diversity :
Individual and Cultural Differences (Box 9.1)
Observational Skills
Specific Skills
Communication Skills
Characteristics of Communication (Box 9.2)
Some Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills (Box 9.3)
Psychological Testing Skills
Essentials of Psychological Assessment Skills (Box 9.4)
Interviewing Skills
Types of Interview Questions (Box 9.5)
Counselling Skills
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter , you would be able to:
understand the need to develop skills among psychologists,
describe the basic aspects of observational skills,
know the significance of developing communication skills,
understand the importance of psychological testing skills in individual assessment, and
explain the nature and process of counselling.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
178
One aspect common to all the applied
areas within psychology is a universal
agreement on the basic assumptions about
human nature and the role of a
psychologist in different settings. It is
generally assumed that psychologists have
interest in people, their abilities and
temperaments. A psychologist from any
As you have already studied in the previous class, psychology began as an
application-oriented discipline. Psychological testing stands as a prime
example of psychology in action. Psychology touches on many questions
related to our lives. For example, what kind of personality make-up is
required to become a successful human being? Or what would be the right
vocation for a student studying in Class XII
 
? Similarly, there are other
questions and curiosities about human beings which psychologists are asked
to answer .
Psychology has two kinds of application-related images: first, as a
service-oriented discipline and second, as a scientific method-driven research
discipline. Both of these are interrelated and inseparable. It would be
important to learn that there are certain factors which contribute in making
psychology application-oriented. First, psychologists have found, both in
the past and present, that solutions to many problems faced by the
individuals, groups, organisations and societies require an understanding
of psychological principles. As problems encountered by individuals as well
as societies have become more evident and acute, psychologists have
responded with concrete solutions. For instance, rapid increase in depressive
tendencies and suicidal rates among adolescents is one such area, where
psychological knowledge dedicated to the issues of adolescent development
is utilised for getting a clearer understanding of the occurrence of these
phenomena, and certain intervention models are developed to assist the
youth experiencing such problems early in their lives. The other reason is
that expertise of psychologists has been highly valued in the marketplace.
Over the past few years, there is a growing acceptability and demand of
psychology as a profession. Various sections of society have developed a
keen interest towards integrating the knowledge of psychology within their
core activities. It can be seen particularly in the army or in the field of
education, where in some states it has become mandatory for the schools
to have a trained counsellor, in the field of management, which seeks help
of psychologists to combat problems related to recruitment and assessment,
employee behaviour , workplace stress, etc., in management of health-related
problems and more recently even in sports. These are not the only areas.
Almost all areas of life are calling for help from psychologists.
Introduction
field is required to have interest in other
people and exhibits a willingness to provide
help by using her/his knowledge of the
discipline. One can find active involvement
of a psychologist in obtaining the
client’s history, her/his socio-cultural
environment, assessment of her/his
personality and also on other important
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY
DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
Introduction
Developing as an Effective Psychologist
General Skills
Intellectual and Personal Skills; Sensitivity to Diversity :
Individual and Cultural Differences (Box 9.1)
Observational Skills
Specific Skills
Communication Skills
Characteristics of Communication (Box 9.2)
Some Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills (Box 9.3)
Psychological Testing Skills
Essentials of Psychological Assessment Skills (Box 9.4)
Interviewing Skills
Types of Interview Questions (Box 9.5)
Counselling Skills
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter , you would be able to:
understand the need to develop skills among psychologists,
describe the basic aspects of observational skills,
know the significance of developing communication skills,
understand the importance of psychological testing skills in individual assessment, and
explain the nature and process of counselling.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
178
One aspect common to all the applied
areas within psychology is a universal
agreement on the basic assumptions about
human nature and the role of a
psychologist in different settings. It is
generally assumed that psychologists have
interest in people, their abilities and
temperaments. A psychologist from any
As you have already studied in the previous class, psychology began as an
application-oriented discipline. Psychological testing stands as a prime
example of psychology in action. Psychology touches on many questions
related to our lives. For example, what kind of personality make-up is
required to become a successful human being? Or what would be the right
vocation for a student studying in Class XII
 
? Similarly, there are other
questions and curiosities about human beings which psychologists are asked
to answer .
Psychology has two kinds of application-related images: first, as a
service-oriented discipline and second, as a scientific method-driven research
discipline. Both of these are interrelated and inseparable. It would be
important to learn that there are certain factors which contribute in making
psychology application-oriented. First, psychologists have found, both in
the past and present, that solutions to many problems faced by the
individuals, groups, organisations and societies require an understanding
of psychological principles. As problems encountered by individuals as well
as societies have become more evident and acute, psychologists have
responded with concrete solutions. For instance, rapid increase in depressive
tendencies and suicidal rates among adolescents is one such area, where
psychological knowledge dedicated to the issues of adolescent development
is utilised for getting a clearer understanding of the occurrence of these
phenomena, and certain intervention models are developed to assist the
youth experiencing such problems early in their lives. The other reason is
that expertise of psychologists has been highly valued in the marketplace.
Over the past few years, there is a growing acceptability and demand of
psychology as a profession. Various sections of society have developed a
keen interest towards integrating the knowledge of psychology within their
core activities. It can be seen particularly in the army or in the field of
education, where in some states it has become mandatory for the schools
to have a trained counsellor, in the field of management, which seeks help
of psychologists to combat problems related to recruitment and assessment,
employee behaviour , workplace stress, etc., in management of health-related
problems and more recently even in sports. These are not the only areas.
Almost all areas of life are calling for help from psychologists.
Introduction
field is required to have interest in other
people and exhibits a willingness to provide
help by using her/his knowledge of the
discipline. One can find active involvement
of a psychologist in obtaining the
client’s history, her/his socio-cultural
environment, assessment of her/his
personality and also on other important
© NCERT
not to be republished
Chapter 9 • Developing Psychological Skills
179
dimensions. One might think that client is
a special term, which is mostly used in a
clinical or counselling set-up. In
psychology, a client may refer to an
individual/group/organisation who on
her/his own seeks help, guidance or
intervention from a psychologist with
respect to any problem faced by her/him.
The term ‘skill’ may be defined as
proficiency, facility or dexterity that is
acquired or developed through training and
experience. The Webster dictionary defines
it as “possession of the qualities required
to do something or get something done”.
American Psychological Association
(1973) in their task force constituted
with the objective to identify skills
essential for professional psychologists
recommended at least three sets of skills.
These are: assessment of individual
differences, behaviour modification skills,
and counselling and guidance skills.
Recognition and application of these skills
and competencies have strengthened the
foundation and practices of applied
psychology in a positive way. How can one
develop into a professional psychologist?
DEVELOPING AS AN EFFECTIVE
PSYCHOLOGIST
Most people think that they are some kind
of psychologists. We, at times, talk about
intelligence, inferiority complex, identity
crisis, mental blocks, attitude, stress,
communication barriers and so many other
terms. Generally people pick up such
terms from popular writings and media.
There are a lot of common sense notions
about human behaviour that one develops
in the course of their lives. Some regularity
in human behaviour is frequently observed
by us to warrant generalisation. This kind
of everyday amateur psychology often
misfires, sometimes even proves
disastrous. There still remains a question
of how to differentiate between a pseudo-
psychologist from a real psychologist.
An answer can be constructed by
asking such questions like professional
training, educational background,
institutional affiliation, and her/his
experience in providing service. However,
what is critical is training as a researcher
and internalisation of certain professional
values. It is now recognised that the
knowledge of tools used by psychologists,
their methods and theories are required to
develop psychological expertise. For
example, a professional psychologist
addresses the problem at the scientific
level. They take their problem to the
laboratory or study it in field settings to
answer various problems. S/he tries to find
the answer in terms of mathematical
probability. Only then does s/he arrive at
psychological principles or laws that can
be depended upon.
Here, another distinction should be
made. Some psychologists carry out
research to propound or investigate
theoretical formulations while others are
concerned with our daily life activities and
behaviour. We need both types of
psychologists. We need some scientists to
develop theories and others to find
solutions to human problems. It is
important to know about the conditions
and competencies that are necessary
besides research skills for a psychologist.
There are conditions and competencies for
psychologists which have come to be
recognised internationally.
They cover a range of knowledge that
a psychologist should possess when
entering the profession after completing
their education and training. These apply
to practitioners, academicians, and
researchers whose roles involve consulting
with students, business, industry, and
broader community. It is recognised that
it is difficult to develop, implement and
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY
DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
Introduction
Developing as an Effective Psychologist
General Skills
Intellectual and Personal Skills; Sensitivity to Diversity :
Individual and Cultural Differences (Box 9.1)
Observational Skills
Specific Skills
Communication Skills
Characteristics of Communication (Box 9.2)
Some Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills (Box 9.3)
Psychological Testing Skills
Essentials of Psychological Assessment Skills (Box 9.4)
Interviewing Skills
Types of Interview Questions (Box 9.5)
Counselling Skills
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter , you would be able to:
understand the need to develop skills among psychologists,
describe the basic aspects of observational skills,
know the significance of developing communication skills,
understand the importance of psychological testing skills in individual assessment, and
explain the nature and process of counselling.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
178
One aspect common to all the applied
areas within psychology is a universal
agreement on the basic assumptions about
human nature and the role of a
psychologist in different settings. It is
generally assumed that psychologists have
interest in people, their abilities and
temperaments. A psychologist from any
As you have already studied in the previous class, psychology began as an
application-oriented discipline. Psychological testing stands as a prime
example of psychology in action. Psychology touches on many questions
related to our lives. For example, what kind of personality make-up is
required to become a successful human being? Or what would be the right
vocation for a student studying in Class XII
 
? Similarly, there are other
questions and curiosities about human beings which psychologists are asked
to answer .
Psychology has two kinds of application-related images: first, as a
service-oriented discipline and second, as a scientific method-driven research
discipline. Both of these are interrelated and inseparable. It would be
important to learn that there are certain factors which contribute in making
psychology application-oriented. First, psychologists have found, both in
the past and present, that solutions to many problems faced by the
individuals, groups, organisations and societies require an understanding
of psychological principles. As problems encountered by individuals as well
as societies have become more evident and acute, psychologists have
responded with concrete solutions. For instance, rapid increase in depressive
tendencies and suicidal rates among adolescents is one such area, where
psychological knowledge dedicated to the issues of adolescent development
is utilised for getting a clearer understanding of the occurrence of these
phenomena, and certain intervention models are developed to assist the
youth experiencing such problems early in their lives. The other reason is
that expertise of psychologists has been highly valued in the marketplace.
Over the past few years, there is a growing acceptability and demand of
psychology as a profession. Various sections of society have developed a
keen interest towards integrating the knowledge of psychology within their
core activities. It can be seen particularly in the army or in the field of
education, where in some states it has become mandatory for the schools
to have a trained counsellor, in the field of management, which seeks help
of psychologists to combat problems related to recruitment and assessment,
employee behaviour , workplace stress, etc., in management of health-related
problems and more recently even in sports. These are not the only areas.
Almost all areas of life are calling for help from psychologists.
Introduction
field is required to have interest in other
people and exhibits a willingness to provide
help by using her/his knowledge of the
discipline. One can find active involvement
of a psychologist in obtaining the
client’s history, her/his socio-cultural
environment, assessment of her/his
personality and also on other important
© NCERT
not to be republished
Chapter 9 • Developing Psychological Skills
179
dimensions. One might think that client is
a special term, which is mostly used in a
clinical or counselling set-up. In
psychology, a client may refer to an
individual/group/organisation who on
her/his own seeks help, guidance or
intervention from a psychologist with
respect to any problem faced by her/him.
The term ‘skill’ may be defined as
proficiency, facility or dexterity that is
acquired or developed through training and
experience. The Webster dictionary defines
it as “possession of the qualities required
to do something or get something done”.
American Psychological Association
(1973) in their task force constituted
with the objective to identify skills
essential for professional psychologists
recommended at least three sets of skills.
These are: assessment of individual
differences, behaviour modification skills,
and counselling and guidance skills.
Recognition and application of these skills
and competencies have strengthened the
foundation and practices of applied
psychology in a positive way. How can one
develop into a professional psychologist?
DEVELOPING AS AN EFFECTIVE
PSYCHOLOGIST
Most people think that they are some kind
of psychologists. We, at times, talk about
intelligence, inferiority complex, identity
crisis, mental blocks, attitude, stress,
communication barriers and so many other
terms. Generally people pick up such
terms from popular writings and media.
There are a lot of common sense notions
about human behaviour that one develops
in the course of their lives. Some regularity
in human behaviour is frequently observed
by us to warrant generalisation. This kind
of everyday amateur psychology often
misfires, sometimes even proves
disastrous. There still remains a question
of how to differentiate between a pseudo-
psychologist from a real psychologist.
An answer can be constructed by
asking such questions like professional
training, educational background,
institutional affiliation, and her/his
experience in providing service. However,
what is critical is training as a researcher
and internalisation of certain professional
values. It is now recognised that the
knowledge of tools used by psychologists,
their methods and theories are required to
develop psychological expertise. For
example, a professional psychologist
addresses the problem at the scientific
level. They take their problem to the
laboratory or study it in field settings to
answer various problems. S/he tries to find
the answer in terms of mathematical
probability. Only then does s/he arrive at
psychological principles or laws that can
be depended upon.
Here, another distinction should be
made. Some psychologists carry out
research to propound or investigate
theoretical formulations while others are
concerned with our daily life activities and
behaviour. We need both types of
psychologists. We need some scientists to
develop theories and others to find
solutions to human problems. It is
important to know about the conditions
and competencies that are necessary
besides research skills for a psychologist.
There are conditions and competencies for
psychologists which have come to be
recognised internationally.
They cover a range of knowledge that
a psychologist should possess when
entering the profession after completing
their education and training. These apply
to practitioners, academicians, and
researchers whose roles involve consulting
with students, business, industry, and
broader community. It is recognised that
it is difficult to develop, implement and
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
180
measure competencies required in a
subject like psychology as the criteria for
specification, identification and evaluation
are not yet fully agreed upon.
The basic skills or competencies which
psychologists have identified for becoming
an effective psychologist fall into three
broad sections, namely, (a) General Skills,
(b) Observational Skills, and (c) Specific
Skills. These are discussed in detail here.
GENERAL SKILLS
These skills are generic in nature and are
needed by all psychologists irrespective of
their field of specialisation. These skills are
essential for all professional psychologists,
whether they are working in the field of
clinical and health psychology, industrial/
organisational, social, educational, or in
environmental settings, or are acting as
consultants. These skills include personal
as well as intellectual skills. It is expected
that it will not be proper to provide any
form of professional training (in clinical or
organisational fields) to students who do
not possess these skills. Once a student
has these skills, subsequent training in
her/his area of specialisation would only
refine and further hone these skills
required by a professional within her/his
field of specialisation. Some examples of
such skills are given in Box 9.1.
OBSERVATIONAL SKILLS
A great deal of what psychologists as
researchers and practitioners do in the
field is to pay attention, watch and listen
carefully. They use all the senses, noticing
Box
9.1
Intellectual and Personal Skills
1. Interpersonal Skills: ability to listen and be empathic, to develop respect for/interest in
others’ cultures, experiences, values, points of view, goals and desires, fears, openness
to receive feedback, etc. These skills are expressed verbally and/or non-verbally.
2. Cognitive Skills: ability to solve problems, engage in critical thinking and organised
reasoning, and having intellectual curiosity and flexibility.
3. Affective Skills: emotional control and balance, tolerance/understanding of interpersonal
conflict, tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty.
4. Personality/Attitude: desire to help others, openness to new ideas, honesty/integrity/
value ethical behaviour, personal courage.
5. Expressive Skills: ability to communicate one’s ideas, feelings and information in verbal,
non-verbal, and written forms.
6. Reflective Skills: ability to examine and consider one’s own motives, attitudes, behaviours
and ability to be sensitive to one’s own behaviour or others.
7. Personal Skills: personal organisation, personal hygiene, time management, and
appropriate dress.
Sensitivity to Diversity : Individual and Cultural Differences
• Knowledge of self (one’s own attitudes, values, and related strengths/limitations) as
one operates in the professional settings with diverse others.
• Knowledge about the nature and impact of individual and cultural diversity in different
situations.
• Ability to work effectively with diverse backgrounds in assessment, treatment, and
consultation.
• Ability to respect and appreciate different cultural norms and beliefs.
• Being sensitive to one’s preferences and also to one’s preference for own group.
• Ability to promote diversity in cultural beliefs and respecting it to promote positive life
outcomes.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY
DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSY DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS CHOLOGICAL SKILLS
Introduction
Developing as an Effective Psychologist
General Skills
Intellectual and Personal Skills; Sensitivity to Diversity :
Individual and Cultural Differences (Box 9.1)
Observational Skills
Specific Skills
Communication Skills
Characteristics of Communication (Box 9.2)
Some Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills (Box 9.3)
Psychological Testing Skills
Essentials of Psychological Assessment Skills (Box 9.4)
Interviewing Skills
Types of Interview Questions (Box 9.5)
Counselling Skills
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter , you would be able to:
understand the need to develop skills among psychologists,
describe the basic aspects of observational skills,
know the significance of developing communication skills,
understand the importance of psychological testing skills in individual assessment, and
explain the nature and process of counselling.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
178
One aspect common to all the applied
areas within psychology is a universal
agreement on the basic assumptions about
human nature and the role of a
psychologist in different settings. It is
generally assumed that psychologists have
interest in people, their abilities and
temperaments. A psychologist from any
As you have already studied in the previous class, psychology began as an
application-oriented discipline. Psychological testing stands as a prime
example of psychology in action. Psychology touches on many questions
related to our lives. For example, what kind of personality make-up is
required to become a successful human being? Or what would be the right
vocation for a student studying in Class XII
 
? Similarly, there are other
questions and curiosities about human beings which psychologists are asked
to answer .
Psychology has two kinds of application-related images: first, as a
service-oriented discipline and second, as a scientific method-driven research
discipline. Both of these are interrelated and inseparable. It would be
important to learn that there are certain factors which contribute in making
psychology application-oriented. First, psychologists have found, both in
the past and present, that solutions to many problems faced by the
individuals, groups, organisations and societies require an understanding
of psychological principles. As problems encountered by individuals as well
as societies have become more evident and acute, psychologists have
responded with concrete solutions. For instance, rapid increase in depressive
tendencies and suicidal rates among adolescents is one such area, where
psychological knowledge dedicated to the issues of adolescent development
is utilised for getting a clearer understanding of the occurrence of these
phenomena, and certain intervention models are developed to assist the
youth experiencing such problems early in their lives. The other reason is
that expertise of psychologists has been highly valued in the marketplace.
Over the past few years, there is a growing acceptability and demand of
psychology as a profession. Various sections of society have developed a
keen interest towards integrating the knowledge of psychology within their
core activities. It can be seen particularly in the army or in the field of
education, where in some states it has become mandatory for the schools
to have a trained counsellor, in the field of management, which seeks help
of psychologists to combat problems related to recruitment and assessment,
employee behaviour , workplace stress, etc., in management of health-related
problems and more recently even in sports. These are not the only areas.
Almost all areas of life are calling for help from psychologists.
Introduction
field is required to have interest in other
people and exhibits a willingness to provide
help by using her/his knowledge of the
discipline. One can find active involvement
of a psychologist in obtaining the
client’s history, her/his socio-cultural
environment, assessment of her/his
personality and also on other important
© NCERT
not to be republished
Chapter 9 • Developing Psychological Skills
179
dimensions. One might think that client is
a special term, which is mostly used in a
clinical or counselling set-up. In
psychology, a client may refer to an
individual/group/organisation who on
her/his own seeks help, guidance or
intervention from a psychologist with
respect to any problem faced by her/him.
The term ‘skill’ may be defined as
proficiency, facility or dexterity that is
acquired or developed through training and
experience. The Webster dictionary defines
it as “possession of the qualities required
to do something or get something done”.
American Psychological Association
(1973) in their task force constituted
with the objective to identify skills
essential for professional psychologists
recommended at least three sets of skills.
These are: assessment of individual
differences, behaviour modification skills,
and counselling and guidance skills.
Recognition and application of these skills
and competencies have strengthened the
foundation and practices of applied
psychology in a positive way. How can one
develop into a professional psychologist?
DEVELOPING AS AN EFFECTIVE
PSYCHOLOGIST
Most people think that they are some kind
of psychologists. We, at times, talk about
intelligence, inferiority complex, identity
crisis, mental blocks, attitude, stress,
communication barriers and so many other
terms. Generally people pick up such
terms from popular writings and media.
There are a lot of common sense notions
about human behaviour that one develops
in the course of their lives. Some regularity
in human behaviour is frequently observed
by us to warrant generalisation. This kind
of everyday amateur psychology often
misfires, sometimes even proves
disastrous. There still remains a question
of how to differentiate between a pseudo-
psychologist from a real psychologist.
An answer can be constructed by
asking such questions like professional
training, educational background,
institutional affiliation, and her/his
experience in providing service. However,
what is critical is training as a researcher
and internalisation of certain professional
values. It is now recognised that the
knowledge of tools used by psychologists,
their methods and theories are required to
develop psychological expertise. For
example, a professional psychologist
addresses the problem at the scientific
level. They take their problem to the
laboratory or study it in field settings to
answer various problems. S/he tries to find
the answer in terms of mathematical
probability. Only then does s/he arrive at
psychological principles or laws that can
be depended upon.
Here, another distinction should be
made. Some psychologists carry out
research to propound or investigate
theoretical formulations while others are
concerned with our daily life activities and
behaviour. We need both types of
psychologists. We need some scientists to
develop theories and others to find
solutions to human problems. It is
important to know about the conditions
and competencies that are necessary
besides research skills for a psychologist.
There are conditions and competencies for
psychologists which have come to be
recognised internationally.
They cover a range of knowledge that
a psychologist should possess when
entering the profession after completing
their education and training. These apply
to practitioners, academicians, and
researchers whose roles involve consulting
with students, business, industry, and
broader community. It is recognised that
it is difficult to develop, implement and
© NCERT
not to be republished
Psychology
180
measure competencies required in a
subject like psychology as the criteria for
specification, identification and evaluation
are not yet fully agreed upon.
The basic skills or competencies which
psychologists have identified for becoming
an effective psychologist fall into three
broad sections, namely, (a) General Skills,
(b) Observational Skills, and (c) Specific
Skills. These are discussed in detail here.
GENERAL SKILLS
These skills are generic in nature and are
needed by all psychologists irrespective of
their field of specialisation. These skills are
essential for all professional psychologists,
whether they are working in the field of
clinical and health psychology, industrial/
organisational, social, educational, or in
environmental settings, or are acting as
consultants. These skills include personal
as well as intellectual skills. It is expected
that it will not be proper to provide any
form of professional training (in clinical or
organisational fields) to students who do
not possess these skills. Once a student
has these skills, subsequent training in
her/his area of specialisation would only
refine and further hone these skills
required by a professional within her/his
field of specialisation. Some examples of
such skills are given in Box 9.1.
OBSERVATIONAL SKILLS
A great deal of what psychologists as
researchers and practitioners do in the
field is to pay attention, watch and listen
carefully. They use all the senses, noticing
Box
9.1
Intellectual and Personal Skills
1. Interpersonal Skills: ability to listen and be empathic, to develop respect for/interest in
others’ cultures, experiences, values, points of view, goals and desires, fears, openness
to receive feedback, etc. These skills are expressed verbally and/or non-verbally.
2. Cognitive Skills: ability to solve problems, engage in critical thinking and organised
reasoning, and having intellectual curiosity and flexibility.
3. Affective Skills: emotional control and balance, tolerance/understanding of interpersonal
conflict, tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty.
4. Personality/Attitude: desire to help others, openness to new ideas, honesty/integrity/
value ethical behaviour, personal courage.
5. Expressive Skills: ability to communicate one’s ideas, feelings and information in verbal,
non-verbal, and written forms.
6. Reflective Skills: ability to examine and consider one’s own motives, attitudes, behaviours
and ability to be sensitive to one’s own behaviour or others.
7. Personal Skills: personal organisation, personal hygiene, time management, and
appropriate dress.
Sensitivity to Diversity : Individual and Cultural Differences
• Knowledge of self (one’s own attitudes, values, and related strengths/limitations) as
one operates in the professional settings with diverse others.
• Knowledge about the nature and impact of individual and cultural diversity in different
situations.
• Ability to work effectively with diverse backgrounds in assessment, treatment, and
consultation.
• Ability to respect and appreciate different cultural norms and beliefs.
• Being sensitive to one’s preferences and also to one’s preference for own group.
• Ability to promote diversity in cultural beliefs and respecting it to promote positive life
outcomes.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Chapter 9 • Developing Psychological Skills
181
what is seen, heard, smelt, tasted, or
touched. A psychologist, thus, is like an
instrument that absorbs all sources of
information from the environment. You
have already studied about observation in
Class XI. We will, therefore, focus more on
developing observational skills this year.
A psychologist engages in observing
various facets of surroundings including
people and varying events. To begin with,
a psychologist may begin with carefully
scrutinising the physical setting in order
to capture its “atmosphere”. S/he might
look at the colour of the floor/ceiling, size
of the window/doors, type of lighting,
artefacts/paintings/sculptures, etc. These
small, subtle, and irrelevant looking
signals influence human behaviour, which
is why a psychologist notes such signals
in the surroundings. In addition to
physical surroundings, a psychologist
actively engages in observing people and
their actions. This may include the
demographic features (age, gender, stature,
race, etc.), ways of dealing and relating
with others, pattern of behaviours in the
presence of others, etc. A psychologist
records such details because something of
significance may be revealed in the process
of observation. The following points are
taken into consideration while making an
observation:
• Observe patiently;
• Pay close attention to your physical
surroundings — who, what, when,
where, and how;
• Be aware of people’s reactions,
emotions, and motivations;
• Ask questions that can be answered
while observing;
• Be yourself, give information about
yourself, if asked;
• Observe with an optimistic curiosity;
and
• Be ethical, you have to respect privacy,
norms of people you are observing; take
care not to disclose any information to
anyone.
You are already familiar with two major
approaches to observation, viz. naturalistic
observation and participant observation. Let
us now consider developing skills about
them.
Naturalistic Observation is one of the
primary ways of learning about the way
people behave in a given setting. Suppose,
you want to learn how people behave in
response to a heavy discount provided by
a company while visiting a shopping mall.
For this, you could visit the shopping mall
where the discounted items are showcased
and systematically observe what people do
and say before and after the purchases
have been made. Making comparison of
this kind may provide you with useful
insights into what is going on.
Participant Observation is the
variation of the method of naturalistic
observation. Here the observer is actively
involved in the process of observing by
becoming an active member of the setting
where the observation takes place. For
instance, for the problem mentioned above,
an observer may take a part-time job in a
shopping mall showroom to become an
insider in order to observe variations in the
behaviour of customers. This technique is
widely used by anthropologists whose
objective is to gain a firsthand perspective
of a system from within which otherwise
may not be readily available to an outsider.
Advantages and Disadvantages of
Observation
• Its major advantage is that it allows
behaviour to be seen and studied in its
natural setting.
• People from outside, or those already
working in a setting, can be trained to
use it.
• One disadvantage of it is that events
being observed are subject to bias due
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not to be republished
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