NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Psychology Chapter 8: Psychology and Life

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Chapter8. Psychology and Life
CategoryNCERT Solutions for Class 12

Class 12 Psychology Chapter 8 Solutions covers the question and answer of the whole chapter. These solutions will help you to understand the concept of Psychology and Life chapter. If you are preparing for your exams then you should not miss this guide. These solutions are based on the curriculum of CBSE and will help you to ace your exams with excellent grades.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Psychology Chapter 8

Psychology and Life Solutions

Questions & Answers

Q1) What do you understand by the term ‘environment’? Explain the different perspectives to understand the human-environment relationship.

Answer) Word ‘environment’ refers to all that is around us. Literally, it means everything that surrounds us including the physical, Social world and cultural environment. In general, it includes all the forces outside the human beings to which they respond in some way. A psychologist named Stokols proposed three approaches to describe human-environment relationship:

  1. The Minimalist Perspective: This view assumes that physical environment has negligible influence on human behaviour. Both run parallel to each other.
  2. The Instrumental Perspective: According to this approach, environment is simply provider. It is for the comfort of us. Human beings can use the environment as per their needs.
  3. The Spiritual Perspective: It refers to the view of the environment as something to be respected and valued rather than exploited. Physical environment and human relationship are interdependent. The traditional Indian view about the environment supports spiritual perspective, worshipping Pipal, respect for rivers and mountains. Chipko Aandolan and movement by Bisnoi Community are examples of Indian perspective.

Q2) “Human beings affect and are affected by the environment.” Explain this statement with the help of example.

Answer) Human beings exert their influence on the natural environment for fulfilling their physical needs and other purposes. The human-environment relationship can be appreciated fully by understanding that the two influence each other, and depend on each other for their survival and maintenance. Some aspects of the environment influence human perception.

  1. Environmental influences on perception : Some aspects of the environment influence human perception. For example, a tribal society of Africa lives in circular huts, that is, in houses without angular walls. They show less error in a geometric illusion (the Muller-Lyer illusion) than people from cities, who live in houses with angular walls.
  2. Environmental influences on emotions : The environment affects our emotional reactions as well. Watching nature in any form, whether it is a quietly flowing river, a smiling flower, or a tranquil mountain top, provides a kind of joy that cannot be matched by any other experience. Natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, landslides, quakes on the earth or under the ocean, can affect people’s emotions to such an extent that they experience deep depression and sorrow, a sense of complete helplessness and lack of control over their lives.
  3. Ecological influences on occupation, living style and attitudes : The natural environment of a particular region determines whether people living in that region rely on agriculture (as in the plains), or on other occupations such as hunting and gathering (as in forest, mountainous or desert regions), or on industries (as in areas that are not fertile enough for agriculture). In turn, the occupation determines the lifestyle and attitudes of the residents of a particular geographical region.

Q3) What is noise? Discuss the effects of noise on human behaviour.

Answer) Any sound that is annoying or irritating, and felt to be unpleasant is said to be noise. From common experience it is known that noise, especially for long periods of time, is uncomfortable, and puts people in an unpleasant mood.

Effects of noise on human behaviour:

  1. (i) When the task being performed is a simple mental task, such as addition of numbers, noise does not affect overall performance, whether it is loud or soft. In such situations, people adapt, or ‘get used’ to noise.
  2. If the task being performed is very interesting, then, too, the presence of noise does not affect performance. This is because the nature of the task helps the individual to pay full attention to the task, and ignore the noise. This may also be one kind of adaptation.
  3. When the noise comes at intervals, and in an unpredictable way, it is experienced as more disturbing than if the noise is continuously present.
  4. When the task being performed is difficult, or requires full concentration, then intense, unpredictable, and uncontrollable noise reduces the level of task performance.
  5. When tolerating or switching off the noise is within the control of the person, the number of errors in task performance decreases.

Q4) What are the salient features of crowding? Explain the major psychological consequences of crowding.

Answer) Crowding to a feeling of discomfort because there are too many people or things around us, giving us the experience of physical restriction, and sometimes the lack of privacy. Crowding is the person’s reaction to the presence of a large number of persons within a particular area or space. When this number goes beyond a certain level, it causes stress to individuals caught in that situation. In this sense, crowding is another example of an environmental stressor.

The experience of crowding has the following features:

  • Feeling of discomfort,
  • Loss or decrease in privacy,
  • Negative view of the space around the person, and
  • Feeling of loss of control over social interaction.
  1. Crowding and high density may lead to abnormal behaviour and aggression. This was shown many years ago in a study of rats. These animals were placed in an enclosure, initially in small numbers. As their population increased within this enclosed space, they started showing aggressive and unusual behaviour, such as biting the tails of other rats. This aggressive behaviour increased to such an extent that ultimately the animals died in large numbers, thus decreasing the population in the enclosure. Among human beings also, an increase in population has sometimes been found to be accompanied by an increase in violent crime.
  2. Crowding leads to lowered performance on difficult tasks that involve cognitive processes, and has adverse effects on memory and the emotional state. These negative effects are seen to a smaller extent in people who are used to crowded surroundings.
  3. Children growing up in very crowded households show lower academic performance. They also show a weaker tendency to continue working on a task if they are unsuccessful at it, compared to children growing up in non-crowded households. They experience greater conflict with their parents, and get less support from their family members.

Q5) Why is the concept of ‘personal space’ important for human beings? Justify your answer with the help of an example.

Answer) Personal space, or the comfortable physical space one generally likes to maintain around oneself, is affected by a high density environment. In a crowded context, there is a restriction on personal space, and this can also be a cause of negative reactions to crowding.

For example: In social situations, human beings like to maintain a certain physical distance from the person with whom they are interacting. This is called interpersonal physical distance, and is a part of a broader concept called personal space, i.e. the physical space we like to have all around us. One reason for the negative reactions to crowding, as described earlier, is the decrease in personal space.

Q6) What do you understand by the term ‘disaster’? List the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. How can it be remedied?

Answer) Natural disaster is an environmental hazard. It is known as disaster because—

  • it is mostly unpredictable.
  • it causes enormous loss of life and property.

In general, the intensity of reaction is affected by the following:

  • The severity of the disaster, and the loss incurred both in terms of property and life.
  • The individual’s general coping ability.
  • Other stressful experiences before the disaster. For e.g., people, who have experienced stress before, may find it more difficult to deal with another difficult and stressful situation. But, there are ways to be prepared to minimize their decussating consequence in the form of:

Treatment of Psychological Disorder: This includes self-help approach as well as professional treatment. According to some experts who deal with PTSD, one of the key attitude to be developed in the survivors is that of ‘self-efficacy’

  1. Immediate Reaction: The immediate reaction after a disaster is commonly manifest in the form of disorientation. People take some time to understand the full meaning of what the disaster has done to them. They may deny to themselves that something terrible has happened.
  2. Physical Reaction: There is bodily exhaustion even without physical activity such as-
    • Sleep disturbances.
    • Change in eating pattern.
    • Increased heart-beat and blood-pressure.
  3. Emotional Reaction
  4. Cognitive Reaction
  5. Social Reactions

Q7) What is pro-environmental behaviour? How can the environment be protected from pollution? Suggest some strategies.

Answer) Pro-environmental behaviour is the friendly and caring attitude of people who help to prevent environmental degradation and conserve natural resources. For instance, change in life-style and attitude of the people like conserving energy resources, planting trees, reduction in noise (sound-pollution) and air-pollution.

Some Strategies to Protect Environment are:

  1. Reducing air-pollution by keeping vehicle in good condition or changing to non-fuel driven vehicle, stopping the practice of smoking.
  2. Reducing noise (sound pollution) by ensuring that noise levels are low. e.g., discouraging needless honking on the road, or making rule regarding noisy music at certain hours.
  3. Planting trees and ensuring their care.
  4. Reducing the non-biodegradable packing of consumer goods.
  5. Laws related to construction (especially in urban areas) that violate optimal environment design.
  6. Saying ‘no’ to plastic use in any form, thus reducing toxic wastes that pollute water, air and the soil.

Q8) How is ‘poverty’ related to ‘discrimination’? Explain the major psychological effects of poverty and deprivation.

Answer) Poverty is the economic deprivation, associated with low income, hunger, low caste and status. Illiteracy, poor housing, over-crowding, lack of public amenities, mal-and under-nutrition, and increased susceptibility to diseases are main features.

  1. Illiteracy, poor housing, over-crowding, lack of public amenities, mal-and under-nutrition, and increased susceptibility to diseases are main features.
  2. Poverty is an actual shortage of resources so it is objectively defined term.
  3. Deprivation is subjectively defined. It is more a question of perceiving or thinking that one has got less than what one should have got.
  4. Poverty is not a necessary condition for experiencing deprivation but a poor person may experience deprivation.
  5. Social disadvantage is a condition because of which some sections of society are not allowed the same privileges as the east society e.g. caste system.

Effects of Poverty and Deprivation:

  1. Low aspirations and low achievements, low motivation, and high need for dependence is the major effect of poverty and deprivation. They believe that events in their lives are controlled by factor outside them, rather within them.
  2. With respect to social behaviour, the poor and deprived sections exhibit on attitude of resentment towards the rest of society.
  3. With regard to personality
  4. Researches have proved that prolonged deprivation significantly impair the cognitive functioning of the individual.
  5. With regard to mental health, there is an unquestionable relationship between mental disorder and poverty or deprivation.
  6. The poor are more likely to suffer from specific mental illness compared to the rich, possibly due to constant worries about basic necessities, feeling of insecurity or inability to get medical faculties especially for mental illness.

Q9) Distinguish between ‘instrumental aggression’ and ‘hostile aggression’. Suggest some strategies to reduce aggression and violence.


Instrumental Aggression: The act of aggression is meant to obtain a certain goal or get others, possessions forcefully. For example, A bully slaps a new student in school so that he can snatch the new comer’s chocolate. In violence, individual may or may not have the intention to harm others in terms of revenge. It is forceful destructive behaviour, e.g., hitting a person just to loot his money.

Hostile Aggression: An expression of anger towards the target, with the intention of harming him/her even if the aggressor does not wish to obtain anything from the victim. For example, A criminal may beat up a person in the community for mentioning his name to the police.

Aggression can be reduced by creating the appropriate attitude towards the general problem of growing aggression.

  1. Parenting: Parents and teacher should be specially careful not to encourage aggression in any form. The use of punishment to bring about discipline also needs to be changed.
  2. Modelling: Opportunities to observe and imitate the behaviour of aggressive models should be reduced drastically. Portraying aggression as heroic behaviour should be particularly avoided because this may set the stage for learning through observation.
  3. Implementing social justice and equality in society: It will help in reducing frustration levels and thereby curb aggressive tendencies at least to some extent.

Q10) Discuss the psychological impact of television viewing on human behaviour. How can its adverse consequences be reduced? Explain.

Answer) Television is one of the useful products of technological progress. It has both positive and negative effects. It has effects on cognitive processes and social behaviour.

  1. T.V. provides large amount of information in an attractive form and in visual mode, for which it became a powerful medium of instructions.
  2. Excellent programmes emphasise positive interpersonal attitudes and provide useful factual information, teaching children how to design and construct certain objects.
  3. T.V. watching may have an adverse effect on children’s ability to concentrate on one target. Their creativity and ability to understand each other through social interaction is also significantly impaired.
  4. Reduction in habit of reading and writing skills and also their outdoor activities such as playing is also reduced.
  5. Watching violence on T.V. has been linked to greater aggressiveness in the viewers. As children are not mature enough to think of consequences, they simply imitate.

That’s it. These were the solutions of NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 8- Psychology And Life. Our team hopes that you have found these solutions helpful for you. If you have any doubt related to this chapter then feel free to comment your doubts below. Our team will try their best to help you with your doubts.

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