Bases and Direction of Human Behaviour: AHSEC Class 11 Education

Bases and Direction of Human Behaviour
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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF and guide of Class 11 (first year) Education textbook, chapter 6 Bases and Direction of Human Behaviour, which is part of the syllabus of students studying under AHSEC/ASSEB (Assam Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed. 

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Human behaviour is a complex result of psycho-physical reactions to various stimuli, encompassing every aspect of an individual’s actions, including thoughts, emotions, and physical activities. Understanding the bases and directions of human behaviour is essential to comprehend why people act the way they do. This understanding involves examining concepts such as needs, drives, instincts, and emotions.

Needs are fundamental to human existence and signify a lack or want of something necessary or desired. They are the essential psycho-physical, socio-cultural, and personality requirements without which humans cannot exist. Maslow, a notable psychologist, formulated a hierarchy of needs, arranging them in order of prepotency. These include physiological needs like food and water, safety needs, love and belongingness, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The satisfaction of lower-level needs is crucial before higher-level needs can be addressed.

Drives are closely connected to needs and act as the driving forces of the human body. They are the psycho-physical forces that operate as constant motivational forces towards fulfilling needs. For example, hunger, thirst, and sex drives are primary drives that activate and direct a person’s behaviour. Drives are essential in initiating actions to satisfy physiological needs, and they multiply with habit strength to produce reaction potential, as theorized by psychologists like Hull and Skinner.

Instincts are inborn tendencies or natural abilities that guide behaviour. They are innate, unlearned patterns of reacting essential for survival and adaptation. Instincts like self-preservation, aggression, and food-seeking are universal among living organisms. Psychologists like McDougall and Freud have studied instincts extensively, explaining their roles in behaviour. Instincts are often accompanied by specific emotional responses, making them complex and varied in their manifestations.

Emotion is another critical component of human behaviour. It is an acquired state of psycho-physical reactions to stimuli, involving both the body and mind. Emotions are innate responses characterised by inner adjustments, conditioned by the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. They play a vital role in motivating and directing actions designed to satisfy various needs. Emotions can be classified as primary, secondary, or derived, each with distinct characteristics and influences on behaviour. Emotions like anger, fear, joy, and sorrow are common and significantly impact an individual’s responses to their environment.

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Textbook questions and answers

1. What is psychology defined as?

Answer: Psychology is defined as the science of behaviour.

2. Who established behaviourism as a new school of psychology?

Answer: John Broadus Watson established behaviourism as a new school of psychology.

3. In which year did Wilhelm Wundt establish psychology as an independent and experimental science?

Answer: Wilhelm Wundt established psychology as an independent and experimental science in 1879.

4. What did Robert S. Woodworth say about the evolving concept of psychology?

Answer: Robert S. Woodworth said, “First psychology lost its soul, then it lost its mind, then it lost consciousness, it still has behaviour of a kind.”

5. What does behaviourism study?

Answer: Behaviourism studies behaviour objectively using empirical methods like observation, conditioning, testing, and verbal report.

6. What are the two main dimensions of behaviour?

Answer: The two main dimensions of behaviour are overt behaviour and covert behaviour.

7. Define needs in the context of psychology.

Answer: Needs signify a lack or want of something which is very useful or desired. Human needs are the essential psycho-physical, socio-cultural, and personality requirements without which man never exists.

8. List the five types of needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy.


  • Physiological needs
  • Safety needs
  • Love and belongingness needs
  • Esteem needs
  • Self-actualization needs

9. Explain physiological needs with two characteristics.

Answer: Physiological needs are the basic or fundamental needs of human beings, such as needs for food, water, oxygen, temperature, and sex. Two characteristics are: (a) These needs recur after a specific period of time. (b) These needs may be completely satisfied at a certain point in time.

10. What does safety mean in the context of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Answer: Safety means the condition of being safe or freedom from danger, harm, or risk. Safety needs include physical security, protection, stability, freedom from anxiety, danger, and chaos.

11. What are love and belongingness needs?

Answer: Love and belongingness needs arise in the process of socialization and are satisfied with the help of social interaction. Examples include the need for friendship, belonging to a group, showing love and affection to families, and companionship.

12. Describe esteem needs.

Answer: Esteem needs include two sets: needs for strength, competence, self-confidence, independence, mastery, and needs for prestige, fame, dominance, dignity, and appreciation. Satisfaction of self-esteem needs produces feelings like self-confidence, capability, strength, worth, etc., while thwarting these needs lead to feelings of inferiority, helplessness, and weakness.

13. Define self-actualization.

Answer: Self-actualization means the desire for self-fulfillment, realization of all the potentials of the individual’s self, and becoming according to the wishes of the individual. It involves reaching the peak of one’s potential to become a fully functioning person.

14. What are drives according to psychology?

Answer: Drives are the driving forces of the human body, internal states which, when aroused, lead to action. They are psycho-physical forces that operate as constant motivational forces towards the fulfillment of needs.

15. What did Freud mean by instinct?

Answer: Freud defined instinct as an internal drive that operates as a constant motivational force, originating from the ‘id’ but coming under the control of ‘ego.’ Instincts have four major features: a source, an aim, an object, and an impetus.

16. Explain the three aspects of instinct according to McDougall.

Answer: (i) Cognitive or perceptual aspect: Relates to perceptual predisposition to notice some stimuli. (ii) Conative or motivational aspect: Relates to the ability to move towards the final goal. (iii) Affective or emotional aspect: Relates to the feelings involved in the instinct.

17. What is the primary issue of study in psychology?

Answer: The primary issue of study in psychology is to determine the relationship between the body and mind.

18. What are the two types of behaviour identified in the text?

Answer: The two types of behaviour are overt behaviour and covert behaviour.

19. What are instincts according to the provided text?

Answer: Instincts are the original or innate dispositions of living organisms, inborn tendencies to behave in a certain way, unlearned behaviour patterns, and complex innate non-variable behaviours.

20. Explain the relationship between instincts and emotions according to McDougall.

Answer: McDougall regarded emotion as the essential, unchanging aspect of every instinct, ascribing a specific emotional reaction to all instincts.

21. What did William James say about instincts?

Answer: William James defined instincts as ‘the faculty of acting in such a way as to produce certain ends, without foresight of the ends, and without previous education in the performance,’ considering them as unlearnt patterns of reacting and modifiable by habit.

Extra fill in the blanks

1. Psychology was established as an independent and experimental science by ______ in 1879.

Answer: Wilhelm Wundt

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115. The psychologist who found three clear-cut identifiable emotions present at birth through longitudinal studies is ______.

Answer: J.B. Watson

Extra questions and answers

1. Who led the movement in the field of psychology and established behaviourism as a new school?

Answer: J. B. Watson led a new movement in the field of psychology and established behaviourism as a new school of psychology.

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99. What roles do family and teachers play in the formation of good habits and dissolution of bad habits?


  • Family members and teachers can keep close contact and cooperate to teach good things.
  • Children’s minds are receptive and can be motivated towards good deeds by examples.
  • Confidence and firmness to honor basic values can be developed with practical examples.
  • Children should be encouraged for good deeds and punished for wrong deeds to develop a positive view of life.
  • Practice or exercise of good deeds should be given special importance to make them permanent.

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