Indian Philosophy and Psychology · Uncategorized

Adi Shankacharya.


Adi shankaracharya was one of the most influential philosophers of India. He founded the Advaita Vedanta, one of the sub schools of Vedanta. He believed in the concept of the Vedas completely however also supported being against the rituals and religious practices. He thought that it was over exaggerated. He also started monastic order which is called as Dashanami and the Shanmata way of worship.

Adi shankaracharaya was born in a simple Brahmin family in the early 8th century A.D in Kaladi, Kerela. It is said that Shankaracharya’s mother Arambya had a vision where Lord Shiva told her that he would be reincarnated into the world as her first born. Early in his childhood, he showed a proclivity toward spiritual knowledge. During his schooling, he memorized the Puranas and Epics and gained mastery over the Vedas.

It is said that one day while having a bath, he was attacked by a crocodile. Though his mother saw the crocodile and wished to rescue him, she couldn’t. Seeing this, Shankaracharaya asker his mother’s permission to renounce the world and she agreed. However as soon as he recited the mantra, the crocodile left him alone. From that day onward, he began his life as an ascetic. Soon he met a man named Govinda Bhagvatpada, an accomplished spiritual man himself. Due to Shankaracharya’s strong knowledge of spirituality, Govinda agreed to be his spiritual teacher. Under his guidance, Shankaracharaya became an expert in different types of Yoga including Hatha,Raja and Jhana Yoga.

Adi Shankaracharya belaived in the philosophy of “non-dualism”. He stated that every individual has a divine existence and identity, which can be connacted to the absolute cosmic power. So, even if the bodies are numerous and diverse, the soul is one. When someone believes that the concept of life is finite, they are abandoning an entirely greater power and complex dimension of life and understanding. Thus, self-realization is the way to attain Moksha and be one with this absolute power.

Though he died young, he left an invaluable treasure of spiritual knowledge for future generations.


A-Freud World

Freudian Farewell

Hopefully by now, your know of Freud has been extended and your interest in his subject, peaked!

For more interesting information and a good understanding of what the Legend himself was all about, be sure to check out these interesting videos linked below:


1. School of life- Psychotherapy

This playlist provides you with the major chunk of what is there to know about the topic. The imagery is stylistic in nature and will engage you beyond doubt.
Explicit images.


2. Freud Museum London- What is Psychoanalysis?

It is a four part series by psychologists who follow the Freudian or Psychoanalytic school of thought. The imagery is again stylistic (borders on bizarre) it is a educational venture of the Freud Museum, and is hence legitimate information. It may not impress someone looking for plain info, but is definitely engaging enough for a leisure watch.

Explicit imagery.


3. Stillpoint Spaces Berlin- The History of Psychoanalysis

This is a three-part lecture; hence it may not engage a visual person, but it does provide all the vital information in a very systematic and organised way. It also takes up a new structure, instead of tracing chronologically from Freud, it takes up the broad contours of what Psychoanalysis id, from its standing as (or as not) a science, to Psychoanalysis as a way of life.


Signing off from A-Freud World,

Harsiddhi Thakral (1733242)

A-Freud World

Freud and Religion

Not only due to the time, but because of freud being Jewish, religion played a central role in his successes and downfalls. Freud saw God as an illusion that was to be replaced by science and reason due to the advancement of the civilisation. Freud claimed to have estranged himself from any and every religion, but still identified as a Jew. He faced antisemitism in his university years- “I found thatI was expected to feel myself inferior and an alien because I was a Jew.”

Freud wrote extensively, not only in general, but also particularly on religion. Several of his writingscontain explanations for and against religion.

In Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices (1907), Freud proposed an analogy between neurosis and religion, calling ritualistic behaviour a ‘universal obsessional neurosis’. In Totem and Taboo, he wrote about incest and patricide and taboos created to curb them. In An Autobiographical Study Freud elaborated on the core idea of Totem and Taboo: “This view of religion throws a particularly clear light upon the psychological basis of Christianity, in which, it may be added, the ceremony of the totem-feast still survives with but little distortion in the form of Communion. In The Future of an
Illusion (1927), Freud refers to religion as an illusion which is “perhaps the most important item in the psychical inventory of a civilization”

Freud touched on religion in Civilization and its Discontents, Moses and Monotheism, The Question of a Weltanschauung, and like every other concept of his, Freud generated ample conjecture on his views on religion too.

Several psychoanalysts built on Freud’s view on religion. n a 1950 book entitled Christianity and Freud, Benjamin Gilbert Sanders draws parallels between the theory of psychoanalysis and Christian religion, referring to Jesus Christ as “the Great Psychiatrist” and Christians’ love for Christ as “a more positive form of the Transference. Several however, disagreed , like Alfred Adler who believed God was a projection which had been helpful to humanity”.


~ Harsiddhi Thakral (1733232) & Apoorva Nag (1733228)

A-Freud World

Freud and Libido

Mostly simply put, Freud termed sexual energy and the Libido. Per Freud, the libido is a part of the Id- the part of the mind associated with immediate gratification of needs. He believed that Id was the only component of the mind that exists since the birth of the individual- which could account for the hedonistic nature of humans.

Freud claimed that the libido is expressed differently at various points during the individual’s life, i.e., it is expressed according to the stage of psychosexual development the individual is in. Sometimes, this energy becomes too stuck to a certain stage of development and thus the person becomes “fixated” in that stage of development.

Freud also discussed the idea of the Libido’s energy being limited i.e., different mental processes require varying amounts of energy. For instance, the act of ‘repression’ requires a tremendous amount of psychic energy and such events impair the proper functioning of the mind.


~ Neha Nimbal (1733261)

A-Freud World

Freud Museum

The Freud Museum, at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, was the home of Sigmund Freud and his family when they escaped Austria following the Nazi annexation in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. This
house has been converted into what is now known as the freud museum.

The museum has all the antiques possessed by the family. The centeral display is the work desk of freud with his belongings arranged on display. It also old memories of Anna Freud and several of remenants of her and her groundbreaking work In psychoanalysis.

Undoubtedly the most famous piece of furniture in all the collection is Freud’s psychoanalytic couch, on which all of his patients reclined. The couch is remarkably comfortable and is covered with a richly coloured Iranian rug with chenille cushions piled on top. Other fine Oriental rugs, Heriz and Tabriz, cover the floor and tables
The museum has been featured in several movies, holds regular exhibitions and also undertakes educational endeavours including a web series. Regular workshops are held and all information is available on the website.


For a virtual tour of the museum, be sure to check the link below:


~ Vanchha Chandrayan (1733297) & Apoorva Nag (1733228)

A-Freud World

Criticisms Psychoanalysis received

The psychoanalysis approach does have its own weaknesses or limitations like a lot of approaches often do. The psychoanalytic jargon is confusing rather than being clear about its concepts. The ideas that it presents, like penis envy, Oedipus, are outdated when in comparison to the contemporary world and theorists and practitioners question the usefulness of these concepts. Psychoanalysis was established in an era different to the one that exists now.

This approach also lacks a theory of intervention and does not focus enough on the technique. It leaves a lot of loose ends which is often open to interpretations that can do more harm than good. This approach uses a lot of analysis of the past and does not emphasise as much on other aspects, this disables it and can lead to “analysis paralysis”.

This theory also lacks the insight from different levels of analysis, namely biological, cognitive and socio-cultural. Different perspectives considered often improve the viability of an approach or theory. Psychoanalysis rejects patients who are considered to be inappropriate for it (perhaps psychotic, borderline). This reduces the sample size from where the information could be collected.

Sigmund Freud, while developing this method ignored the importance of individual differences. During therapy, critics claim that some therapists are not helping patients recover from repressed memories but rather planting false memories. This endangers the psychological health of an individual as we know that memory is claimed to be reconstructive in nature. Moreover, this challenges the ethical aspect of the approach.

All the therapies and theories have weaknesses that can be overlooked if it works for the patient. Problems of ethics, lack of usage of techniques, sample size and various other things with often occur and hinder an approach; the goal is to minimize these obstacles.

-Kshitija Yerolkar (1733250) & Ritika Agrawal (1733271)

A-Freud World

Karen Horney

Although a Neo-freudian, Karen Horney’s views questioned some of Freud’s most popular views such as that of Penis envy and more. She built the foundations for feminist psychology.

Karen was actually the first woman trained as a psychoanalyst.

One of Horney’s most significant contributions to the field of psychology include that of “unconscious anxiety”. She believed that its roots could be traced back to the childhood of the individual where they may have experienced abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or any other traumatic event. Her theories stated that children normally adopted coping mechanisms relating to anxiety, namely, ‘moving towards people’, ‘moving away from people’& ‘moving against people’.

To further understand Horney’s theories about anxiety, we must consider her views on Neurosis. This Neo-Freudian believed that neurosis was an unhealthy way of coping up with relationships. The individual often projects their inadequacies on the other person in the relationship. Gradually, their behavior pushes people out of their lives.


Moving away from people-

In this, Horney suggests that the neurotic person isolates themselves from other individuals because they believe that if they aren’t surrounded by anyone, there will be no one to hurt them. It is true, it protects them from the pains that a relationship could bring but it also prevents them from experiencing the positive parts of a relationship. Their isolation causes a huge void in their personalities.


Moving towards people-

Over here, Horney claimed that some individuals seek acceptance and love. So, in order to obtain the two, they begin moving towards people. They feel the need to be the ideal and perfect individual. They tend to be involved and feel the need for constant approval. In most relationships, they seem like the ‘clingy’ person. They tend to get attached very quickly. Often, this leads their counterparts in the relationship to leave.


Moving against people –

Horney elucidated that this coping mechanism results in people forcing their power on to individuals surrounding them. These types of personalities tend to selfish or bossy, portraying them in a very aggressive image. These people tend to believe that other people make entrances into their lives, just to ruin it. So instead of suffering damage from someone else, they cause the damage themselves.



One of the reasons Freud stirred up great amounts of controversy were because of his views on women. Years and years later, to counter his ideas of ‘penis envy’ Karen Horney came up with feminist psychology where she expressed her idea of ‘womb envy’. She suggested that because men cannot bear children, they become envious of women. Owing to this, they tend to strive for success in other fields.


To this day, Karen Horney has been believed to be much ahead of her times.

~ Mullai Manian Sampath (1733255)

Learning Principles Of Psychology


The key to human development is learning. Learning is the bridge between an unknowing, callow infant and a fully-functioning adult who fits into societal roles and norms. Everything one learns from one’s diverse life experiences is what moulds one’s persona. In the absence of the psychological process of learning, processes which are considered to be fundamental building blocks of society would cease to exist. For instance, virtues like discipline and civic sense wouldn’t be known of.  Hence, learning is in many aspects of the word, a beneficiary, without which humans would be incapable of living in civilized community.

Psychology defines learning as any relatively permanent change in behaviour or behavioural potential produced by experience. In essence, it is a spectrum of changes that take place as a result of one’s experience. It involves a complex sequence of psychological events.

Types of learning refer to the various types of activities that are learned by an individual. There are seven major kinds of learning. Motor learning is said to occur when complex processes taking place in the brain as a response to experience or practice of a certain skill result in changes within the CNS, which in turn allow for the production of a new motor skill (Eg: climbing, walking, swimming, driving, etc.). Verbal learning is that which involves language and communication devices such as signs, symbols, sounds, words, etc. When one sees a pencil and attaches the term ‘pencil’, one learns that the word “pencil” refers to a particular object. This form of learning is known as Concept Learning, and requires higher order mental processes like intelligence, thinking, and reasoning. Discrimination learning involves learning to differentiate between a variety of stimuli and showing an appropriate response to the different stimuli. An example of such a type of learning would be learning to differentiate between the voices of different people. Learning of principles is a type of learning that involves a person learning different principles in mathematics or science (formulae, laws, correlations, etc.) so as to work more efficiently and find results effectively. Problem solving requires one’s cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reasoning, generalization, observation, et cetera, to overcome the challenges one faces in everyday life. Hence, it is considered to be a higher order type of learning. One’s behaviour is determined and directed by one’s attitude. One begins to develop different attitudes about the various aspects of the world from one’s childhood. Behaviour of an individual can be positive or negative depending upon the individual’s attitude. This constitutes attitude learning.

The method of learning has been explained by various schools of Psychology. This encompasses the theories of learning. The theories of learning are concepts in Psychology which explain the various techniques that organisms (animals and human beings) adopt to learn from their environments. Kearsley (1996) summarized 50 theories of learning. However, in recent times, it has been noted that several of these theories refer to specific human learning phenomenon.

One of the most eminent theories of learning, classical conditioning stems from the behaviouristic system of Psychology. Behaviourism, as a school of thought approaches Psychology as an objective science, by condemning subjective interpretations and promoting experimentation with scientific rigour. Observability and verifiability form its core. John. B. Watson, often claimed to be the founder father of Behaviourism, defined his subject as a study of behaviour and responses to stimuli which can be measured and studied objectively. Certain principles of Behaviourism remain relevant and practical to this day.

Operant conditioning is another significant theory of learning which falls under ‘Neo Behaviourism’. Neo Behaviourism as a school of thought is a form of reinstituted behaviourism which has been specifically modified in an attempt to explain behaviour on the basis of stimulus-response conditioning. But it cannot be fully explained in terms of observable stimuli and reactions. It introduces mediating variables into the behaviourist stimulus-response scheme. Some pioneers of Neo Behaviourism are B. F. Skinner, Clark Leonard Hall and Edwin Ray Guthrie.

Social learning theory is a general theory of behaviour which claims that human beings are social animals that learn from each other via observation, modelling, and imitation. The theory forms a bridge between cognitive theories and behavioural theories. One of the most influential psychologists to have contributed massively to the field social learning is Albert Bandura.

Cognitive learning theory explains the different cognitive processes and how they are governed by external and internal factors so as to create learning in individuals. Psychologists belonging to the cognitive school of thought view learning in terms of these underlying cognitive processes such as critical

thinking, logical reasoning, problem solving, etc. It consists of insight learning and cognitive learning.

Learning principles have far reaching influence and importance because, in many ways, they determine the extent to which one’s learning potential is optimized. Hence, it is imperative to know and understand the different theories of learning in depth, so as to conceive their direct impact on one’s own life. This has been one of the key motivating factors for the articles that fall under this tab. describe each of the four aforementioned major learning theories in greater detail. The applications of these learning theories (focussing on classroom application) have been dealt with. Finally, an opinion poll was conducted and analysed to determine which learning principle is considered to be the most effective.

Done by

Aastha Wadhwa (1733220)

Anjali Sharma (1733226)

Archana Arun Pai (1733229)

Debopriya Sen (1733236)

Madhuvanthi N Bhat (1733252)

Meghna Rath (1733253)

Preeti Kodancha (1733266)









Learning Principles Of Psychology

Application of the learning principles of Psychology


Psychology plays a major and important role in all of our lives, on a day to day basis. Learning and incorporating information is influenced by Psychology to a large extent. An understanding of the various theories of learning associated with Psychology can help us in various aspects of our lives. Within the realm of Psychology, these theories help explain the ways in which people learn. By understanding these concepts, people are better able to understand and capitalize on how they acquire knowledge in schools, colleges and work environments. Thus, these principles are applied in numerous ways in everyday settings.

For example, operant conditioning has seen to be used in the motivation of employees, improvement of athletic performance, increasing the functioning of those suffering from developmental disabilities, and  helping parents successfully toilet train their children (Simek & O’Brien, 1981; Pedalino & Gamboa, 1974; Azrin & Foxx, 1974; McGlynn, 1990).  Other common examples are also noted. For classroom presentations, if a student is applauded at the end of it, he/she is more likely to be encouraged for further presentations in the future. On the contrary, if the student is criticized, he/she might not feel encouraged to deliver future presentations.  In adult life, the paycheck at the end of every month is what motivates an average person to go to work. Here, the paycheck is a positive reinforcer.  An employee getting criticized in front of the whole office by his boss as a consequence of bad behaviour and his privileges being taken away might motivate him to work sincerely. These are some examples where operant conditioning is seen in everyday life.

The classical conditioning phenomenon is prevalent in our surroundings. Classical conditioning has long been used for the purpose of marketing and advertising. An advertisement that has positive features is created. The enjoyable ad serves as the unconditioned stimulus (US), and the enjoyment is the unconditioned response (UR). Because the product being advertised is mentioned in the ad, it becomes associated with the US, and then becomes the conditioned stimulus (CS). In the end, if everything has gone well, seeing the product online or in the store will then create a positive response in the buyer, leading him or her to be more likely to purchase the product. Other examples observed are, students ragged in colleges often fear the thought of going to college.  Students are also seen to dislike a subject if they have been humiliated or punished by the particular teacher of the subject. Some other examples are seen in the military, where cadets are trained in order to respond to specific sounds and situations.

The main idea behind social learning is that our behaviour is influenced based on the surroundings. A few examples we observe are an infant learning to make and understand facial expressions. We learn to locate where the cream and sugar in a coffee shop are kept by observing others. A student learns not to cheat when another student is punished for cheating on a test.

Cognitive learning occurs when the solution of a problem suddenly becomes clear. It is associated with how the brain perceives the environment, develops problem solving skills and stores memories. It helps us in improving our learning on the conscious side of things. For instance, some students learn better by writing, some by watching, some by reading and some by doing. Also, most students break their heads over a question, and after a while, the answer becomes clear. This is an example of cognitive learning. Thus, we see that different learning theories have been used to change behaviour in everyday life.




Bibliography and References:





Learning Principles Of Psychology

Pavlov, does that ring a bell?


At the time of birth we are equipped with only limited number of responses. As we grow old we start developing responses through various learning principles like classical, operant, social and cognitive.

Classical conditioning is a learning procedure which comes under the school of behaviourism. It involves pairing of a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus to elicit a response that is similar to the one elicited by unconditioned stimulus. Usually, the neutral stimulus is the conditioned stimulus. The unconditioned response to unconditioned stimulus is an unlearned reflex. After pairing for a long time the organism exhibits conditioned response to conditions stimulus.

Classical conditioning was first studied by Ivan Pavlov through an experiment with dogs. During his research on physiology of digestion, he observed that the dogs started salivating as soon as they saw an empty plate. Salivation in response to food is an unlearned reflex. He performed a surgery redirecting the dog’s saliva into a measuring glass. He then presented a stimulus, a bell, and provided food for the dog. After a few repetitions, the dog started salivating in response to the bell. He concluded that any stimulus paired with the food resulted in salivation of the dog. In this experiment, the food is the unconditioned stimulus which elicits salivation, unconditioned response. After conditioning, bell, the neutral stimulus becomes conditions stimulus which also results in salivation, conditioned response. Pavlov reported that the learning concept is more rapid when the time interval between conditioned stimulus and appearance of unconditioned stimulus was relatively short. The learning situation in classical conditioning is S-S learning in which one stimulus signifies the possible occurrence of another stimulus. It is often thought that the conditioned response is similar to unconditioned response, but Pavlov noted that the composition of saliva was different in both cases.

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The classical conditioning procedures are of four types based on time relation between the onset of conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus. The first type is forward conditioning where conditioned stimulus precedes unconditioned stimulus. The two types under forward conditioning is delayed and trace conditioning. In delayed conditioning, the onset of conditioned stimulus precedes the onset of unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned stimulus ends before the end of unconditioned stimulus. In trace conditioning, the onset and end of conditioned stimulus precedes the onset of unconditioned stimulus with some time gap between the two. The third type is simultaneous conditioning where the conditioned and unconditioned stimulus are presented together. The fourth type is backward conditioning where unconditioned stimulus precedes conditioned stimulus. It is proved that delayed conditioning is the most effective way producing conditioned response when compared to the other three types. The learning of conditioned response also depends on type of unconditioned response and intensity of conditioned stimuli.

The other important types of conditioning is second order conditioning which is a twostep procedure. First the neutral stimulus is paired with unconditioned stimulus to elicit conditioned response. Then a second neutral stimulus is paired with the first neutral stimulus to elicit its own conditioned response. Temporal conditioning is another type where unconditioned stimulus is presented at regular intervals while in extinction conditioned stimulus is presented at regular intervals in the absence of unconditioned stimulus.



Various phenomena are observed during classical conditioning. Extinction is presenting the conditioned stimulus at regular intervals in the absence of unconditioned stimulus. When this process is repeated continuously conditioned stimulus will stop eliciting conditioned response. Several procedures lead to the recovery of extinction like reacquisition, spontaneous recovery, disinhibition, reinstatement and renewal. Stimulus generalization occurs if a particular conditioned response elicits conditioned response then another stimulus also elicits the same response. Stimulus discrimination can be observed when one stimulus elicits a particular response while another stimulus either elicits another response or no response at all.

Classical conditioning has many applications in a classroom. If a teacher repeatedly claps and asks the students to maintain silence, the students get conditioned to remain silent with the sound of the claps. This way if the teacher is repetitive and consistent with these stimuli, eventually the students will come to behave properly. This method is very useful in early years of schooling which aims at reforming the behaviour of the students. It might also have negative effects as in stress during exams. If a student was subjected to a pressured timed exam in his/her early days, the students might continue to fear the concept of exams.



Classical condition gives answers to many situations in our life. From getting scared of balloons to salivating at an empty plate, classical conditioning answers all the mysterious behaviour since our childhood.