NIOS Class 12 Psychology Chapter 4 Becoming aware of the World around us

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NIOS Class 12 Psychology Chapter 4 Becoming aware of the World around us

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Also, you can read the NIOS book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Book guidelines. NIOS Class 12 Psychology Chapter 4 Becoming aware of the World around us These solutions are part of NIOS All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NIOS Class 12 Psychology Chapter 4 Becoming aware of the World around us, NIOS Senior Secondary Course Psychology Solutions for All Chapter, You can practice these here.

Becoming aware of the World around us

Chapter: 4


Intext Questions & Answers

Q.1. Choose the correct alternative

1. Which sense organ is not associated with the collection of information from within the body.

(i) Kinesthetic.

(ii) Vestibular.

(iii) Taste.

(iv) Proprioception.

Ans. (iii) Taste.

2. Human beings possess __________  sense organs

(i) 10

(ii) 5

(iii) 7

(iv) 8

Ans. (i) 10

3. The process by which physical stimulus is converted into neural signals is called.

(i) Transmission.

(ii) Transformation.

(iii) Transduction.

(iv) Signalling.

Ans. (iii) Transduction.

Q.2. Choose the correct alternative.

1. Among the different sense organs _____________  occupies the most important and dominant position:

(i) Ear.

(ii) Eye.

(iii) Semicircular canals.

(iv) Tongue.

Ans: (ii) Eye.

2. The adequate stimulus for each of the four sense modalities is given below. Identify the stimulus that is not the adequate stimulus for the sense modality.

(i) vision – light.

(ii) Audition – sound.

(iii) Tactile – chemical.

(iv) Temperature – heat and cold.

Ans: (iii) Tactile – chemical.

3. Light rays pass through_____________ to finally reach the retina.

(i) Cornea.

(ii) Pupil.

(iii) Lens.

(iv) All of the above.

Ans: (iv) All of the above.

4. The changes in lens which enable the light rays to focus on the retina is called:

(i) Convergence.

(ii) Accommodation.

(iii) Focusing.

(iv) Centering.

Ans: (ii) Accommodation.

5. The cones mediate:

(i) Daylight vision.

(ii) Chromatic vision.

(iii) Detailed vision.

(iv) All the above.

Ans: (iv) All the above.

6. The rods mediate:

(i) Scotopic vision.

(ii) Achromatic vision.

(iii) Signal information about brightness.

(iv) All the above. 

Ans: (iv) All the above.

Q.3. Match the following:

a. Pitchb. Intensityc. Audible ranged. Compressioni. Decibels (dB)ii. Frequency (Hz)iii. Expansions.iv. 20-20,000 Hz.


a. Pitchb. Intensityc. Audible range d. Compressionii. Frequency (Hz)i. Decibels (dB) iv. 20-20,000 Hz.iii. Expansion

Q. 4. Choose the correct alternative 

1. What is not a part of the auditory system?

(i) Tympanic membrane.

(ii) Decibels.

(iii) Stapes.

(iv) Cochlea.

Ans: (ii) Decibels.

2. Auditory receptors for hearing are:

(i) Hair cells.

(ii) Cochlea.

(iii) Tympanic membrane.

(iv) Malleus.

Ans: (i) Hair cells.

Q.5. Choose the correct alternative.

1. What is not a part of the cutaneous sense?

(i) Pressure and touch.

(ii) Temperature.

(iii) Pain.

(iv) Kinesthesis.

Ans: (iv) Kinesthesis.

2. Which is the following receptors is not the part of pressure and touch sensation?

(i) Meissner corpuscles.

(ii) Basket nerve endings.

(iii) Free nerve endings.

(iv) Hair cell.

Ans: (ii) Basket nerve endings.

3. Sensation of temperature is believed to be signaled through:

(i) Free nerve endings.

(ii) Hair cells.

(iii) Neurons.

(iv) None of the above.

Ans: (i) Free nerve endings.

Q.6. Choose the correct alternative

1. The back of the tongue is sensitive to_____________ stimuli.

(i) Sour.

(ii) Bitter.

(iii) Salty.

(iv) Sweet.

Ans: (ii) Bitter.

2. Taste receptors are:

(i) Taste buds.

(ii) Hair cells.

(iii) Papillae.

(iv) Free nerve endings.

Ans: (ii) Hair cells.

3. Olfactory receptors are located:

(i) In the nose.

(ii) High up in the nasal passage.

(iii) In the throat.

(iv) In the early part of the nose.

Ans: (ii) High up in the nasal passage.

4. The deep senses include:

(i) Kinesthetic system.

(ii) Vestibular apparatus.

(iii) Semicircular canals.

(iv) All of the above.

Ans. (iv) All of the above.

5. In kinesthetic system we get information from receptors in the:

(i) Muscles.

(ii) Tendons.

(iii) Joints.

(iv) All of the above.

Ans: (iv) All of the above.

6. The vestibular system is a feedback system that provides information to the brain about: 

(i) Pain.

(ii) Touch.

(iii) The movement of our body.

(iv) All of the above.

Ans: (iii) The movement of our body.

Terminal Exercises

1. What are the different sense organs? How is the stimulus perceived by the brain?

Ans: We have so far discussed vision and visual processes in some detail. Now, we take up briefly the other senses. After vision, audition is used more often than any other sense. The senses, other than vision and audition, can be grouped in the following manner:

(i) Cutaneous senses-that. include pressure, touch, temperature (cold and warmth) and pain.

(ii) Taste.

(iii) Smell.

(iv) Deep senses that include kinesthesis and vestibular. 


The auditory receptors in the ears respond to sound waves to produce neural signals. Sound waves are produced by pressure changes in the atmosphere. The eardrum is pushed and pulled by the compressions and expansions. It vibrates in a pattern that corresponds to the sound.

Sound waves have two important physical aspects: 

frequency and amplitude. The pitch of a sound depends on its frequency; higher the frequency, higher the pitch (e.g. women’s voice has more pitch than that of a male). Frequency is expressed in units called Hertz (Hz). Young people can hear sounds with frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, with maximum sensitivity in the middle region. With age the audible range is reduced especially on the high frequency side.

The intensity depends upon the amplitude. Intensity is usually expressed in units called the decibles (dB). Some dB values are given below for you to grasp the concept of dB.

Whisper- 30dB.

Normal conversation – 60dB.

Loud thunder- 120dB.

Jet plane take off – 140dB.

Sounds above 120 dB are likely to be painful to the human ear. If the sound is produced by the great number of unrelated sound waves, it is perceived as noise, which we cannot analyze. The sound you hear from a jet aircraft engine or your pressure cooker is called white noise.

The Structure of the Ear:

The ear has three major divisions:

(i) the outer ear, consisting of pinna and auditory canal; 

(ii) the middle ear, consisting of ear drum (tympanic membrane); and

(iii) the inner ear formed by three small bones called ossicles namely the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and the stappes (stirrup).

The vibration of the oval window creates waves in the fluid that fills the cochlea. As the waves travel through the cochlear fluid the hair cells bend to and from. At this point the mechanical energy of the waves is transduced into electro-chemical impulses that are carried by the auditory nerve to the brain. The hair cells in the cochlea are the receptors for hearing, corresponding to rods and cones for vision. The auditory nerve fibres convey the auditory information through a series of relay stations to the auditory cortex, located in the temporal lobe of the brain.

2. Discuss briefly the function of

(i) Retina.

(ii) Rods.

(iii) Cones.

Ans: It has been found that the skin is not uniformly sensitive throughout the body, but has differential sensitivity. That is, points of greatest sensitivity to touch, cold, warmth, and pain are differently located in the human body, some areas are more sensitive to touch, others to pain, and so on.

Pressure and Touch: 

The amount of pressure required to produce the experience of pressure varies greatly for different parts of the body. The tip of the tongue, the tips of the fingers, and the hands are the most sensitive areas of the body. The experience of touch is felt if we apply gentle pressure on the skin or if we slightly move or touch the hair on the body.

It is believed that a fairly complex structure called Meissner Corpuscles serves the pressure sense in the hairless regions of the body. The nerve endings do the same for the roots of the hairs. It is believed that free nerve endings convey touch impulses.

Sensing the Temperature: 

Cold and Warmth: Experiences of cold and warmth are felt by the changes in normal gradient of skin temperature. That is, the difference (gradient) between skin surface temperature and blood temperature. It is believed that free nerve endings appear to be responsible for signaling information about temperature.


Let us talk about another side of pain, which one has never thought of. Pain has great significance in human life, though, we would prefer not to experience it. It has immense biological importance because it signals that something is wrong within the body. If pain sensations were not there, we could bleed to death without being aware of the wound. So pain is a friend, not an enemy.

There is evidence that free nerve endings are the receptors stimulated by tissue damage. It is believed that the free nerve endings of pain spots must be specialized in some way to respond to painful stimuli. That is, free nerve endings are specialized to pick up and convey different body conditions.

3. What are the three major divisions of human ear?

Ans. In part I, you studied the role of the senses in providing information about the external and internal world. However, receiving information from the external world and transmitting the same to the brain is just half the story. The chain of events start from stimulus reception through our senses and ends up in reports such as “beautiful flower”, ” a bitter taste, or “bright green”. The sensory experience that we get from stimulus through our receptors is a process and a product the end outcome is what we call perception, which is discussed in detail in a subsequent lesson (Lesson 5). However in this section we will study how our brain processes the information received from our senses into a conscious sensory experience.

Usually, our conscious experience (perception) is a result of processing of information that we receive from different sense modalities (e.g. vision, audition, touch, etc.). So, what we experience is a product of the contributions made by different sense organs (modalities) that result in a conscious sensory experience or sensation.


We become aware of the world around us through our consciousness. Consciousness is a state of awareness of external and internal events experienced by an individual. In ordinary waking state (consciousness) we are aware of what is going on around us, we are aware of our thoughts, feelings, desires, perceptions etc. On the other hand, if one falls down unconscious due to low blood pressure, one is not aware of all that is happening around the person. When this person gains consciousness, he/she does not know all that was being done to revive him/her.

The state of consciousness, however, keeps on changing even during the waking state. We keep performing many actions at a particular time, some consciously, some automatically. For example, while driving a car we keep talking to the person sitting by our side and during this period when we are busy talking we are not conscious (aware) when we lifted our foot from the acceleration pedal, pressed upon the clutch, changed the gear and again started accelerating. In this example the driver was paying attention to the conversation with the other person (conscious act) while the driving part was automatic (without our being conscious). Though, we can perform one action at a time where allocation of attention is required, we can simultaneously carry on the other task if it is highly learnt (it becomes automatic and no conscious control is required), But, think of a driver who is learning to drive, he will not be able to talk and drive because both the tasks require allocation of attention or conscious effort.

Computers and Human Beings: 

It is interesting to compare computers and human beings. Modern computers are impressive, but none can match the amazing abilities packed within the human brain. In some ways computers may be considered to be superior to human beings. For example, the memory of a computer could be more than that of a human being. Further, computers can process large numbers of variables simultaneously (parallel processing). On the other hand, human beings are basically capable of serial processing (one task at a time). For example, if you read a book which needs attention to grasp the material you cannot listen to the music simultaneously, unless the music does not require any attention. However, tasks which are highly practised, like driving a car can be executed with other tasks that require attentional resources. That means, one task is being performed automatically (without conscious control) and the other under conscious control.

It is important to note that no computer can perform the function of thinking (at least presently). Computers has no emotions, imagery, insight, desires, motives, and creativity of the human brain. Computers can perform to the extent the hardware and programmed allow. On the other hand, human brain is capable of performing various cognitive and affective functions without any limit. The most important difference between the two is that human beings have consciousness whereas the computer does not.

Mind is often considered a functional correlate of the brain. Our thoughts, memory, mental images, reasoning, decision making, and so on are all aspects of the human mind. Brain has a physical structure. (e.g. neurons) and some physiological action is generated whenever the brain works. Its psychological correlate is what we call mind. The cognitive functions of the brain are what we call the functioning of the mind. The process of socialization and learning experience a human being undergoes amounts to programming the hard-ware (brain) the human being inherits.

Levels of Consciousness: 

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, believed that the human mind has three distinct levels: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. The conscious mind includes our current thoughts, whatever we are thinking or experiencing at a given movement. Beneath this conscious realm is the much larger preconscious. The preconscious contains memories that are not part of current thought but can be readily brought to mind (conscious) if need arises. Finally, there is the unconscious. This part of the human mind has been compared to the iceberg, of which the major portion is concealed. The unconscious contains thoughts, desires, and impulses of which we remain largely unaware. Human behavior reflects all the three levels of consciousness. However, many psychologists do not accept these three levels of consciousness. The first level, that is, consciousness is well accepted by all. The preconscious is what we call stored material (memory) and the material can be retrieved when required. However, the third level (unconscious) is very controversial and most of the psychologists, especially, the experimental or the cognitive psychologists don’t accept this level at all.

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