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Schools of Thought in Psychology | General Psychology

school-of-thoughts-2-728Schools of Thought in Psychology General Psychology

When psychology first emerged as a science separate from biology and philosophy, the debate over how to describe and explain the human mind and behavior began. The different schools of psychology represent the major theories within psychology.

The first school of thought, structuralism, was advocated by the founder of the first psychology lab, Wilhelm Wundt. Almost immediately, other theories began to emerge and vie for dominance in psychology.

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 ■ What is the primary function of our sensory receptors?

Sensory receptors transduce raw physical energy into neural impulses, which are then interpreted by our central nervous system.

What does the term absolute threshold refer to, and why is signal detection theory important?

The absolute threshold is the smallest magnitude of a stimulus that can be detected 50 percent of the time. Signal detection theory helps to separate sensitivity from motivational factors.

What is a difference threshold?

The term difference threshold refers to the amount of change in a stimulus required for a person to detect the change.

Can subliminal messages affect our behavior?

 Most careful research fails to show any meaningful effects of subliminal messages on aspects of our cognitive processes or behavior.



What are the basic structures of the eye, and what is the physical stimulus for vision?

Light rays first pass through the cornea and then enter the eye through the pupil. Adjustments to lighting conditions are executed by the iris. The lens is a clear structure whose shape adjusts to permit us to focus on objects at varying distances. Light rays leaving the lens are projected onto the retina at the back of the eyeball. The physical stimulus for vision consists of electromagnetic wavelengths that stimulate the rods and cones in the retina.

What are the basic functions of the visual system?

The basic functions of the visual system include acuity, dark adaptation, and eye movements. Acuity is the ability to see fine details. Dark adaptation is the increase in sensitivity that occurs when we move from bright light to a dim environment. Various types of eye movements are crucial to our ability to track moving objects and to perceive distance and depth.

How do psychologists explain color perception?

Our rich sense of color stems from mechanisms at several levels of our nervous system. Two leading theories that explain how we perceive color are trichromatic theory and opponent-process theory.

 ■ Why is visual perception a hierarchical process?

Visual perception is a hierarchical process because increasingly complex visual information is analyzed and compiled at successive stages—eventually yielding a coherent and flowing visual world.

What are the basic building blocks of visual perception?

The basic building blocks of visual perception begin with feature detectors—neurons in the visual cortex that respond when particular types of stimuli, with characteristic features, are detected.


 ■ What is the physical stimulus for hearing?

The physical stimulus for hearing is sound waves, which stimulate tiny hair cells in the cochlea.

 ■ How do psychologists explain pitch perception?

Place theory and frequency theory help explain how we perceive pitch.

How do we localize sound?

The “sound shadow” created by our head causes sound to reach one ear slightly faster than the other. This small time difference helps us localize the source of sound.

Touch and Other Skin Senses

 ■ What is the physical stimulus for touch?

The physical stimulus for touch is a stretching of or pressure against receptors in the skin.

 ■ Where does the sensation of pain originate?

Sensations of pain originate in free nerve endings throughout the body.

What is the basis for cultural differences in pain perception?

Cultural differences in pain perception appear to be the result of learning, not physical differences.

 ■ What role do cognitive processes play in the perception of pain?

 Negative thinking while in pain, referred to as catastrophizing, can increase the perceived intensity of pain.

Smell and Taste:

The Chemical Senses

What is the physical stimulus for smell?

The physical stimulus for sensations of smell consists of molecules that stimulate receptors in the nose. ■ Where are the sensory receptors for taste located?

The sensory receptors for taste are located in papillae on the tongue.

 ■ What are the practical benefits of using ambient pleasant fragrance to solve real-world problems?

The use of pleasant fragrances can increase alertness among persons engaged in potentially dangerous activities, such as driving.

Kinesthesia and Vestibular Sense

 ■ What information does our kinesthetic sense provide to the brain?

Kinesthesia informs the brain about the location of body parts with respect to each other.

 ■ What information does the vestibular sense provide to the brain?

 The vestibular sense provides information about body position, movement, and acceleration.

Perception: Putting It All Together

Why is selective attention important?

Selective attention reduces interference from irrelevant sensory sources.

Why is it important to consider sensation and perception in the development of warnings?

 The effectiveness of warnings depends on both sensory and perceptual processes.

What role do Gestalt principles play in perceptual processes?

 The Gestalt principles of perceptual organization help us to structure the input from our sensory receptors.

What are perceptual constancies?

 Perceptual constancies are principles describing our ability to perceive aspects of the world as unchanging despite variations in the information reaching our sensory receptors, such as information about size, shape, or brightness.

■ What are illusions?

 Illusion is a term used by psychologists to refer to errors in interpreting sensory information.

 ■ What are the bottom-up and top-down theories of pattern recognition?

The bottom-up theory suggests that pattern recognition stems from our ability to recognize and combine basic visual features. In contrast, top-down theory emphasizes the role that expectations play in shaping our perceptions.

What are geons? What is their role in object recognition?

Geons are basic cylindrical shapes that, when combined according to rules, can be used to form any object. Some evidence suggests that geons are the basis of our representation of objects in memory.

How are we able to judge depth and distance?

Judgments of depth and distance result from both monocular and binocular cues.


 ■ How are the concepts nature and nurture related to perception?

 Both nature and nurture are important determinants of the ways we perceive the world around us. Nature refers to genetic influences on perception, whereas nurture refers to the relative effects of the environment and learning.

Extrasensory Perception: Perception without Sensation?

 ■ How do most psychologists view the possibility of extrasensory perception or psi?

Most psychologists remain highly skeptical about its existence and await the results of further careful research.




Copyright : Shishir Subba


The importance of motivation is obvious. We need motivation in order to reach our goals. In fact it is one of the most important and driving factor for us reaching our goals. So when that being said it is not hard to imaging how things would be if there was no such thing as motivation.

Motivation does not have to be positive emotions. Fear can be a very effective motivating factor. Stress is an example of negative motivating ineffective feelings. Most people have a tendency to become narrow sighted when they are stressed, some even get paralysed or apathy.

Is motivation important in the workplace? You bet! Why? First, you spend more time at work than you do awake at home. And typically, work environments are very goal oriented. Some people argue that getting goals motivates people. This is of course not true. It is the rewards for reaching the goals that motivates or the feeling of fulfilment when they reach their goals or the satisfaction of being important etc. This is why many companies and organisations are very strong on bonuses and appraisals.

  • Motivation is generally what energizes, maintains, and controls behavior; it acts as a stimulus for desirable actions.
  • The importance of motivation in the workplace is straightforward theoretically, but difficult to measure empirically.
  • Salary is often enough to keep employees working for an organization, but not necessarily enough to capitalize on their full potential.
  • Motivated employees will retain a high level of innovation while producing higher quality work at a higher level ofefficiency.
  • Theopportunity cost in motivating employees is essentially zero.
  • Motivated employees always look for better ways to do a job.
  • Motivated employees are qualitative.
  • Motivated workers are more productive and efficient.

In summary, motivated employees will retain a high level of innovation while producing higher quality work at a higher level of efficiency. While these benefits are broad, and therefore relatively vague, it also puts forth the argument that motivated employees have no downsides or costs. The opportunity cost in motivating employees is essentially zero, assuming it does not require additional capital to coach managers to act as effective motivators.


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Types of Motivation | Psychology


psychoTypes of Motivation | Psychology

Primary (physiological) motives:

Motivation is not solely a cognitive process. Physiological arousal can provide the energy that fuels social motives as well as biological ones. Biological motives are largely rooted in the physiological state of the body. These motives are not learned and regarded as inborn. It is primary because their fulfillment is indispensable and of primary importance. Without them individual cannot survive. These primary motives include thirst, hunger, sex, temperature regulation, sleep, elimination, need for oxygen, pain avoidance, maternal needs, and so on. These needs have physiological basis as explained two of the physiological needs below:


Hunger is the drive that arises from the need for food, which in turn develops from food deprivation. Questions like what are the body mechanisms that regulate the hunger drive and what psychological processes are at work during are being attempted to answer by both physiological and psychologists.

The act of chewing and swallowing provide some sensations of satiety (state of being satisfied). Hunger was previously assumed due to stomach contraction. Walter Cannon in 1934 concentrated on linking hunger to the “pangs” produced by an empty stomach. According to him, person does not realize he or she is hungry until such distant signals of pain or discomfort are apparent. Empty stomach leads to stomach contractions called hunger pangs. The pang was considered a signal of hunger. But later experiments with the animals whose stomachs have been removed were found regulating food intake to maintain a normal weight level.

The detail investigations and experiment made by other psychologists in later period confirmed that there is a close relation between blood chemistry and hunger. The reduction of the sugar in the blood starts hunger sensations, while its excess reduces it. Later experiments confirmed that several biochemical conditions regulate this drive (Morgan, 1965). The function of the liver is being considered important in this respect. Research suggests that receptors in the liver are important in regulating hunger (Friedman and Stricker, 1976). These receptors were found sensitive to the blood sugar level. In a state of food deprivation, blood sugar level becomes low and these receptors send rapid messages to the brain. The involvement of the brain has been indicated by experimental removal of the ‘satiety cells’ in the hypothalamus. When this portion of the brain is absent, the animals ate to the point where they become three times their normal size. After removal of other areas of the hypothalamus, the animal stopped eating before its normal need have been satisfied.

Though many areas of the body work to regulate the hunger drive this is only a part of the story. Hunger drive is more complex in human beings. Psychological factor is considered important along with physiological factors. Food taking behaviour is influenced by taste, colour, eating habits, and so on. Individual learns to respond in a particular way to these external stimuli. As a result, people eat even if they are not hungry. Incentive, thus, is important in understanding behaviour that is influenced by hunger motivation. Like Pavlov’s dog, people learn to salivate in anticipation of food cues. Sight, sound, aroma of the food can stimulate eating behaviour. Food taking behavior is shaped and reshaped by socio-cultural environment.

2) Thirst

Like hunger thirst is also a periodic drive. But it is usually felt faster than hunger. The strength of thirst is also greater than hunger drive. The necessity of thirst for survival is greater than food. Common experiences and observations show that people can live for many days without taking any food, but not without taking water. This is because thirst is closely related to survival of body cells.

People experience thirst as dryness in the mouth and throat. This is due to the diminution of water in the salivary glands, which is the result of a reduction of water in the blood. This is called dehydration of the body tissue and it results in thirst drive. Experiments have shown that receptors of the kidney and hypothalamus play more central roles in regulating the thirst drive.

When the body is depleted of fluids the flow of blood through the kidneys drops off. In response to this decreased flow of blood, the kidneys secrete the hormone called angiotensin. Angiotensin, in turn, signals the hypothalamus of fluid depletion.

Experiment results have found that hypothalamus is also responsible for thirst drive. The saturated cells and salty pretzels osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus can also detect fluid depletion from changes that occur within the brain. The brain, like the rest of the body, becomes fluid-depleted. Fluid depletion causes the osmoreceptor cells to shrivel, which in and of itself may trigger thirst.

It is found that receptors in the mouth and throat do play some role in thirst. When a thirsty person begins drinking, the receptors monitor the amount of fluid taken. At some point these receptors signal the hypothalamus to stop taking water. Drinking, like eating, has complex origin. It can be motivated by a combination of internal and external cues. 

3)Sex Motive

Sex motive, although not so essential for an individual’s survival like food and water, constitutes a highly powerful psycho-physical motive. Its satisfaction results in immense happiness and well being to an individual and as a medium of survival to the species. Where the root of the sex motive is purely biological and innate in the non-human animals, it is not so simple to point out the roots in humans whose sex drive is governed by both the physiological and psychological factors. Therefore, the human sex motive is termed as a complex blend of innate as well as acquired tendencies.

In most animals, sex hormones are undeniably essential in stimulating the sex drive. These hormones, the testosterone in the males and estrogens in the females, are secreted by   their testes and the ovaries. The experiments   connected with the removal of the testes and ovaries in the case of male and female animals or birds or injection of the doses of the male or female sex hormones have clearly demonstrated the extent to which secretion to sex hormones actually determines sexual behavior among different species.

This dependency on hormones is seen far less as we move up the phylogentic scale from lower animals and birds to monkeys and chimpanzies. Finally, in sexually experienced adult humans, we see still more freedom from hormonal controls. Castrated males and ovariectomized females sometimes experience little or no decline in sex drive or satisfaction. Females may also remain sexually active after the natural decline in ovarian function that occurs with age (in the form of menopause)

In addition to the dependency on hormones, females of most species, excluding humans are sexually receptive only at certain times when they are on heat or, in more technical language, during the estrus cycle. During this period, the female ovaries secrete a greater quantity of estrogen into her blood stream and she becomes receptive to the advances of the males. This period coincides with the occurrence of ovulation in the females and consequently may results in pregnancy.

In human beings, although the pregnancy is possible only in the estrus periods, the sex drive is not dependent upon the occurrence of an estrus cycle. In general, human females and males can be sexually motivated at any time quite independent of the period of fertility and hormones production. Much of their motivation in the form of sexual arousal and behavior is rooted in earlier experiences and social learning and controlled by lesions in the hypothalamus, the sub-cortical structure in the brain.

On account of the involvement of the cortical areas of the brain, the sources for the instigation of sex drive and sexual arousal vary very much in human beings. Sometimes it is the emotional feelings of the sex partner and at other times it may be a visual, auditory, a tactile sensation, a picture or a fantasy. In practice, the sex game is more psychological than biological or organic. For example, a smell of one’s favorite perfume or even a little moonlight works wonders in stimulating sex drive in humans. The other variables related with one’s socio-cultural environment, sexual experience and learning also play a leading role in guiding and deciding the mode and nature of sex drive and behavior in human beings independent of their fertility period and secretion of hormones.

4)Sleep and Rest

Sleep like food and water is a basic necessity of life. Need for sleep arises particularly when the individual is tired. Sleep acts as a type of rest by providing the cell bodies to recover the energy used in activity. Hence sleep is essential for health.

Research indicates that when people stay awake for long periods of time, perceptual disorientations occur, including depression, extreme elation, and anxiety. Military personnel, after 45, 65, and 95 sleepless hours, showed severe perceptual and emotional disturbances, as well as disrupted intellectual functioning (Morris & Singer, 1961). When talkathon contestants went 88 consecutive hours without sleep, they gradually become intensely concerned about their own mental health (Cappon & Banks, 1960). Whether such symptoms arise from deprivation of sleep, deprivation of dreams or both is not fully clear.

Physiology of sleep certain brain mechanisms are actively involved in producing sleep. Excitation of the thalamus, a switchboard mechanism below the cerebrum, seems to induce quiescence. In contrast, the reticular formation, an important sub-cortical arousal mechanism, influences sleep by ceasing the transmission of impulses to many cortical synapses. In other words, sleep is a consequence of excitation in certain brain regions, quiescence in others and even the brain stem and cortex seem to be part of our sleep inducing system (Murray, 1965).

More recently, it has been discovered that certain respiratory patterns are associated with the brain waves of the hypnagogic state, which is the interval of drowsiness between waking and sleeping. Like Rapid Eye movements (REMs) and study of dreaming, this finding may be especially useful in future investigations of hypnagogiy. This condition is of growing interest to researchers because of the vivid imagery that occurs just before falling asleep and just before awakening (Schacter, 1976).

Need for sleep is very important for our physiological and psychological health because it reduces the effect of fatigue by providing rest to the cell bodies.


Social motives are acquired, social, learned or complex motives. Like physiological drives, social motives prompt goal-directed behaviour. These motives are not related to survival but satisfy us in a number of ways. People sing, play musical instruments, compose music, paint, write. Such urge to create, achieve, and understand the world is somehow related to social survival. These motives result mainly from man’s interaction with his social environment. Some of the social motives include need for praise, recognition and status, achievement, mastery motive, aggressiveness, power, self-submission, gregariousness, imitation, sympathy, life goal, level of aspiration and need for achievement, interest and so on. Psychologist Henry Murray (1938) constructed a list of 20 human motives that consist largely of social motives.

These motives are not innate so people can survive physically without them but it will almost impossible to live socially. Since life is more and more depending upon social survival in most of the countries these social motives have important implication in the life of the people. Some of the secondary motives are like power, prestige, need for approval, curiosity need, aggressive, pugnacity, hoarding, affiliation need, need for achievement, recognition and status etc. As the need themselves indicate they are important aspects to provide some insight of the people and community. These motives are persisting characteristics of a person because they are learned. The strength of these motives differs individual to individual and culture to culture. Below is the description of two social motives.

1)Achievement motivation:

Some people are always continuously driven by goal in their life. They always want to achievement some goal in their life. This is called achievement motivation. People with achievement motivation always want to accomplishment something in their life and advance up the ladder of success. For this kind of people accomplishment is much important than rewards.

In the organizational settings achievement-oriented employees always works harder when they think that they will receive personal credit for their efforts, when the risk of failure is only moderate, and when they receive specific feedback about their past performance. These people take responsibility of their actions, take pride in the positive result, have control over their destiny, seek regular feedback, and they enjoy being part of a winning achievement. Such activity can be both individual and group effort.

2)Affiliation motivation:

Affiliation motivation is a social need. Human beings are social by nature and they always want company, share their basic emotions and help each other. Such needs are vital for group survival. However, in some people affiliation need is more stronger than other social needs i.e., achievement need. In the organizational settings, people with affiliation needs tend to be friendly, helpful, closer and more concerned about other people. People with higher achievement need, however, tend to work hard, impress their managers, respect technically capable people and less concerned with personal feelings. However, the employee with affiliation need are more happy with like-minded people, feel rewarded being with friends and need more time for building personal relationship with others. They derive satisfaction from the company of close people.

Affiliation is important need for most of the people and in organizational setting such need may lead to positive social relationship, cooperation in work, develop friendly environment and may enable to achieve organizational goal. However, overemphasis on affiliation need may interfare in some organizational settings. Affiliation-oriented managers may have difficulty assigning challenging task, directing work activities, and monitoring work effectiveness.

3)Aggression Motivation:

Aggression motive is related to those behaviors that are intended to inflict physical or psychological harm on others. Various views have been propounded about the origin and working of this motive. Those believing in instinctive theory like Freud, Lorenz and Ardrey held that an aggressive motive is linked with an innate independent instinctual tendency in human beings which expresses itself in destructive and violent activities. However, this innate drive concept now stands rejected due to lack of substantial research.

From another viewpoint, aggression is caused as a result of frustration. However, later researches have proved that it is not essential that reaction to frustration always leads to aggression. Bandura (1973) suggests that frustration generates aggression only in those people who have previously developed aggressive attitudes and action as a means of coping with their environment. It leads us to a more accepted conclusion that aggression motive and aggressive behavior is the product of earlier experiences and social learning. One may be aggressive because one has been brought up in the environment where he frequently observes his parents, elders, teachers and peers showing aggression towards him or others. 

Copyright:Shishir Subba

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Copyright – Shishir Subba


In the process of explaining behaviour psychologists have to answer the question of “Why do human beings behave as they do?” The study of motivation is necessary because it explains the “why” of behaviour. The term motivation literally means to move or to energize or to activate. In this sense, anything that is responsible for internal or external activity may be called motivation. But unlike the straightforward term, the motivation is extremely complex, difficult to understand, interpret, predict and control. Modern psychologist thinks that single drive and motive alone does not govern behaviour of individual. Interaction of various drives and motives are responsible for the particular behaviour. Further, the behaviour is not easy to explain since socio-cultural context always influence the behaviour. Thus, while explaining ‘why’ of behaviour psychologists have to understand the socio-cultural context and setting to understand the person’s behaviour.

Motivation is a state of the organism in which the bodily energy is mobilized and the activity is selectively directed toward particular parts of the environment. Such behaviour generally continues until the goal is achieved. The level of activation during the motivated state is determined by the intensity and consistency of the behaviour. Some of the definitions of motivation is as follow:

  • By a motive we mean something that incites the organism to action or that sustains and gives direction to action once the organism has been aroused – Hilgard and Atkinson.
  • The psychology of motivation deals with the variables that activate and direct behaviour –Kendler.
  • A motive is any particular internal factor or condition that tends to initiate and to sustain activity – Guilford J.P. General Psy (1956).
  • A Motivation may be defined more formally as a phyusiological internal process initiated by some need which leads to activity or which will satisfy that need – Lovell.
  • Motivation is the process of arousing, sustaining, and regulating activity. Good.
  • Motivation refers to any inner condition of the individual that initiates or directs behaviour toward a special goal. Coleman.

Important characteristic of motives is that we never observe them directly; we infer their existence form what people say, the way they feel, and from observation. There is no need to be conscious, or aware, of our motives. The behaviour can be driven by unconscious motivation. If inferences are correct the motive is a powerful tool in explaining behaviour. Most of the everyday explanations of behaviours are given in terms of motives. One who understands motives behind particular behaviour usually understands the people as clinical psychologists do. Motives also help us make predictions about behaviour. If inferences are correct then predictions about the person can be made. Motive may not tell us what exactly happens but they give us an idea about the range of things a person will do. Motives are, thus, general states that enable psychologists to make predictions about behaviour in many different situations.

Motivation is considered as a physiological (internal) process that is initiated by some need and leads to activity to satisfy that need. Thus, it determines its level of activation, intensity, and consistency as well as general direction of behaviour. It can be said that psychology of motivation deals with the variables that activate and direct behaviour. The individual is energized due to physical deprivation within the body (e.g., hunger). The need due to physical deprivation arouses and energizes the individual. This energized condition is called drive. Drive is energy or fuel that makes activity possible. In fulfillment of this deprivation individual seeks certain goal (e.g., food). When goal is set individual acts in a particular way. Since this activity is directed to achieve a definite goal and influenced by past experiences it is termed as behaviour. Thus, motivation is considered as goal directed behaviour. Good has defined motivation as the process of arousing, sustaining, and regulating activity. It is also defined it as a state of the organism in which the bodily energy is mobilized and selectively directed towards the parts of the environment. Motivation, thus, is an internal condition of the organism that initiates and sustains activity. The activity is selective and always directed to a particular goal. The activity is possible because the need creates drive. The drive is an energized condition of the individual that continues until goal is achieved. It is evident from the above descriptions that when we use a term motivation, it basically involves need, drive and incentive. The behaviour moves in sequence known as motivational cycle or sequence.


Keeping Errors At Bay

Keeping Errors At Bay-Four Levels


Literal Comprehension:

This essay is written by Betrand Russell which provides multiple examples of mistake that people generally commit in their day to day life. His main idea is to provide suggestions to avoid the mistakes. We need careful, serious, critical and analytical mind to get rid of these errors. This essay deals with the ideas of avoiding errors that happen in our daily life situations. We can remove many foolish opinions by observing the related facts. When observations are impossible, we have to compare our ideas with those of the others. If there are evidence and knowledge, there will be no wrong understanding. Visiting different places and observing societies of the world also helps us to purify your own opinions. Knowing others idea makes us less dogmatic. If we have one-sided idea about anything, we will not find out the truth, such situation, we will make our good points more important. Fear and prejudice of different types create obstacles from learning the truth or reality. So we should be very careful while doing any work. We should not take as granted anything without proper observation.


The focus of this essay is to prevent people from committing some silly errors in day to day life.Making keen observation on subject matter having our personal experience, having a good plan and argument, self -esteem and fearlessness helps people to avoid such errors. To error is human but to do mistake is not excusable. Human make errors knowingly or having known about that error is not human. This is somewhat punishable also. We cannot find truth without proper understanding. The essay tries to tell us why human beings are unable to see the truth. They do not see the matter. They have illusion that they know everything without knowing it properly. It says that we have some mistakes generally we do not compare our idea with that of others. We unnecessarily feel pride and ignore things. Therefore, we commit crimes or errors. This is human but to do mistake knowingly cannot be human. There are solutions for errors but not the knowingly committing mistakes.

Critical Thinking:

Russell gives very concrete idea about errors and their solutions. He says how and why we do errors and how can we correct them. After reading this story I came to know and have some questions. The writer has presented a scientific way of thinking. By comparing and contrasting, we can judge our own ideas. I agree with many things which the essayist says but there are some questions in my mind.

  • Who can remain without doing any error?
  • How can one know that it is error and this not?
  • Can we change our mind not to doing errors?
  • Why people cannot find out the fact easily?
  • How we can compare such things to those of the others?
  • What are the forms of the truth?
  • How to know that whose idea is right or wrong? 


Generally, we think right whatever we do. This essay gave me lots of ideas about errors and their types as well as their remedies (solution). I started to realize my mistakes in my life as I sometimes used to stubborn and think everything right. I started to honour other’s ideas. I also came to know why people mistake while making ideas. A wise man should look at the things from different sides. We should be comparative and multidimensional perspectives should be used. I came to know that we can do errors in every work every time but that is only found out after its proper judgment.


Mr. Know-All

Mr. Know-All-Four levels


Literal Comprehension:

When the First World War ended, the writer ‘Somerset Maugham ‘ decided to go to Japan from America by ship. It was very difficult to get a good seat in the ship. But he managed to get in cabin seat in the ship. His cabin partner , max Kelada , was much talkative. At first the writer thought that he was a Negro but later he came to know that he was also an English man. However, he hated his chatty nature. He introduced with everyone in the ship and conducted a lottery action. He said that he had good knowledge of everything. So they called him ‘mr. know all’. Although alcohol was strictly prohibited to carry, he uttered writer to have cocktail “mix wine”. Once the writer, Mr. kelada, Mr and Mrs Ramsays got chanced to have dinner in the same table. Mr. ramsays was in the consular service posted at Kobe, Japan. He had spent one year in alone in japan because his salary was very low. Now he had come to take his wife with him. Mr. kelada said that he was going to japan to examine pearls. He saw a pearls chain around mrs ramsays neck and said that they were original. When Mr. Ramsays told him to guess the price, he said that they could cost upto 30,000 dollars.but when Mr. Ramsay said that they were false, he didn’t believe and they had bet of one hundred dollars. When Mr. Kelada was going to check the pearls, Mrs ramsay looked nervous. Although the pearls were original , Mr. kelada said that they were false to save Mrs. Ramsays. The next day when she returned his money, the writer was surprised to know the reality. He also know that Mr. kelada was really mr. know all. Then he began to like Mr. kelada.


This story may be trying to tell us about the writer’s attitude towards non-whites.The writer may be trying to show humanity and nature of women. Outer cover can never represents the inner reality. Although Mr. kelada is hated by all, he is proved to be the best example of humanity. He became fool and lost money and prestige but he saved the happy married life of Mr and Mrs Ramsay. This story also shows the duel character of women.

Critical thinking: 

Although this story gives the moral lession. Some ideas of the writer are not convincing. After reading this story we can ask some questions.

  • If alcohol was not allowed to carry how did Mr. kelada offet cocktail to the writer?
  • Did Mr. kelada know everything? Then why did people hate him?
  • Is a passenger allowed to carry all kinds of wines with him?
  • Does anyone dislike the other because of color?
  • Does anyone give up his money even after winning the bet?
  • Can we find such Mr. Know all in this world?
  • Don’t we find a frank and friendly person good during a long journey?
  • Should a husband really suspect on the behavior of his wife?


Before I read the story, I used to make friendship with as many people as I met. I enjoyed talking with them about what I know.But I did not study their view whether they liked my talk or not.I am very much affected by this story. After reading this story, I know that we can’t judge people from their appearance. This story also taught me that it is not easy to understand the character and secrecy of women. Now I won’t believe in women easily.



The Burden of Skepticism

The Burden of Skepticism-Four Levels



Literal Comprehension:
Skepticism is found in every day life. If we have to buy a used car we examining it even if we do not have any ideas about the car. If we buy it without examining, we know that we may have to be sorry for it. In some cases we use skepticism, but in politics and commercials we do not use it. So we cheated a little. But if we do not use it in the case of medicine we have we have to bear a great loss.

If we study the whole history of mankind, we find that they have always accepted some kind of popular belief system. The reason for this is that all human needs are never fulfilled. These unfulfilled needs may be satisfied by these beliefs. It is natural for us to have a desire to take our dead relatives. And we would be happy when we learn that our spirit does not die and our existence will not come to an end forever.

Critical Thinking:
There are many channels who claim that they can contact with the spirit of a person long- long ago. But these spirits do not answer any specific questions and they answer only general and vague (unclear) questions. Their specific answer would have helps us a lot to know about the society of the past.
  • Why does the writer completely neglected the possibility of the existence of spirit /god? Can he prove what he is saying?

Skepticism is dangerous. So it is not taught in school. Skepticism and openness to new ideas are equally necessary for human progress. If we are too open, we will not be in opposition to tell a difference between what is good and what is bad. But, on the other hand, if we are too skeptical, no new ideas will find any place. Scientist forms new ideas in to their minds in the form of hypothesis and examining them closely. If their ideas are proved correct they will be accepted. If they are proved false later on, the scientists will accept that they have made a mistake. But religious and political leaders never accept what is against their principles, however wrong their ideas may be.


Law of Return scale

Law of Return scale:

Law of returns scale explains the Long-run input output relationship ie;long run production function in which all the factors of production are variable. It explains how output changes when all factors of production are changed in the same proportion.

For e.g, If both the inputs are doubled ,the output may be more than double ,equal to double or less than double.

Possiblities of law of returns to scale:

  1. Increasing Returns to scale(IRS)
  2. Decreasing Returns to scale(DRS)
  3. Constant Returns to scale(CRS)

Increasing Returns to Scale(IRS):

Increasing returns to scale means output increases in greater proportion than the increase in inputs.

For e.g. if all inputs are increased by 25% and output increases by 30% then increasing returns to scale will be prevailing .Increasing returns to scale can be shown through different iso-quants.

When increasing returns to scale occur ,the successive isoquants will lie at decreasingly smaller distance because of the economics of the scale ie; internal economics and external economics

Decreasing Returns to Scale(DRS):

Deccreasing returns to scale means output increases in less proportion than the increase in inputs.

For e.g. if all inputs are increased by 25% and output increases by 20% then decreasing returns to scale will be prevailing .

When decreasing returns to scale occur ,the consecutive  isoquants will lie at increasingly wider distance because of the diseconomics of the scale ie; internal diseconomics and external diseconomics.

Constant Returns to Scale(CRS):

Constant returns to scale means output is proportional to the change in inputs ie; proportionate of output and input are equal.

For e.g. if all inputs are increased by 25% and output increases by 25% then decreasing returns to scale will be prevailing .

When constant returns to scale occur ,the successive isoquants will lie at equ-distance from each other because of the neither economics of the scale nor diseconomics of the scale.

When decreasing returns to scale occur ,the consecutive  isoquants will lie at increasingly wider distance because of the diseconomics of the scale ie; internal diseconomics and external diseconomics.





Auditory Sensation

Auditory Sensation:

Auditory sensation is one of the important sensation for human beings as it provides us the pleasure of enjoying sound. The physical stimulus for auditory sensation is sound waves.Auditory sensation is the experience of sound on ear. Ear is the receptor of auditory sensation .Frequency and intensity of sound determines the nature of sound.

Working of ear(Sensation in ear):

Our ears is divided into three parts:outer ear ,middle ear. And inner ear.The sound waves from the ear are first collected by the outer ear(pinna).It channels them into the auditory canal to reach and bump up against the eardrum,the thin stretchable ,vibrating membrane  that separates  the eardrum to vibrate. The quivering of the eardrum  causes three tiny bones in the middle ear called the hammer(Malleus),the anvil(Incus)and the stirrup(stapes) to hit each other in sequence and carry the vibrations to the inner ear. The last of these three bones,the stirrup is loosely connected to the oval window. Just below the oval window ,there is a membrane called the round window which tries to equalize the pressure in the inner ear when the stirrup hits against the oval window.

The oval window is a membrane of the cochlea,the inner ear mechanism. The cochlea is a pea-sized coiled tube. It is filled with some fluid and contains the basilar membrane stretched throughout its lengths. Once transmitted across the oval window and into the inner ear , the sound waves  set up a disturbance in the fluids contained in the cochlea. When the fluids in the cochlea begin to move , the basilar membrane vibrates. The basilar membrane then transmits the sound vibration to the actual auditory receptors-hair cells located on the organ of Corti,a structure that is attached to the basilar membrane. As waves travel through the cochlea ,the hair is moved and the hair cells are pulled by their movement. Stimulation of the hair cells , in turn , excites the spinal ganglion cells , which send neural impulses through the auditory nerve to the brain.