You are currently viewing IGNOU BPC 01  SOLVED ASSIGNMENT 2022-23



Course Code: BPC 001
Assignment Code: BPC 001/ASST/TMA/2022-23
Marks: 100
NOTE: All questions are compulsory.



Answer the following questions in 1000 words each. 3 x 15 = 45 marks
1. Define psychology. Discuss the branches or divisions of general and applied psychology.

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes.

Psychology is really a very new science, with most advances happening over the past 150 years or so.  However, its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece, 400 – 500 years BC.


Early Divisions

Psychology too, like other sciences, started with basic branches, which were
classified as: experimental and non-experimental. The experimental branches
started with physiological, learning, and perception. Many psychologists attempt
to understand the fundamental causes of behaviour and their work may not be
directly applied to solve practical problems. They are primarily engaged in basic
research, and study such fundamental processes as learning, memory, thinking,
sensation and perception, motivation, and emotion, by using experimental method.
Thus, the experimental psychologist investigates how behaviour is modified and
how people retain these modifications, the processing of information thinking,
how human sensory systems work to allow people to experience what is going
on around them, and the factors that urge them on and give direction to behaviour.
The non-experimental branch included personality, social, and developmental.
However, many of these academic branches are having further sub branches,
i.e.; developmental psychology has sub-branches like child psychology,
adolescence psychology, and gerontology. Similarly, social psychology has an
‘applied social psychology’ branch and it has given rise to an applied field called
‘organisational psychology’. Applied fields have also led to many theories, e.g.;
application of theories of motivation to organisations has resulted in many work
motivation theories. Thus, today, there are many branches of psychology, which
are categorized under both basic and applied branches.

Basic Fields
The basic fields in psychology are primarily concerned with identifying the causes
of behaviour. Psychologists who work in these fields try to understand and
describe the determinants of behaviour. The following are the basic fields:
Biopsychology: Studies the biological bases of behaviour. The intimate
relationship between psychology and the biological sciences is quite obvious.
All behaviour occurs through bodily processes. The brain plays a very important
role in coordinating and organising the functions of the different organs of the
body. In fact, it is the seat of all forms of complex behaviour. It is impossible to
understand and explain behaviour without an understanding of the structure and
functioning of the brain. Along with the brain, the entire nervous system plays a
crucial role in behaviour. Hence, there is an intimate relationship between
psychology and neurology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and other branches
of knowledge which are directly involved with the study of the nervous system,
particularly the brain. Genetics, the branch of the biology which deals with the
nature of inheritance of different qualities is also an important discipline from
the point of view of psychology. Over the years, geneticists have carried out
important researches, bringing out the role of heredity in determining behaviour.
This has been particularly so in the case of abnormal behaviour like neurosis,
mental retardation, psychosis etc. Studies on the role of heredity have also
indicated the importance of the genes in determining the intelligence level.
In recent years, the role of chemical factors especially the hormones, secreted by
endocrine glands have been shown to play an important role in behaviour.
Emotional behaviour, temperament etc. are to a considerable extent, influenced
by the hormones of the endocrine glands.
Cognitive Psychology: Studies human information processing abilities.
Psychologists in this field study all aspects of cognition such as memory, thinking,
problem solving, decision making, language, reasoning and so on.
Comparative Psychology: Studies and compares the behaviour of different
species, especially animals. That is why some authors used to call this field as
animal psychology. By studying animal behaviour, these psychologists gather
important information which can be compared with and applied to human
behaviour. For example, investigating how does the queen bee direct, control,
and gets things done by the worker bees, may provide meaningful information
about leadership.
Cultural Psychology: Studies the ways in which culture, subculture, and ethnic
group membership affect behaviour. These psychologists do cross cultural
research and compare behaviour of people in different nations.
Experimental Psychology: Investigates all aspects of psychological processes
like perception, learning, and motivation. The major research method used by
these psychologists include controlled experiments. But, as Morgan et al. (1986)
put it, experimental method is also used by psychologists other than experimental

psychologists. For instance, social psychologists may do experiments to determine
the effects of various group pressures and influences on a person’s behaviour.
So, in spite of its name, it is not the method that distinguishes experimental
psychology from other sub-fields. Instead, experimental psychology is
distinguished by what it studies—the fundamental processes of learning, and
memory, thinking, sensation and perception, motivation, emotion, and the
physiological or biological bases of behaviour.
Gender Psychology: Does research on differences between males and females,
the acquisition of gender identity, and the role of gender throughout life.
Learning Psychology: Studies how and why learning occurs. These psychologists
develop theories of learning and apply the laws and principles of learning to
solve a variety of human problems.
Personality Psychology: Studies personality traits and dynamics. These
psychologists develop theories of personality and tests for assessing personality
traits. They also identify the causes of problems related to personality
Physiological Psychology: Physiological psychologists investigate the role of
biochemical changes within our nervous systems and bodies in everything we
do, sense, feel, or think. Mostly, they use experimental method and do basic
research on the brain, nervous system, and other physical origins of behaviour.
Physiological Psychology is not only a part of psychology, but also is considered
to be part of the broader field called neurobiology which studies the nervous
system and its functions.
As we know, Physiological Psychology is categorised under ‘experimental’
psychology. That is why some authors called this branch as ‘experimental and
Physiological Psychology’. On the other hand, some authors have categorized
‘experimental Psychology’ as a separate branch of psychology.
Sensation and Perception Psychology: Studies the sense organs and the process
of perception. Psychologists working in this field, investigate the mechanisms
of sensation and develop theories about how perception or misperception (illusion)
occurs. They also study how do we perceive depth, movement, and individual
differences in perception. Researches in this field has given rise to many laws
and principles that help us understanding the ways we adjust to the visual world
in a meaningful way.


Applied Fields
Social Psychology: Investigates human social behaviour, including attitudes,
conformity, persuasion, prejudice, friendship, aggression, helping and so forth.
Emphasises on all aspects of social behaviour such as how we think about and
interact with others, how we influence and are influenced by others. For example,
social psychologists study how we perceive others and how those perceptions
affect our attitude and behaviour towards them.
This field has developed by the joint contribution of sociologies and social
psychologists and their research interest overlaps. However, their focus differs
in the sense that while the former are concerned primarily with social institutions,
the later focus typically up on the individual.

Clinical Psychology: Does psychotherapy; investigates clinical problems;
develops methods of treatment. This field emphasises on the diagnosis, causes,
and treatment of severe psychological disorders and emotional troubles.
Confusion between the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry occurs because
both clinical psychologists and psychiatrists provide psychotherapy. And both
usually work together in many hospitals/clinics. That is why many people get
confused regarding the difference between the two. Well, they belong to two
different groups of professionals and differ in their educational background as
well as ways of diagnosis and treatment


Community Psychology: Promotes community-wide mental health through
research, prevention, education, and consultation. Community psychologists apply
psychological principles, ideas, and points of view to help solve social problems
and to help individuals in adapting to their work and living groups.
Some community psychologists are essentially clinical psychologists and they
specially organise programmes to reach those people in the community, who
have behavioural problems or who are likely to have such problems. These
psychologists not only deal with mental health problems of community members
but also attempt to promote their mental health.
Other community psychologists are more concerned with bringing ideas from
the behavioural sciences to bear on community problems. They may be called
the ‘social-problem community psychologists’. Hostility among groups in the
community, bad relations between the police and community members, or distress
due to lack of employment opportunities, for example, might be problems on
which a social-problem community psychologist would work. Such psychologists
also, often work to encourage certain groups to participate in community
decisions, to provide psychological information about effective and healthpromoting child-rearing practices, or to advise school systems about how to make
their curricula meet the needs of community members.
Consumer Psychology: Researches packaging, advertising, marketing methods,
and characteristics of consumers. This field is an offshoot of social psychology.
Counseling Psychology: Does psychotherapy and personal counseling; researches
emotional disturbances and counseling methods. This branch deals with helping
people/individuals with personal problems including interpersonal relations,
career choice, mild emotional troubles or behavioural problems such as over
eating, slow learning or lack of concentration. Counseling psychologists assist
individuals having specific problem like how to plan career, how to develop
more effective interpersonal skills(e.g. communication skills). Now a days, there
are many specialised fields within the counseling psychology and experts are
working as marriage counselors, family counselors, school counselors etc.
The work of the counseling psychologist is quite similar to that of the clinical
psychologist. The difference between them is that counseling psychologists
generally work with people who have milder emotional and personal problems.
They may use psychotherapy in an attempt to help with these problems.
Counseling psychologists are often consulted by people with specific questions,
such as a choice of career or educational program.
Educational Psychology: Investigates classroom dynamics, teaching styles, and
learning; develops educational tests, evaluates educational programs. Investigates
all aspects of educational process ranging from curriculum design to techniques
of instruction to learning disabilities. This branch deals with broader problem of
increasing the efficiency of learning in school by applying psychological
knowledge about/of learning and motivation to the curriculum. Another
specialised sub-field called School Psychology may be included in educational


Forensic Psychology: Investigates problems of crime and crime prevention,
rehabilitation programs, prisons, courtroom dynamics; selects candidates for
police work. Forensic psychologists mostly work within the judicial system in
such areas as assessing emotional and psychological state of under trials and
victims, evaluation of rehabilitation programmes; eyewitness testimony and
evidence; jury selection; and police training etc.
Industrial/Organisational Psychology: Investigates all aspects of behaviour in
work setting ranging from selection and recruitment of employees, performance
appraisal, work motivation to leadership. The first application of psychology to
the problems of industries and organisations was selection and recruitment of
employees by using intelligence, aptitude tests.
Now a days, a number of companies are using modern versions of such tests in
their programmes for hiring and selection of employees. Specialists in this field
also apply psychology to problems related to management and employee training,
leadership and supervision, communication, motivation, inter- and intra-group
conflict within the organisation. They organise on-the-job training programmes
for improving work environments and human relations in organisations and work
settings. These psychologists are sometimes called personnel psychologists.
Medical Psychology: Applies psychology to manage medical problems, such as
the emotional impact of illness, self-screening for cancer, compliance in taking
medicines. Job of these psychologists overlaps with part of health psychology.
School Psychology: These psychologists do psychological testing, referrals,
emotional and vocational counseling of students; detect and treat learning
disabilities, and help improve classroom learning. The job of school psychologists
include diagnosing learning difficulties and trying to remedy them.
Educational psychology may include school psychology, but educational
psychologists, as such, are usually involved with more general, less immediate
problems. Educational psychologists are especially concerned with increasing
the efficiency of learning in school by applying their psychological knowledge
about learning and motivation to the curriculum


2. Discuss the different theories of Intelligence.


Charles Spearman (1863-1945), an English psychologist and the originator of factor
analysis was the first to claim that intelligence consists of general ‘g’ factor and specific
‘s’ factors. His theory is known as ‘Two Factor Theory’(1904).One of his major
contributions to the history of psychology is the development and use of ‘factor analysis’.
He used the techniques of factor analysis and corelational analysis to find out the ‘g’
and ‘s’ factor. Factor analysis involves finding out the correlation of related variables,
and then grouping the variables to form clusters and derive the underlying factors. Thus
a larger number of variables are reduced to a lesser number of factors.
In his book, ‘The Abilities of Man’ (1927), Spearman elaborated that all intellectual
activities share a single common factor that runs through all the activities a person
performs during his life. Spearman called this general factor as ‘mental energy’ which is
determined innately. A person cannot be trained to have a higher ‘g’factor. It is a part of
who they are. People possess general intelligence or ‘g’ in varying degrees. On the
basis of this general intelligence, we describe a person as either intelligent or dull. This
‘g’ is the major determinant of one’s score in any intelligence test. In addition to this
general or ‘g’ factor, he recognised the specific factors, each called ‘s’, which are
specific to different abilities. For example, test of arithmetic, spatial relationships, verbal
fluency, each of these specific intelligence measure a separate ‘s’. An individual’s
intelligence score reflects the amount of ‘g’ plus the magnitude of various ‘s’ factors
possessed by the individual. For example, one’s performance in spatial intelligence test
would be a function of a person’s general intelligence (g) and his spatial ability (s).

Spearman statistically analysed the interrelation among various scores obtained by
different individuals on various tests.A positive correlation between any two test or
mental function implies a factor common to both or ‘g’ and two specific factors ‘s’. Let
us assume that, the two tests are M (mechanical) and N (numerical), the common
factor in these tests is ‘g’ and the specific factors are sM and sN. Similarly, let V
(verbal) and S (spatial) be two other tests with ‘g’ as the common factor and sV and sS
are the specific factors as shown in Figure 4aF below (In the Figure 4aF, g refers to
‘general ability’ and s refers to ‘Specific abilities’). Spearman’s theory states that the
objective of psychological tests should be to measure individual’s ‘g’as it runs through
all the abilities and predicts individual’s performance. Individuals differ on the basis of
‘g’ they possess.






Louis Leon Thurstone (29 May 1887 – 30 September 1955) suggested that intelligence
is a composite of seven distinct primary mental abilities (PMA). His approach was
different from Spearman’s theory of general intelligence. Rather than focusing on a
single factor of general intelligence as suggested by Spearman, Thurstone (1935) pointed
out that intelligence consists of a number of primary mental abilities. He recognizes the
diversity of human abilities. Using improved statistical techniques he developed a new
factor model of intelligence. He analyzed the inter-correlation of the scores of 57 tests
on a large group subjects, and identified seven factors




Joy Paul Guilford, an American psychologist, was born in March 7, 1897 in Marquette,
Nebraska. He is best known for his psychometric studies of human intelligence, including
the distinction between convergent and divergent production. After completing his
graduation from University of Nebraska, he studied under Edward Titchner at Cornell
during 1919 to 1921 and conducted intelligence testing on children. He taught in different
universities, like University ofKansas, University of Nebraska and University ofSouthern
California till his retirement in 1967.
Unlike Spearman, Guilford believed that intelligence is a combination ofmultiple activities.
Traditional models prior to Guilford proposed intelligence as a monolithic and global
attribute. By the 1950’s, he tried to develop a system to classify the new mental abilities
being discovered and the first version of the Structure of Intellect (SI) model was
presented. This model was based on factor analysis. He argued that intelligence consists
of numerous intellectual abilities. He first proposed a model with 120, later on revised
to 180 independently operating factors in intelligence. In this Structure of Intellect Model,
all the mental abilities were organized along three dimensional framework: Content,
Operations, and Product. This model is represented as a ‘cube’ with each of the
three dimensions occupying one side (5×6×6 = 180 specific abilities). Thus, there are

three feature of intellectual task: the content dimension which includes broad areas of
information; the operations dimension which includes the operations or general cognitive
or mental activities, and the products dimension which contains results of applying
particular operations to specific contents. Thus this model is also called 3- dimensional
model represented in the form of a cube.





Raymond Cattell (March 20, 1905 – February 2, 1998) is a British psychologist who
proposed that two types of intelligence constitute the g (Cattell, 1971). These are fluid
intelligence (gf) and crystalized intelligence (gc). Fluid intelligence refers to the ability
for abstract and logical thinking, and does not require any prior knowledge. Thus it
involves the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve any new task or problem
independent of any past knowledge or experience in it. It helps one to analyze a novel
problem, perceive the relationships and patterns that underlie the problem and solve it
using logic. Though grows rapidly during the early years of life, fluid intelligence tends
to decline during later years of life. It can be measured by tests of puzzle solving, block

designs and spatial visualization. The Cattell Culture Fair IQ tests, The Raven’s
Progressive Matrices are the measures of Gf.
In contrast to the fluid intelligence (gf), which is more hereditary, crystallized intelligence
(gc) depends on past learning and experience; it is acquired. Thus, gc increases with
age and experience and gf declines gradually.
Crystallized intelligence refers to knowledge that one gains through learning, past
experience, acculturation and the ability to use that acquired knowledge. It is one’s life
time intellectual achievement and improves with age. More the knowledge and
information you gain, more the stronger it becomes. It can be measured through tests of
general knowledge, use of language (vocabulary) and a wide variety of acquired skills
(Horn & Cattell,1967). Fluid intelligence grows rapidly during the early years of life but
crystallized intelligence grows throughout the life span.




Howard Gardner (1983), an American Psychologist, proposed the theory of multiple
intelligences. In his book ‘Frames of Mind’, he pointed out that he did not believe
there was “one form of cognition which cut across all human thinking. There are multiple
intelligences with autonomous intelligence capacities.” So, intelligence cannot be viewed
as a single entity. There are different types of intelligenceswhich are independent of
each other. Further, people may have varied combinations of these intelligences.
According to Gardner (1999), intelligence is much more than IQ as high IQ in the
absence of productivity does not equate to intelligence.Gardner initially proposed eight

types of intelligence which later on he increased to nine. Thus Gardner views each
indivdual as a unique combination of various intelligenes, hence we cannot say that one
is more intelligent and another is less intelligent. Each one of us is talented in unique
ways. The utility and value of each type of intelligence is culturally determined in the
sense that individual’s intelligent performance is determined according to the high
desirability, usefulness and demands of society for particulat types of intelligence. For
instance, one type of intelligence highly valued in a particular society may be of little
significance in another.



Among other theories of intelligence is a theory proposed by Robert Jeffery Sternberg
(born in 8th December, 1949), an American psychologist from Yale university. He is a
new generation cognitive psychologist who attempts to understand the cognitive processes
involved in solving problems. Sternberg defined human intelligence as the cognitive
ability to learn from experience, to reason well, to remember important information,
and to cope with the demands of daily living. Thus, it involves reasoning, problemsolving ability, knowledge, memory and successful adaptation to one’s surroundings
(Sternberg, 2004). He viewed intelligence as how well an individual deals with
environmental changes throughout their life span




The PASS theory of intelligence developed by J P Das et. al. (Das, Naglieri & Kirby,
1994) follows an information processing approach. The PASS stands for Planning,
Arousal-Attention, Simultaneous and Successive processing. The theory is based on
Luria’s (1973) conception of three functional units of brain. The first unit is concerned
with cortical arousal and attention, and is located in the brain stem and the reticular
activating system. The second unit involves coding of information, either simultaneous
or successive coding/processing. Thus it deals with how we receive, store and analyze
the information. Simultaneous processing of information is represented by a holistic or
comprehensive approach to processing of information. It is associated with the occipetal
and parietal lobe of the brain. Successive processing refers to processing of information
in a sequential way and is carried out by frontal-temporal part of the brain. The third
unit deals with planning which includes decision making, self monitoring, self regulation
and problem solving. It is broadly located in the prefrontal area of the brain.
As you see in the Figure 4eF below, the individual first receives the input from the
sensory organs, and the external environment; the central processing mechanisms (the
attention-arousal, simultaneous-successive processing, and planning) are activated then
and process the inputs; finally, after the information is processed, it results in output.
According to J P Das, all the four processing mechanisms operate in a knowledge base
which consists of the past experiences, learning, emotion, motivation of the individual
and the socio-cultural background of the individual.





Intelligence has been viewed and theorized in various ways, starting from unitary notion
to multiple intelligences. Majorly, it has been viewed as a decontextualized entity involving
logical thinking, abstract reasoning and problem solving. Cross-cultural studies have
pointed out cultural differences in the way intellectual abilities are reflected. You must
have seen your local grocery shop owner doing mathematics calculation so easily even
if he has not gone to school. Similarly, the rural and tribal cultures may not be very
proficient in using paper and pencil as their urban counterparts, and may exhibit expertise
in oral or other medium of expression. Thus there are cultural differences in the
conceptualization and expression of intelligence. The western culture views intelligence
more in terms of abstraction and generalization; whereas the non-western cultures relate
intelligence more to the social context (e.g. Srivastava, 2013).



3. Discuss in details about confects of interest in social context.

A conflict of interest occurs when an entity or individual becomes unreliable because of a clash between personal (or self-serving) interests and professional duties or responsibilities. Such a conflict occurs when a company or person has a vested interest—such as money, status, knowledge, relationships, or reputation—which puts into question whether their actions, judgment, or decision-making can be unbiased.

Some examples of a conflict of interest could be:

  • Representing a family member in court
  • Starting a business that competes with your full-time employer
  • Advising a client to invest in a company owned by your spouse
  • Hiring an unqualified relative or friend


A conflict of interest in business normally refers to a situation in which an individual’s personal interests conflict with the professional interests owed to their employer or the company in which they are invested. A conflict of interest arises when a person chooses personal gain over the duties to an organization in which they are a stakeholder or exploits their position for personal gain in some way.

All corporate board members have fiduciary duties and a duty of loyalty to the corporations they oversee.12 If one of the directors chooses to take action that benefits them at the detriment of the firm, they are harming the company with a conflict of interest.

One example might be the board member of a property insurance company who votes on the induction of lower premiums for companies with fleet vehicles—when they, in fact, own a truck company. Even if the institution of lower premiums isn’t a bad business move for the insurer, it could still be considered a conflict of interest because the board member has a special interest in the outcome.

In legal circles, representation by a lawyer or party with a vested interest in the outcome of the trial would be considered a conflict of interest, and the representation would not be allowed.3 Additionally, judges who have a relationship with one of the parties involved in a case or lawsuit will recuse themselves from presiding over the case.





Answer the following questions in 400 words each. 5 x 5 = 25 marks
4. Explain the concept of Pseudo-science/Pseudo-Psychology.

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and the effect it has on an individual’s behaviors. Psychologists analyze the thoughts of an individual to understand how they can reframe their cognitive pattern to cause an improvement in symptoms and maladaptive behaviors. This respected practice is used to treat a variety of mental illnesses.

This area of medicine is based on sound scientific research and particular diagnostic and treatment guidelines. The research is carefully vetted and meets the standards of the scientific community. It is peer-reviewed, it is data-based, and results can be replicated by others.

The professionals who work within this field specialize in understanding the complex theories of past psychologists. They work to apply these foundational theories to their clients who come to them with various mental ailments.

Medications that are being administered by a healthcare provider are based on sound scientific research. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are two psychological treatment methods that are scientifically sound.

If this is psychology, then what is pseudo-psychology? The definition of pseudo-psychology is the study of the mind using biased or false data. This is an extraordinarily problematic practice that is at odds with true psychology, which is based on valid sources of information. Pseudo-psychology is an invalid form of this scientific field, research-based field.


Pseudo-psychology is the study of the mind using biased or false data.


Pseudo-psychology lends itself to being the causative factor to trendy health fads that come and go. This is attributed to the fact that pseudo-psychology is not research-based. It is unable to produce sustained results, so it fades into the background when people realize its irrelevance. This leaves a vacuum where another pseudo-psychology-based health trend can emerge in its place. The cycle will continue.

These types of trends can be successfully implemented in controlled environments, such as retreats, where the participants are isolated and variables are easily manipulated. Once people try to replicate the same results in real-world settings, they may find the same theories do not hold up. This is due in part to the lack of research standards for this type of data. Pseudo-psychology is often unable to be replicated outside of ideal circumstances.


5. Discuss about early schools of Psychology.

Humanistic psychology developed as a response to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. The development of this school of thought in psychology was heavily influenced by the work of humanist thinkers such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Clark Moustakas.

While early schools of thought were primarily centered on abnormal human behavior, humanistic psychology differed considerably in its emphasis on helping people achieve and fulfill their potential. Humanistic psychology instead focused on topics such as:

  • Becoming a fully functioning person: A person who is in touch with their innermost desires and trusts their own instincts7
  • Individual free will: The capacity that individuals have to make choices, select courses of action, and control their own lives
  • Hierarchy of needs: A theory introduced by Maslow suggesting that people were motivated by a series of increasingly complex needs, starting with their basic physiological needs up to the need to achieve an individual’s full potential
  • Peak experiences: Moments of pure, transcendent joy that play an important part in the reaching self-actualization8
  • Self-actualization: A state of reaching one’s full potential

Humanistic psychology remains quite popular today and has significantly influenced other areas of psychology including positive psychology. This particular branch of psychology is centered on helping people live happier, more fulfilling lives.


6. Explain the stages of development of brain according to neuroscientist viewpoints.



7. Define sensation and elucidate the processes of vision with the structure of eye.


8. Discuss the Milgram’s experiments on reaction to authority.




Answer the following questions in 50 words each. 10 x 3 = 30 marks
9. Psychology and Economics
10. Tasks of Psychology
12. Psychodynamic
12. Perceptual Organization
13. Language Acquisition
14. Steven’s Power Law
15. Illusion
16. Higher order Conditioning
17. Heider’s balance theory of attitude organization
18. Form and Content of Communication




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