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Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Autor:   •  January 23, 2014  •  Research Paper  •  931 Words (4 Pages)  •  534 Views

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Industrial/Organizational Paper


Industrial/Organizational Paper

Industrial and organizational psychology is a science that examines the human and nonhuman behavior, emotion, cognition, and motivation. This paper will describe the evolution of the field, explain why it should be a science, explain how descriptive and inferential statistics are used, and discuss how I/O psychology has influenced organizations.

Evolution of Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial/Organizational psychology came about in the early 1800s. Hugo Munsterberg and Walter Dill Scoot were pioneers in the field of I/O psychology. They were experimental psychologists who were concerned with workers choice and psychological tests. Another contributor in industrial and organizational psychology was Frederick W, Taylor. Taylor developed “scientific management”, which was focused toward assembly workers. He developed criteria that aided in the hiring of employees who would help with productivity. The husband and wife team of Lillian and Frank Gilbreth combined the fields of engineering and psychology and developed the “time and motion study”. The study measured and timed individual motion when doing tasks to develop ways of working that were more efficient (Spector, 2012). Industrial and organizational psychology was heightened because of both World Wars. Psychologists began to deal with the problems that spanned both the industrial and organizational aspects of work. According to Kanfer (2005), the first to use large-scale psychological testing to place people in the proper jobs was the Army. Led by Robert Yerkes, a group of psychologist developed the Army Alpha and Army Beta group test that looked at mental ability. This led to an efficient way of placing new recruits in positions that best suited them. This was the first large-scale psychological tests that provided the foundation for tests like the SAT (Spector, 2012).

Industrial/Organizational Psychology as a Science

According to Spector (2012), industrial and organizational psychology is defined as the applied field connected with the application and development of scientific principles in work environments. The aim of industrial/organizational psychology is to improve the employee work environment while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the employee behavior in his or her environment (Barnes-Holmes, Stewart, Barnes-Holmes, Hayes, & Bond, 2006). Industrial occupational psychology refers to the study psychological issues like behavior, cognition, emotion, and motivation as it relates to the problems of individuals in organizations. Industrial psychology is concerned with the management aspect of the organizational


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