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Industrial/Organizational Psychology Paper

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Samantha Trudeau
PSY/435
March 26, 2012
Kristi Zimmerman

Industrial/organizational psychology is an area of study that has been studied since the early times of psychology (Spector, 2008). At first, industrial/organizational psychology only concentrated on the industrial side of the field. The industrial side of this field dealt with management part of businesses and placed emphasis on human resources. On the other hand, the organizational side of the spectrum is concerned with improving workplaces and working conditions. However, as this area of study has grown over time it has began dealing with the full spectrum of industry and organization. Organizational/industrial psychology is explained as an applied field that concentrates on the development and application of scientific principles to the work environment (Spector, 2008). A more practical view of industrial/organizational psychology is that it is used to improve the quality of the work environment for the employees and to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of employee behavior in that environment (Barnes-Holmes et. al., 2006). The ancestry of industrial/organizational psychology begins in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It was at this time that the early psychologists were attempting to combine psychology with the organization of business’s (Spector, 2008). There are two scientists in particular that are accredited with the founding studies of industrial/organizational psychology. These two scientists are Huge Munsterburg and Walter Dill Scott who were both professors at Universities. Huge and Walter both had a common interest in employee selection and the application of psychological testing on the subject of the particular industry. Industrial/organizational psychology took a giant jump forward in technological applicability after Frank Gilberth (engineer) and Lillian Gilberth (Psychologist) put together their two individual fields into one outstanding theory of human factor. This theory deals completely with the design of technology for use by people (Spector, 2008). Paradoxically, it was the destruction of World War I and World War II that had the largest impact in the development of industrial/organizational psychology. Headed up by psychologist Robert Yerkes during World War I, a team of psychologist developed the Army of Beta and Army of Alpha group tests. These tests were used to determine mental ability all the way through unit placement. During World War II APA was not involved in the practice of psychology in the real world, it was used only in experimental psychology. In 1944 Division 14 of Industrial and Business Psychology was developed within the APA to deal with the need for a practice portion of industrial/organizational psychology. In 1970 Division 14 was rebuilt as the APA Division of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Today this is known as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Throughout the last 100 years industrial/organizational psychology has matured and began including work relations and satisfactions. For instance, the current organizational description of individual goals and self regulatory activities takes a whole view, combing the person, the social situation, and environmental factors into one combined unit (Kanfer, 2005). Currently, industrial/organizational psychology is used in scientific research in the laboratory as well as practice in the field in order to handle the issues that affect businesses and organizations of today. The classical measurement theory states that two types of variables are possible in any type of research situation. The two types of variables are true scores and error (Spector, 2008). Errors involves hit and miss influences and generally equal zero when averaged when measured in central tendencies. True score is the variable of concentration and it is measured during the process of research. The classical measurement theory entails that individual specific behaviors are too untrustworthy to measure any construct (Ones & Viswesvaran, 2002). Measurements can be classified into two groups: categorical measurements and continuous measurements. Categorical measurements are numbered groups not representative of quantitative description while continuous measurements are numbers that are representative of quantitative variables. Both measurements can be applied when abbreviating large groups of numerical data into summary analysis. What’s more, correlation can be used to group a summary of measurements and show that relationship of the combination whether positive or negative. On the other hand, inferential statistics allow industrial/organizational psychologists to place on top measurements of small groups that have been studied onto generalized populations. The field of industrial/organizational psychology developed out of the start of industry to include all types of organizational and industrial research. The field became able to practice in the laboratory experimentation and in the field implementation. The destruction from the World Wars brought industrial/organizational psychology completely experimental world into the world of the pragmatic and applicability. Industrial/organizational psychologists use the scientific method to end of elucidating causality, correlation, or description. Industrial/organizational will deal with both the practice and science of industrial efficiency and organizational human relations to address workplace problems in the future.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

References
Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Bond, F. W., Hayes, S. C., & Stewart, I. (2006). Relational frame theory and indudtrial/organizational psychology. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 26(1/2), 186-191.
Kanfer, R. (2005). Self-regulation research in work a54nd I/O psychology. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54(2), 186-191.
Ones, D. S., & Viswesvaran, C. (2002). Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology to organizational behavior management (OBM): Join the family-individual differences matter. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 22(2), 41-57.
Spector, P. E. (2008). Industrial and organizational pyschology: Research and practice (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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