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Psych 339 - Lecture 1

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University of Waterloo
Richard Ennis

Historical views and workers WORK IS: • Necessary Evil – work is something that you don’t really want to do • Slaves and servants • Worker as inferior • Ennobling – keeping people busy or occupied; most common notion is that all people must work • Means to religious salvation • Worker as sinner • Mastery – work is meaningful, given a choice, the vast majority of people will choose to work, not just because of money but because of the sense of fulfillment • Means to esteem and fulfillment • Worker as superior and good History of Personnel Psychology Before the Industrial Revolution • Ancient, Medieval, and Middle Ages • Rigid social caste systems based on birth “rights” - most part, world was governed by cast systems which causes you a rare occasion to have an upward mobility because upper classes hold the power; from the moment you were born, you know right away what are you going to be (if you’re born with a farmer, you’ll be a farmer) • Plato’s ideal state (The Republic) – Plato started to talk about personnel psychology; instead of assigning people on their jobs based on their history, people must be assigned according to their talent, passion, and abilities (then we will have the best personnel/ ideal state) • Aristotle and slavery – Aristotle looks at his world (where casting system is dominant) and that’s what he thought the world should be; it is the intention of nature to make the body of slaves different from each other; SEE SLIDE; extreme case of discrimination (i.e. gender discrimination She then formed to be a housewife who is then fitted to become a domestic helper… it’s clear then that men are dominant by nature and women are housewives.. SEE SLIDE) • The Renaissance and Protestant Reformation – people are starting to get out from these cast system • Fall of church dominance - people are starting to get out from these cast system • Rise of “homo economicus” perspective – “economic men” TWO IDEAS: 1. People are rational when making decisions – Know the Pros and cons and weight what’s more advantage and not. 2. Motivated by economics (money) – people will primarily do everything for money and they’re looking for money to do everything with it – PEOPLE ARE RATIONAL AND ARE BASING THEIR DECISIONS ON ECONOMICS • Social mobility based on ability The Industrial Revolution and Scientific Management • Disguised Slavery – economic slavery ( there are 50 people who are willing to take your job wherein you can get kicked on your job easily – in India, you don’t even have benefits on your job but you have to work 7 days a week) • F. W. Taylor (1911) Principles of Scientific Management - if you manage in a scientific way your employers will benefit and so are you • Work simplification – training workers up to a criteria of maximum/ amazing efficiency (a company will succeed because of all the skilled work force) • Piece-rate pay system – you’re going to get paid according to your production – the harder you work, the more you accomplish, the more you make • Hugo Münsterberg (1913) Psychology and Industrial Efficiency (first book in I/O) • “Father” of Personnel Psychology • First text on selection and training
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