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Chapter 17

PSYA02 Ch. 17 Notes (Psychological Science Modeling Scientific Literacy 1st Edition)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Alexandra Pohlod

*NTS: useful for job hunting…applicable to management 17. 1 Personnel Psychology: Hiring and Maintaining an Effective Workforce -*recall industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology-scientific study of behaviour/thought in work settings->according to Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), 3 main goals: 1. To help employers deal with employees fairly 2. To help make jobs more interesting and satisfying 3. To help workers be more productive -personnel psychology->psychologists in this field focus on hiring ppl with potential, ensuring they’re adequately trained, managing & motivating employees & evaluating performance -since I/O psychology from the 2 world wars, organizational psychology is more prominent- focusing on culture & organizational qualities of work Job Analysis: Understanding the Requirements for the Job -in terms of hiring/evaluating employees, psychologists take a scientific approach; I/O psychologists are systematic, provide operational definitions, collect data & use other basic principles adopted by lab psychologists Job analysis-process of writing detailed description of a position in terms of required knowledge, abilities, skills & other characteristics needed to succeed; as well as evaluating value of position for overall organization KSAOs-knowledge, skills, abilities & other traits needed for specific job->psychologists consult various sources such as incumbents (ppl who already hold job), supervisors & subject-matter experts (ppl who have technical experience related to job) -job analysis might seem easy b/c it’s not hard to find collection of tasks & assign them to someone (might be case for jobs that follow set routine/include fixed # of tasks) ->but the more complex/varied the task, the harder it is to make a job description ->jobs change based on trends, economy & technology so they have to be updated regularly (esp. for high-tech positions) ->incumbents engage in process called job crafting-taking on/creating additional roles & tasks for a position over time (but since such extra tasks come from a person’s unique KSAOs, they may distract newcomers from what the required tasks of job really are) -*useful->search on google: Occupational information Network (O*NET), collection of databases that describe jobs from 6 domains->more info about specific job or for employers, find which type of person to hire->see diagram on next page Selection: Hiring the Right People -when job analysis is finished, employers should have list of KSAOS & then focus on hiring best possible workers->ideal worker would be someone whose KSAOs match those required for job (ex. table above) -most common method is obviously job interview->basic interviewing technique known as unstructured interview-employer discusses variety of job & personality-related topics with candidate with relatively few prepared ?s to guide convo ->from this, employer can draw reasonably accurate conclusions about applicant’s personality->probs: unstructured nature can allow interview to get off track; diff candidates experience diff interviews, making comparisons less reliable -however: structured interviews-present same set of question to each job candidate with planned follow-up ?s, these ?s are drawn directly from job analysis to make sure each is relevant to position; also interviewer is trained to follow same procedures in each interview (standardized to ensure consistency) -many structured interviews also include situational interview ?s (how candidate would respond to a specific situation relevant for job)->can be drawn from real scenarios incumbents have faced before->by comparing applicant’s response to incumbent’s response, psychologists can get sense of how well candidate will do on job (see table below) Personality Selection Tests -one of the most popular means of assessing a person’s qualifications for a job is with a test, including testing of personality traits & cognition -before personality test can be used by employers to choose employees, I/O psychologists need to determine which personality traits are associated with success/failure in a specific position ->validation studies-researchers administer tests to large sample of incumbents & evaluate their performance to find correlations b/t job performance & personality traits/cognitive abilities -traits for agreeableness/openness didn’t predict success for sales reps for pharmaceutical companies ->for this position, applicants who score high in conscientiousness are more desirable -in terms of validity: correlational studies do not indicate cause & effect->such research also assumes personality is stable but it’s possible to create work enviros that encourage specific trait-like behaviours (a good training program for ex can help someone who is low in conscientiousness to strengthen it at work) -*importance personality tests can be used to weed out those whose profiles suggest they’d be low performers or disruptive across many job types (ex. division law enforcement in California was studied, distinguishing personality profiles among officers disciplined for inappropriate conduct, another ex: university employees->those who scored low on conscientiousness but high on extraversion more likely to show excessive absenteeism -cognitive-based selection tests are also used as alternative/supplement to personality tests ->situational judgment tests-put applicants in hypothetical situations->better predictors of job performance than self-reports -cognitive tests are more difficult to fake than personality->may utilize stereotype threat (when person unintentionally conforms to stereotype)->ex. well qualified woman for an engineering position may be aware of stereotype implying that men are better than women in engineering, t/f if woman becomes anxious by this, she can perform below her normal level ->thus, despite having equal performance measures on job, stereotype threat can affect 2 test takers scores on same test (ethical prob, discriminating based on race, gender…culture…rather than actual potential) Assessment centres-capitalize on multiple approaches to personnel selection by combining personality, cognitive & sometimes physical ability tests->refers to process, not location where it takes place -what’s unique about assessment centres: multiple raters (who have special training in assessment as well as job itself)->this greatly improves validity ->job simulations-role playing activities similar to situations encountered in actual job ->related activity is in-basket technique (prospective employees sort through set of incoming tasks & respond to them as if they were real tasks) ->disadvs of assessment centres: time consuming, complex simulations, expensive to operate -in spite of continuous change, fixed trends in job market is that personnel selection will continue to match ppl with positions based on KSAOs & methods used will be tested for validity; also likely such methods will involve combo of personality, cognitive/physical ability, & situational decision making tests/tasks The Career Centre -career centre personnel often administer personality tests, interest inventories & sometimes skill/ability tests->results matched with likely jobs available in future -a career centre test is opposite of O*NET, it asks which KSAOs applicant can provide & interests (rather than ID’ing them)->matched against list of job analyses to find best match Performance Appraisal Performance appraisal-evaluation of current employees->ensures employees are doing their jobs right (if not, worker may need additional training or incentives to bring their performance up to desired level) ->workers need to be recognized for good work (bonuses, raises or given additional challenging tasks to keep worker engaged) ->however without proper evaluation methods, productivity suffers, feedback is critical! -a great deal of employee evaluation is based on supervisor’s overall rating of an employee, although overall rating is good enough for evaluating work performance, employers often want to analyze more specific aspects: Task performance-how well employee performs their assigned tasks (for their company position) Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB)-degree to which employee contributes beyond what’s expected (exceptional teamwork/leadership) Counterproductive behaviour-includes actions that interrupt with one’s own/others’ productivity (like dishonesty, not coming to work, being late & inappropriate interpersonal behaviour) -the person who conducts evaluation is immediate supervisor (reviews employee’s work over period of time & provide 1-on-1 feedback) ->supervisor knows which tasks have been assigned/how they were performed, disadv of this though is that supervisor has top-down perspective (a smart employee can be substandard even if he/she has ability to present +ve image to boss) 360 feedback (multisource assessment)-provides evaluation info from many diff perspectives within/beyond organization->besides supervisor’s feedback, assessments include info from co- workers, anyone said employee supervises & maybe customers/clients employee served; sometimes employee will rate him/herself -advs of 360-degree feedback: covers all aspects of job (supervisor looks over workload/productivity, peers report teamwork/leadership, customers report service/professionalism) ->disadvs: threats of power structure, some managers don’t take subordinate feedback srsly (more so they rmb feedback from other managers), esp if procedure is unfair Halo effect-rater thinks highly about an aspect of an employee’s job/personality which leads him/her to provide similar rating for other aspects of employee’s work ->ex. a worker may be good at networking with new clients but only moderate success in completing sale->halo effect is when manager rates worker highly for both networking & completing sales Contrast effect-happens when rater evaluates an employee who’s very strong in many aspects that by comparison, next employee being evaluated likely appears weak (even if he/she is avg by other measures) ->ex. a moderately successful sales rep is evaluated after star performer, despite consistency->contrast effect can leave moderate worker with a lower rating than he/she deserves -appraisals provide +ve behaviours & create opportunities to fix –ve ones, but b/c evaluations happen infrequently, managers rely on memory which leaves room for mistakes ->t/f systematic methods should be used along with multiple points of view 17.2 Affect, Attitudes, and Behaviour at Work -the attitudes/emotional energy ppl bring to work ultimately affect their overall productivity & job satisfaction Employee Affect, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction -affect->individuals’ emotional responses regarding their jobs/works in general ->positive affect (PA)-tendency to experience +ve emotions like happiness, satisfaction & enthusiasm ->negative affect (NA)-tendency to experience –ve emotions, like frustration, anger & distress ->some ppl experience more of 1 type than another, quality known as trait affectivity -happier is smarter hypothesis: employees who have PA traits seem to make better decisions & may also be more creative, research shows PA is associated with teamwork, organizational citizenship, improved negotiating techniques & gen performance -when +ve/-ve affect becomes so consistent that it’s reliable as personality traits, attitude can influence job satisfaction (dissatisfaction)->PA employees less likely to quit & show more organizational commitment Affect as a Cultural Trait -affective traits similar to Big 5; -ve affect related to neuroticism, +ve affect related to extraversion-PA ppl experience more activity in brain’s reward circuitry, NA ppl experience more activity in fear/alert response circuitry -East Asian cultures tend to score higher on pessimism measures than European Americans -Asian Americans more likely to ponder/contemplate than European Americans -pessimistic thinking can have benefits & lead to better performance on tasks than optimism -in terms of job satisfaction: +ve/-ve thoughts about work are expressed as job attitudes (combo of affect & thoughts employee holds about their job) ->job satisfaction-degree to which an employee is content with their work (most likely achieved by those with +ve job attitudes), typically rises & falls throughout career (see diagram on next page) ->starting new job can produce sense of intense satisfaction (honeymoon period) ->burnout-combo of persistent emotional & physical exhaustion, cynical attitudes (about job) & sense that one’s work has little meaning -ofc co-workers, supervisors & job itself contributes to job satisfaction but it can go beyond such factors: ex. teacher is satisfied with effect he has on students but only marginally satisfied with income; it also depends on situation (ex. someone can be suited to design computer software but having a job in this field doesn’t guarantee satisfaction) -satisfaction also reflects whether job meets employee’s expectations; avoiding burnout depends on treatment, promotion & challenges of employees ->challenges are fine as long as company is supportive in efforts; for teachers, complex teaching strategies = lower levels of burnout -ppl who are extroverted/emotionally stable tend to experience more job satisfaction; it also depends on self-appraisals (beliefs about worth, ability & level of control), factors related to job satisfaction: Self-esteem-include
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