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Chapter 1

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

IO Chapter 1  Psychology – the scientific study of thinking and behaviour, considered a science because it uses the same research methods as other areas of scientific investigation o Purpose of the American Psychological Society is to advance the discipline of psychology primarily from a scientific perspective rather than just focusing on health care practices  Society for industrial and organizational psychology – professional organization that represents I/O psychologists in the United States o Occupational psychology in England o Work and organizational psychology in European countries o Industrial psychology in South Africa o 4% of psychologists work in IO o IO psychology strives to enhance both the institution and the individual o Knowledge of IO psychology remains very low to the general public  I/O psychology – an area of scientific study and professional practice that addresses psychological concepts and principles in the work world o Concerned with behaviour in work situations o Professional side is concerned with the application of knowledge to solve real problems in the world of work such as reducing absenteeism, finding better employees etc.  Scientist-practitioner model – education of IO psychologists is founded here, trains them in both scientific inquiry and practical application  IO psychologists work in 4 main employment settings: universities, consulting firms, industry, and government; the first two are the primary employers o Universities employ more scientists o Consulting firms employ more practitioners  Fields of IO psychology o Selection and placement – selection, placement and promotion of employees o Training and development – identify employees skills that need to be enhanced for better job performance o Performance management – enhance contributions of workforce to facilitate attaining overall goals of the organization o Organizational effectiveness – improving quality of workforce and relationships with customers and suppliers, broadest field o Quality of work life – concerned with factors contributing to a healthy and productive workforce  Licensure – the process by which a professional practice is regulated by law to ensure quality standards are met to protect the public o Licensing law – regulates both the title and practice of psychology o Determine standards of being a psychologist and discipline members when standards are violated o Clinical psychologists must go through a written examination History of IO Psychology  Two world wars were major catalysts for changing the discipline  Early Years (1900-1916) o Before 1900 IO psychology was a merging of two forces that gathered momentum  1. Pragmatic nature of some basic psychological research  Psychologist W.L. Bryan was a precursor of IO psych, not father of it  Published a paper about how professional telegraphers develop skills in sending and receiving Morse code  In 1903 his presidential address to the APA touched on having psychologists study concrete activities and functions as they appear in everyday life  2. The desire of industrial engineers to improve efficiency  Developed time and motion studies to prescribe the most efficient body motions per unit of time to perform a particular work task; interested in productivity of industrial employees th  In the late 19 century American society was undergoing rapid changes and developments because of industrialization, immigration, a high birthrate, education and urban growth  People wanted to make the next generation a safer and better place to live and work, looked to science for practical solutions to problems  By 1910 industrial psychology was a legitimate practice o Walter Dill Scott  Applied psychology to advertising  Increased public awareness and the credibility of industrial psychology o Frederick W. Taylor  Wrote the Principles of scientific management  Science over rule of thumb  Scientific selection and training  Cooperation over individualism  Equal division of work best suites to management and employees  Showed that employees who handled heavy iron ingots were more productive when they had breaks; increased productivity, reduced fatigue, increased their wages, and increased efficiency reducing costs for the company o Lillian Miller Gilbreth  Pioneered industrial management techniques that are still used  Concerned with human aspects of worker efficiency  Recognized the effects of stress and fatigue on workers  Cheaper by the dozen was written about her o Hugo Munsterberg  Applied traditional psychological methods to practical industrial problems  Wrote psychology and industrial efficiency  Divided in to 3 parts: selecting workers, designing work, using psychology in sales  Some call him the founder of IO psych  Determined what makes a safe trolley car operator  World War 1 (1917-1918) o Robert Yerkes was most instrumental in involving psychology in the war o Psychologists evaluated soldier motivation and morale, psychological problems of physical incapacity and discipline o Yerkes and other psychologists developed the Army Alpha and the Army Beta tests  Army Alpha Test – an intelligence test developed during World War 1 by IO psychologists for the selection and placement of military personnel  Army Best Test – a nonverbal intelligence test developed by IO psychologists to assess illiterate recruits (30% of recruits were illiterate) o Walter Dill Scott was doing placement work at this time; classified and placed enlisted soldiers, conducted performance ratings of officers, and developed and prepared job duties and qualifications for more than 500 jobs  Between the Wars (1919-1940) o Bureau of Salesman Research  Founded by Walter Bingham  Wanted to use psychological techniques to examine problems that had never been looked at scientifically  Concentrated on selection, classification, and development of clerical and executive personnel as well as salespeople o Psychological Corporation  Founded by James Cattell  Purpose was to advance psychology and promote its usefulness to industry  Set up as a business corporation and asked psychologists to buy stock in it  Provided companies with reference checks on prospective psychologists o Hawthorne studies – a series of research studies that began in the late 1920s at the Western Electric Company and ultimately refocused the interests of IO psychologists on how work behaviour manifests itself in an organizational context  Co
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