Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I/O Psychology

Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  One of the many branches in psychology is industrial/organizational psychology.  This discipline did not receive a considerable amount of interest originally, but the field is growing swiftly.  This is mainly because of two issues.   I/O psychology deals with the work environment, which encompasses everyone who has held the job, currently holds a job, or may hold a job.   Thus, creating a demand for this once nonexistent field.  The research done by the psychologists are tried and true methods which locate valuable areas in many corporations.  I/O psychology has taken an extensive amount of time to get where it is today.   This writing will discuss the evolution as well as the differences in this branch versus the others as well as how I/O psychology can be used in organizations as well as how statistics and research relate back to I/O psychology. 
 Evolution of I/O Psychology
   Psychology can be traced back as far as the ancient Greeks. The same can be said about I/O psychology. Plato is used in this very same style of psychology when suggesting methods for training individuals after they have been selected.  This is linked to one of the first steps in the development of I/O psychology.   Another link occurred nearly 3000 years ago when the Chinese formulated a “system for bureaucrats that started with local examinations, continued through provincial assessments, and finished with final evaluations in the capital; this system was used until 1905” (Katzell & Austin, n.d, p. 803).  The development of I/O psychologies roots can be found in the 1900s.   The interest of in type of psychology was used in learning new skills for employees.   Studies were conducted to decrease or increase job performance. Once the data was collected it, was printed in a psychological bulletin that was published by A. W. Kornhauser (Katzell & Austin, n.d.). 
 The industrial part of I/O psychology grew faster than the organizational side strictly because of forerunners such as Walter Bingham, Hugo Munsterberg, and Walter dill Scott. Even though the focus was on learning a new skill it explains why the development was slower. Frederick Winslow Taylor was an engineer not a psychologist who strongly influenced I/O psychology. He generated what is called “Scientific Management” as a way to handle the production workers were faced within factories (Spector, 2008).   This proposed job examination, selection of employees as well as training of employees, which are all still surviving today. Lillian and Frank Gilbreth are also key facilitators in I/O psychology. Lillian is a trained psychologist and teacher and Frank was a self learned engineer.  The two of them combined psychology in engineering. During World War I psychologists offered their services to the military.   This became known as alpha and beta tests, which aided recruiters in selecting the right soldier with the right job.  I/O psychology is also seen in tests such as the SAT, the MCAT, and the GRE. 
 I/O psychology that is used today can be traced back to World War I and World War II.  Hawthorne studies also assisted in the development of I/O psychology. Before Hawthorne studies the goal was to increase their productivity of employees as well as organizational effectiveness.  Attention was also drawn to the social major of and I/O psychology. World War II aided in the American psychological Association accepting this branch as a true discipline (Spector, 2008).   As stated by Spector,  “ I/O psychologists were called upon to help develop procedures that would eliminate discrimination in the workplace” (Spector, 2008, p. 13).
  Big difference between I/O psychology and the other disciplines of psychology
 There is a definite distinction between I/O psychology and the other disciplines. I/O psychology is a subcategory that is personal psychology. I/O psychology focuses on how individuals react and behave in their given work environment.  Its focus is not solely on the individual, rather recognizing one’s behavior what it does and how it affects the workplace.  I/O psychology also differs because it includes engineering psychology because it is not “concerned with the human aspects of the design of tools, machines, work spaces, information systems, and aspects of the work environment” (Cascio & Aguinis, 2005, p. 4).  I/O psychology is science-based using research testing hypothesis conclusions as it deals with one’s behavior and his or her job performance. I/O psychology makes an assumption and gathers supporting findings based on research and statistics (Cascio & Aguinis, 2005).
 The use of I/O Psychology
 I/O psychology is a valuable tool to every organization. I/O psychologists are often asked to render a whenever a new company is seeking to employee new people or they are experiencing problems that he or she had.  Not only do I/O psychologists seek input from employees they provide a valuable assessment to the organization and aid in administering various trainings of the companies employees. It is safe to say that and I/O psychologist can benefit both the employee as well as the employer. The psychologist who focus on industrial and organizational can help a business make sure a potential employee is best suited for the job at hand. Therefore, it is safe to say, that an I/O psychologist is not only there to ensure the business runs effectively he or she is there to make sure the employees are happy. The workforce is better because of I/O psychologists (Jex, 2002).
  The role of Statistics and Research
 The role of statistics and research in I/O psychology is critical, mostly because I/O psychology is related to scientific research. One key factors in I/O psychology is to collect and analyze data that is collected is from either the employee or the organization. The scientific method is used by an I/O psychologist after he or she has generated a question. Once the question is asked, a hypothesis is generated, which then guesses what the outcome of the research will be. Research is conducted based on concepts dependent and independent variables and what could happen in different environments. Once the research is completed, and an answer is retrieved that should be taken into consideration before moving forward. Spector (2008) states “Generalizability of results means that the conclusions of a study can be extended to other groups of people, organizations, settings, or situations” (p. 28).  To another critical element in research is finding a control. There are various ways to have a control one of them is called a  “control group.”  A control group is made up of individuals they can be manipulated as well as conditioned.  Research designed by scientific study is called the fundamental form. Research design is a combination of qualitative studies, observational design, the experiment, and survey design.  When one refers to a measurement process it is characteristics of the individuals or things are because of a quantity. There are two types of measurements continuous and categorical. Another key element to this process is validity and reliability. The I/O psychologist also uses statistics; the two that are most commonly used are interferential and deceptive statistics. Because research and statistics are so vital to I/O psychology case it is imperative to gather data interpreted an arrangement so that it is an orderly fashion  (Spector, 2008).
    All the deeply rooted and psychology, I/O psychology does differ in many ways traditional psychology. It is an asset two both the employee and the employer. I/O psychology can help some one find the best job that fits their talent. It also benefit a business two run more effectively as well as correct any problems in the workplace. With its long history and great benefits I/O psychology will be a mainstay am never ever-growing psychology tree.

Cascio, W., F & Aguinis, H. (2005). Applied psychology in human resource management (6th.
ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Jex, S., M. (2002). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach. Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Katzell, R., & Austin, J. (n.d). From Then to Now: The Development of Industrial-
Organizational Psychology in the United States. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(6),
803-835. Retrieved from SocINDEX with Full Text database.
Spector, P., E. (2008). Industrial and organizational psychology: Research and practice (5th.ed.).  
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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