Io Psych Topics For Argumentative Essays

I/O psychology

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-I/O psychology is the psychology applied to work
-The behavior of an individual in the work place
-Motivation to work and feelings about work
Psychology- scientific study of the behavior of people
-I/O is made up of two parts:
1)     Research methodology used to discover things about work
2)     Put them into work; apply
-Three major sub fields: personnel, organizational and human factors/ergonomics
1)     Personnel Psychology – deals with the selection of personnel
-Performance appraisal, job analysis (backbone of I/O psychology)
-Training: understanding the job well enough to know who to hire and how well they are doing.
-Job attitudes: whether or not the employees are satisfied and committed.
2)     Organizational Psychology
-Deals with leadership and work motivation
-Divide into teams and see how the group affects individuals.
3)     Human Factors/ Ergonomics Psychology
-Human Ergonomics- study of the work place fitting the human
-studies the workplace and job designs, the safety and the usability of equipment.
-Where do I/O psychologists work?
-Academia (scientists) doing research and teaching
-Production such as a teacher producing knowledge
-Researchers publish projects in journals
-Important to get research seen by the people who it would benefit.
-Industry (practitioners)
-Government is the largest employer
-Office of personnel management is staffed with I/O psychologists to determine who to hire.
-The military, consulting firms (go to clients) and in-house consultants are employers.
-Salary: for PhD I/O psychologist $40-$50k a yr; Industry Master or PhD $35-65k a yr; PhD for higher level makes $50-$80k a yr.
HISTORY
1900-1917 (about 10 I/O psychologists in the U.S.)
-Topics of interest in psychology:
1)     Skill acquisition – how do people learn to be quick and efficient at their job
2)     Personnel selection- what might individual indifferences mean when it comes time to hiring people (interests).
3)     Important Job design – efficiency maximization (most frequently studied).
Two parties studied this area early on:
1)     Frank and Lillian Gilberths
-Wanted to find most efficiency with activity
-Pioneered time and motion studies.
-Called units of time “therbligs” (their last name backwards).
2)     Fredrick Taylor
-Focused more about productivity (showed how taking breaks is important)
-Wrote Scientific Management.
-Scientific management is the breaking down of jobs into smaller and smaller parts.
-Bad results from small jobs: boredom, injury and fatigue
-Good results from small jobs: increased productivity
-At this time all psychologists were working in academic settings.
WWI – 1929 (about 50 I/O psychologists working in the U.S.)
-Two separate groups of psychologists approached the military.
-Selection of officers using psychological intelligence tests (Alpha and Beta units).
-Psychoanalysis of recruits.
-Selection tests are not totally effective (only educated people show intelligence)
-Minorities are hurt by the test (and uneducated people)
-Two main groups formed:
1)     The Scott Company: formed by Walter Dill Scott and focused on selection testing.

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Psychology         Human Factors         Organizational Psychology         Do People         Skill Acquisition         Job Analysis         Research Methodology         Performance Appraisal         Work Place         Personnel        





2)     The Psychological Corporation: formed by J. McKean Cattell
-Publishes tests such as 16PF (personality test)
-Most I/O psychologists were still in academia.
1930 – WWII (100 I/O psychologists in the field)
-Hawthorne studies conducted at Western Electric Company.
-Studies tried to determine if amount of illumination affected productivity.
-No effective lighting found; work productivity increased everywhere.
-Hawthorne effect is when people do better because they know they are being studied or watched.
-Psychologists realized that they needed to do field studies (in actual environment)
-Companies began to focus on employee morale.
** World events helped to change the I/O field **
WWII – 1960 (756 I/O psychologists in U.S.)
-Military hired a lot of psychologists
-Looked at performance appraisal techniques (do a good job?)
-Find most efficient methods of training.
-Women and minorities in the workplace while men at war.
-When war over the minorities and women wanted to keep jobs (integrated workplace).
-During 1950’s, I/O psychologists became involved in both academia and the workplace.
1960-1980 (2000 I/O psychologists in U.S.)
-Civil rights movement lead to an even more integrated workplace.
-Changes in workplace, making employees happy with jobs.
-Good mix of academia and practitioner I/O psychologists.
1980-present (3000+ I/O psychologists in U.S.)
-Refinement: choosing best methods that have been thought of over the years.
-New area development: globalization of companies, work/life balance, careers vs. jobs.
-Most people go through 4-5 jobs over a lifetime.
Future Changes
-Technology: jobs lost to technology but also gained to check up on computers.
-Work at home.
-Skill level is changing (diminished)
-Literacy and math ability have diminished; train in the basics.
-Language: Spanish is becoming dominant language
-Age: large work force makes it tough to find jobs
-lots of times companies lay off older employees first, or are more reluctant to hire older employees.
Research Methods
-How we get information (3 goals)
1)     Describe something
2)     Explain; reasons
3)     Predict; use past data to extrapolate
-I/O psychologists use a variety of research methods:
Lab experiment: conducted in a laboratory environment with a control group, controlled setting and a manipulated variable.
Field experiment: in a natural environment; can’t control all of the variables; sometimes it is unethical.
Questionnaire studies: uses individual’s self-report to obtain information
-Most commonly surveys (pen/pencil); can be interviews or computer surveys.
-Disadvantages: people lie, difficult to get back, limited answer selection
-Advantages: cheap, easy, collect a lot of data
-Typical response rate is 30% (which is an adequate representation)
Observational studies: conducted in a natural setting without interference
-See how things are done in the workplace (get info).
-Advantages: More natural
-Disadvantages: Hawthorne effect, can’t isolate a variable (person has a cold), lot of time, money and effort, not always obtrusive (sometimes interfere).
Simulation Studies: model of workplace (not natural) such as a computer simulation.
-Advantages: person practices on it and becomes an expert, can control the variables and settings.
-Disadvantages: Not real work place, costs a lot of money, Hawthorne effect.
Variables
-Must be accurately defined otherwise results are questionable.
-Describing variables: Quantitative or Qualitative
-Quantitative are numerical variables (age, time, # of, $)
-Qualitative are variables broken into categories (gender, race, job title)
Independent variable: variable that is controlled/manipulated by the researcher
Dependant variable: is measured and occurs as a result of the independent variable
Predictors- used to hopefully predict the outcome
Criterion- tells how the predictor will tell the outcome.
-Together the predictor and the criterion are used when we want to examine relationships, especially when we want to determine someone’s status on one variable (criterion) by another variable (predictor).
-Mostly seen in selection or hiring
-A quantitative test: math test to perform basic job functions.
-Predictor test (performance is criterion).



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