I/O Psychology Essay

1036 words - 4 pages


The study of psychology has various fields and branches. One of these branches would be industrial/organizational psychology. Most individuals who are drawn to this branch would be individuals whom have an overt interest not only in psychology but also in subjects such as statistics, computers, engineering or product design. To be able to understand how this branch of psychology works one must also take into consideration the evolution of the field. Like with any other subject one must know the background of the subject at hand and the factors that will impact it. The research and statistics which play a major role in industrial/organizational psychology will also be addressed in this paper.

Encyclopedia Britannica (2010),"Industrial/organizational psychology is defined as the application of concepts and methods from several subspecialties of the discipline such as learning, motivation, and social psychology to business and institutional settings" (Industrial-organizational psychology, para. 1). The focus of I/O psychology is to increase productivity in the workplace and other related issues such as the mental and physical welfare of employees. I/O psychology is split up into two divisions, the industrial and the organizational. These two major divisions are closely related to one another, being that these divisions grew out of different traditions that derived from similar traditions in the history of the field it may not be easy to separate the two. Industrial psychology was the original name of the field which focused on the managerial perspective of organizations; the organizations would only be resourceful with appropriate use of people and human resources (Spector, 2008). The purpose of Industrial psychology was to address employee issues such as selection, training, evaluation and the efficiency of the job at hand. On the other hand organizational psychology derived from human relations and the impact they may have on an organization. The main focus in organizational psychology would be to comprehend the employee's behavior and boosting the welfare of the employee in the workplace. The main topics of interest would be employee behavior, attitude, stressors and supervisory practices. When industrial and organizational psychology is put together the nature of the field is maximized by including both aspects of the divisions.

The study of industrial organizational psychology originated in the United States in the early 1900s through the work of psychologists Hugo Munsterberg and Walter Dill Scott (Spector, 2008). Both Munsterberg and Scott received training from Wilhelm Wundt and German psychologist. Most of the practical application was developed through the work of Frederick W. Taylor, an American industrial engineer. Taylor developed what he called scientific management, which basically stated: 1) each job needed to be analyzed in order to optimize and provide a specific way of doing the task, 2)...

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