The purpose of this assignment is to examine the fundamental concepts of the field of industrial/organizational psychology. Using the textbook, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your responses to each question will vary but overall should be 700- to 1,050-words in length.
1.Describe the evolution of the field of industrial/organizational psychology. Industrial/organizational psychology has its roots in the late 1800s and early 1900s when early psychologists were trying to apply the theories of psychology to the organization of business (Spector, 2008). Two scientists are attributed with the founding work of industrial/organizational psychology: Huge Munsterberg and Walter Dill Scott. Both were university professors that had an interest in employee selection and the application of new psychological tests to the subject of industry. In fact, two of industrial/organizational psychology’s foundational books, The Theory of Advertising (1903) and Psychology and Industrial Efficiency (1913) were written by Scott and Munsterberg, respectively. The methodological next step beyond Scott and Munsterberg came in 1911 when Frederick Winslow Taylor developed his theory of “Scientific Management”, which puts for a scientific procedure for the managing of production workers on the factory line.
The field of industrial/organizational psychology took a leap in technological applicability when Frank Gilbreth, an engineer, and Lillian Gilbreth, a psychologists, combined the knowledgebase of their respective fields into one eclectic theory of human factors; which is wholly concerned with the design of technology for use by people (Spector, 2008). Ironically, it was the destruction of World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) that most furthered the development and relevance of industrial/organizational psychology. During WWI several psychologists, led by Robert Yerkes, produced the Army Alpha and Army Beta group tests, which were designed to gauge mental ability to the end of proper unit placement. Before WWII the APA proper was not concerned with the practice of psychology in the real-world, but limited itself to experimental psychology. However, in 1944 Division 14 of Industrial and Business Psychology was formed within the APA to address the need for a practice side of industrial/organizational psychology.
In 1970 Division 14 was reorganized as the APA Division of Industrial and Organization Psychology and is today referred to as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Over the past century the field of industrial/organizational psychology has grown to include work conditions and work satisfaction; the organization side of the field; into the theoretical and academic body of research that the field encompasses. As an example, the current organizational explanation of individual goals and self-regulatory activities takes an integrative perspective, incorporating the person, the social situation, and environmental factors into one theoretical framework (Kanfer, 2005). Today industrial/organizational psychology is applied to both scientific research in the laboratory and practice in the field to deal with the issues and problems that affect businesses and organizations of the day.
2.Explain why industrial/organizational psychology should be considered a science. Include an explanation of how descriptive and inferential statistics are used in I/O research. Many theorists believes that industrial/organizational psychology is already considered a science. It is because of the intense research that is conducted to produce findings. The competitive world of science evolved within the industrial/organizational field. It should be considered a science because of the concerns with the behavior of the people and their foundation. It should be considered a science because of the principles and its enforcement to develop new procedures and implement strategies over the years. It also looks at employees, employers, motives, and ways to measure the amount of professionalism. It should also be considered a science because of its rapid expansion throughout the world. Industrial/organizational have produced scientific journals and publication, codes, and standards that are harmless, but beneficial to all parties involved.