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PSY 435 Week 1- Industrial Organizational Psychology Individual Paper.

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INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATION PSYCHOLOGY 1
The History of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Pedreed Anjahal
University of Phoenix
PSY/435
Facilitator: Gary Mayhew, Ed. D.
July 25, 2011

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INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATION PSYCHOLOGY 2
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Industrial/organizational psychology is a form of psychological science that applies
organization, two major divisions make up I/O psychology. The industrial aspect represents
personnel and the relationship shared through an organization. I/O psychology was recognized in
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Industrial psychology takes on a management
perspective by providing human resources. Organizational psychology involves individual
employee attitudes, stress, and performance. The goal of I/O psychologist is to develop an
effective approach for businesses to operate smoothly, implementing various tests, hiring tactics,
and employee incentives. An ideal practice of I/O psychologists is working as a consultant to
organizations. Industrial/organizational psychologists are the liaison for companies and helps
with applications, pre-screening employment, health benefits, decreased work injuries, designing
of equipment, and providing research to enhance company and employee performances.
The Evolution of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Industrial/organizational psychology was discovered in the early twentieth century.
During this time experimental psychology was used to develop this area of psychology. I/O
psychology is not a new method or approach, and dates back as early as the study of psychology
itself. At the introduction of I/O psychology the main focus by experimental psychologists Hugo
Munsterberg and Walter Dill Scott was on job performance and organizational efficiency.
In addition, Munsterberg and Scott applied psychology to the problems that exists in
organizations (Spector, 2008). Selecting employees adequate for the job is important for
organizations. Munsterberg and Scott worked to find better ways of employee selection and new
psychological testing. I/O psychology had other influences for example, Frederick Winslow

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INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATION PSYCHOLOGY 3
Taylor. Likewise with Taylor who was an engineer his influence to I/O psychology was through
his introduction of Scientific Management in 1911, the purpose of Scientific Management was to
help guide organizational practices by use of several principles.
In essence, engineering and psychology can work as a team. Frank Gilbreth an engineer
and his wife Lillian a psychologist used both of their professional skills for the benefit of I/O
psychology. The Gilbreth’s worked to introduce the time and motion study. The study consists of
measuring and timing people’s motions, this helps with the development of more efficient ways
to work. Through experience the Department of Labor will use these tests to determine what
areas of work a person is good at for jobs involving hand and eye coordination, repetition, and
speed. In addition, the time and motion study works well for employers who want to find ways
of meeting the demands of the organizations, while maintaining a less stressful environment. The
Gilbreth’s dedication opened the door for the human factor, which is finding the best ways to
design technology to work for people. Lillian Gilbreth developed the foot pedal operated trash
can and refrigerated door shelves, focusing on the efficacy of consumer products (Spector, 2008).
Moreover, psychologists under the supervision of Bruce Moore designed the Army Alpha
and Army Beta mental ability tests. Finding jobs that people had compatibility with was difficult,
so Moore and his colleagues devised a plan and developed a mass testing system that was used
by the military and continues to be used today in educational settings for example, the SAT is
used today as a college entrance examination. Also another contribution to field of I/O was the
Hawthorne studies, which explains how lighting in a room makes a difference in employee
attitude and work productivity (Spector, 2008). Various events occurred that helped the
development of I/O psychology. For example, the Civil Rights act 1964 and Americans
Disabilities act 1991 (Spector, 2008), these dates in history are proof of the importance of I/O

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