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Professions in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology is also known as I-O psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, work psychology, organizational psychology, work and organizational psychology, industrial psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment.

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1. Describe the profession of industrial/organizational psychology. What are some of the alternative titles for industrial/organizational psychologists?
Industrial and organizational psychology is also known as I-O psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, work psychology, organizational psychology, work and organizational psychology, industrial psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment. It is "the scientific study of the relationship between man and the world of work... in the process of making a living" (Guion, p. 817), and is rooted in social psychology. I/O psychology emerged at a time characterized as the 'Machine Age.' In this era, 'performance' for the rank and file of workers consisted of well-defined sequences of motor responses, dictated and paced by the needs of machines. Also, the securest fund of empirical knowledge in psychology at that time had to do with sensory perception, the topography of motor responses, and the measurement of mental and motor abilities. Thus, industrial psychologists of that period justified their calling either by designing physical work environments or by selection and placement systems that maximized worker output. Studying human motivation, social attitudes, personality, group dynamics, and ...

Solution Summary

It is the premise of industrial/occupational psychology that to understand how people contribute to organizations, we have to understand not just how they can do their tasks more efficiently, but also what they contribute to the overall character of organization, the value-added 'surplus' by which the whole exceeds the sum of its parts.

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