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Industrial/Organizational (I-O) psychology is an every growing field within psychology. The primary goal behind I-O psychology is to aid in helping organizations/companies who may have employee issues resolve them for a better working relationship between companies and the employees. I-O psychology has been evolving over the course of the last many years, by having developed a foundation, as a science, ethical principles and use of statistics. Industrial/Organizational Psychology Evolution
I-O psychology began in early years of the twentieth century and was composed from a combination of science, philosophy and psychology. I-O psychology began advancing as there was growth of large corporations, growth of mass production corporations, growth of measurement and statistics, and growth of engineering developments. When I-O psychology was emerging some of its primary focus was on employee fatigue and health (Spector, 2012). Two primary founders are noted for the American I-O field; Hugo Munsterberg and Walter Dill Scott (Spector, 2012). Both Munsterberg and Scott made many contributions to the field of I-O which included applying the field of psychology to problems within businesses, advertising, writing pioneering textbooks for the field, etc (Spector, 2012).
Not only was I-O evolving to help businesses, the concept was even applied to World War I in assistance to the United States and United Kingdom (Spector, 2012). A psychologist, Robert Yerkes, offered assistance to the army through I-O psychology during 1917. A primary service provided through I-O psychology for the army was creating a large-scale psychological test to aid in placing recruits in the right positions (Spector, 2012).
I-O psychology continued to develop over the years. I-O psychology grew as organizations grew. More I-O psychologists were needed as organizations grew, hired more employees and began to need guidance on problems that arose. 1921 was another big year for I-O psychology as that is when Charles Myers co-founded the National Institute of Industrial Psychology and the first American Ph.D was earned by Bruce V. Moore (Spector, 2012).
I-O psychology still continued evolving into 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed (Spector, 2012). The Civil Rights Act required that employer’s change their hiring methods due to discrimination laws changing and it was illegal for discrimination against minorities or women (Spector, 2012). I-O psychology continues to evolve to how it is defined in recent times. Industrial/Organizational Psychology as a Science
I-O psychology created a foundation by combining industrial psychology which is the personnel aspect with organizational psychology. I-O psychology should be considered a science for several reasons. The field of I-O psychology uses similar research methods as other fields in psychology. An I-O psychologist would still begin with a question that needs an answer and perform research to aid in providing a solution to the proposed question or problem (Spector, 2012). A hypothesis is created, variables identified, and research conducted. Research is conducted through using tactics such as random assignment and random selection (Spector, 2012). Industrial/Organizational Psychology Six Ethical Principles
I-O psychologists follow the six ethical principles from the American Psychological Association Code: Competence, Integrity, Professional and Scientific Responsibility, Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, Concern for Other’s Welfare, and Social Responsibility (Spector, 2012). The primary goal for all psychologists, including those in the I-O field, is to improve the human condition (Spector, 2012). Industrial/Organizational Psychology Descriptive vs Inferential Statistics
Descriptive statistics are defined as a method of reducing large amounts of data to smaller, condensed data by use of mathematics such as means or variances (Spector, 2012). Inferential statistics are defined as statistics, which allow people to make generalized conclusions based on subjects that have been studied to all people based on probabilities (Spector, 2012). The primary difference between the two types of statistics is that inferential statistics takes a small amount of data and applies it to a large group; whereas, descriptive statistics does the opposite and takes information obtained from a large group and reduces it to manageable working numbers. Conclusion
Overall, I-O psychology has really grown into what it is known as today. Through its evolution, I-O psychology has had a solid foundation built on ethical principles known to all psychologists. I-O psychology has grown into a science, using statistical data to help problem solve and aid proving hypothesis true or false. I-O psychologists are of great importance to the business world and employee relations.