Created by Richard, Payton, Hayley, and Lisa

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Also referred to as I/O Psychology, it is the application of psychological methods to optimize human behaviors in the work place. I/O Psychology has 3 sub-fields: Personnel Psychology, Organizational Psychology, and Human Factor Psychology. We will provide the definition and related examples to help further explain how each of these sub-fields works in the workplace.

Personnel Psychology

Personnel Psychology applies to the methods and principles to selecting and evaluating workers. Personnel psychologists can match up people with jobs by identifying and placing well suited candidates.

Structured interviews offer a disciplined method of collecting information. Personnel psychologists analyze jobs, script questions, and train interviewers. The interviews do what the psychologists tell them to do, and keep all of the questions in the same order. Structured interviews pinpoint strengths in certain areas and distinguish high performers in that line of work.

The questions would ask job-specific situations and ask candidates to explain how they would handle those situations. The interviewer makes notes and ratings to make sure they remember the candidate’s response in the end of the interview. They typically avoid irrelevant questions, therefore making the interview less warm and easy.

A review revealed that structured interviews have double the predictive accuracy of unstructured interviews. One structured interview can have the same predictive power as 3 or 4 unstructured interviews.

Organizational Psychology

Organizational Psychology examines organizational influences on worker satisfaction and productivity and facilitates organizational change. It focuses on how work environments and management styles influence worker motivation, satisfaction, and productivity. Organizational Psychologist are responsible for modifying jobs and supervising and looking for the best way to boost morale and productivity among workers.

Achievement Motivation is closely related to Organizational Psychology. It's a desire for significant accomplishment: for mastery of things, people, or ideas; for attaining a higher standard.

Human Factor Psychology

An area of psychology that focuses on a multitude of different topics including: ergonomics, workplace safety, human error, product design, human capability, and human-computer interaction. Human factors and ergonomics are the same. Human factors is a term heard more in the U.S. while ergonomics is used more frequently in Europe.

This branch of psychology works to find ways to make working environments more productive and efficient, yet at the same time it works to make these environments safer.

It plays an important role in the following: computing, manufacturing, product design, engineering, military and government industries. Psychologists in this field spend most of their time researching and studying human behavior, perception and cognition. Human factors began after World War II when researchers began experimenting a way to make airplanes safer. This branch of psychology has become very beneficial for society.

A couple different examples of Human Factor Psychology would be the invention of the computer making work easier in general, but the computer is continuously being changed and transformed to make things easier for us. Another would be E-cigs being created so that people could still smoke without inhaling the toxins and poisons found in regular cigarettes.

So How Do Businesses use these concepts?

For Personnel Psychology, businesses can use the structured interviews to find the best candidate for the job. In Organizational Psychology, businesses use appraisal of work to motivate employees to do better in the work place. . Human Factor Psychology is used by businesses in that they utilize technology to make it easier for the worker and increase efficiency as well as production.