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Lesson 2: Introduction and History of I/O Psychology - psychology work fields

Lesson 2: Introduction and History of I/O Psychology-psychology work fields

PSYCH 281 -- Lesson 2 -- 1 of 8
Lesson 2: Introduction and History of I/O Psychology
Assigned Readings:
Go to the SIOP homepage at www.SIOP.org. Click on the tab "About us" and follow the
pop up menu item labeled, "What is I-O Psychology?" and open the html version of the
brochure "Building Better Organizations: Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the
Then, go back to the "About Us" tab and read the mission statement for SIOP
Note: Always contact your instructor if the URLs for any readings are not working
HINT: This reading will help you answer (an) important quiz question(s). It will also help
you complete this week's activity.
2. "Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral Level in
Industrial/Organizational Psychology"
Follow the menu link on the SIOP home page (www.SIOP.org) for "educators" (on the
left hand side of the screen). Then, click on "Ph.D. Guidelines in I-O Psychology."
The portion of this article that is important to read carefully begins with table 1, Areas of
Competence to be Developed." Following this table are brief, 1 paragraph descriptions
of the main areas of focus for I-O Psychology, many of which we will cover briefly in the
The direct link for this article is http://www.siop.org/PhDGuidelines98.aspx
HINT: This reading may help you answer (an) important quiz question(s).
3. Ryan, A. M. (2003). Defining ourselves: I/O psychology's identity quest. The Industrial-
Organizational Psychologist, 41(1), 21-33.
This article can also be found by going to the publications tab off the SIOP home page,
clicking on the first link for TIP, then clicking on the link for back issues of TIP (find
July 2003 then the title of the article "Defining Ourselves: I-O Psychology's Identity
PSYCH 281 -- Lesson 2 -- 2 of 8
HINT: This reading will help you be more informed during your discussion session for
this week (for which your input is graded).
Supplemental (optional):
1. For information about the American Psychological Association (APA) or American
Psychological Society (APS), go to the following sites:
2. For information about fields related to I/O psychology, go to the following sites:
www.aom.pace.edu Academy of Management (AOM)
www.shrm.org Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
3. For more about the history of SIOP, see the following article:
Katzell, R.A. & Austin, J.T. (1992). From then until now: The development of Industrial and
Organizational Psychology in the United States. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 803-
Lesson Overview:
A. What is I/O psychology?
1. What do I/O psychologists do?
2. How are they trained?
3. The "I" and "O" distinction
4. The Scientist Practitioner model
B. History of the Field
C. The importance of I/O psychology
1. How does I/O psychology contribute to society?
2. How is I/O psychology different from other business-related fields?
PSYCH 281 -- Lesson 2 -- 3 of 8
Lesson Commentary
What is Industrial and Organizational Psychology?
In PSY 002, you learned that psychology was the scientific study of thinking and behavior.
Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology is the application of psychology to the
workplace. In other words, the scientific study of thinking and behavior at work.
What does that mean concretely? What is it that I/O psychologists do?
I/O psychologists study and help implement behavior in organizations, such as selecting
employees, training them, appraising their performance as well as programs that help improve
the motivation and work attitudes of employees.
Approximately ? of all I/O psychologists work in academic or research settings and ? in work
settings or full-time practice... More about this below.
How are I/O Psychologists trained?
I/O Psychologists are trained in graduate school at the masters or doctoral level. The Society for
Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the professional organization to which most I/O
psychologists belong, lists 25 core competencies that should be developed during one's doctoral
1. Consulting and Business Skills 15. Job Evaluation and Compensation
2. Ethical, Legal and Professional 16. Job/ Task Analysis and
Contexts of I-O Psychology Classification
3. Fields of Psychology 17. Judgment and Decision Making
4. History and System of Psychology 18. Leadership and Management
5. Research Methods 19. Organizational Development
6. Statistical Methods/ Data Analysis 20. Organizational Theory
7. Attitude Theory, Measurement, and 21. Performance Appraisal and
Change Feedback
8. Career Development 22. Personnel Recruitment, Selection,
9. Consumer Behavior and Placement
10. Criterion Theory and Development 23. Small Group Theory and Team
11. Health and Stress in Organizations Processes
12. Human Performance/ Human Factors 24. Training Theory, Program Design,
13. Individual Assessment and Evaluation
14. Individual Differences 25. Work Motivation

What are the career options in psychology? Psychology is a rare degree that gives graduates valuable skills needed in many different careers. Most people associate psychology graduates with careers in counseling, but they are employed in many other fields. Career fields include but are not limited to social work, market research, human resources, teaching, and labor relations.