University of Phoenix Material
Industrial/Organizational Psychology Worksheet
The purpose of this assignment is to examine the fundamental concepts of the field of industrial/organizational psychology. Using the textbook, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your responses to each question will vary but overall should be 700- to 1,050-words in length.
Describe the evolution of the field of industrial/organizational psychology.
Industrial-Organizational psychology has only been in existence for about the last century. It was primarily an outgrowth of the Industrial Revolution. When factories and assembly lines began coming into existence, the people who ran the factories wanted to try to get as much money as possible out of their workers. The first I-O psychologists weren’t as interested in employees being satisfied and happy as they were about making sure that the jobs were designed to be as efficient and streamlined as possible. A landmark study of this time period involved a study to make trolley operators be as productive as possible, and another involved how best to design a coal shovel to increase production.
The Hawthorne Effect
In one of the early studies (1924-1932) conducted by I-O psychologist Harry Landsberger, a factory was interested in seeing how changing work conditions would affect employee output. For example, Landsberger wanted to see how low the lighting could be and still maintain optimal productivity. While conducting these experiments, the results weren’t at all what he expected. It appeared that no matter what he did, the employees improved their production speed, even if he only gave them low candlelight to work by. After post-analysis, Landsberger discovered that the employees were performing better because there were people around them wearing white coats, carrying clipboards, interested in what they were doing. Thus, work conditions had been trumped by employee feelings...