From World War Ii To Today
World War II also drove the expansion of industrial psychology. Bingham was hired as the chief psychologist for the War Department and developed new systems for job selection, classification, training, ad performance review, plus methods for team development, morale change, and attitude change . Other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, likewise saw growth in I-O psychology during World War II . In the years after the war, both industrial psychology and organizational psychology became areas of significant research effort. Concerns about the fairness of employment tests arose, and the ethnic and gender biases in various tests were evaluated with mixed results. In addition, a great deal of research went into studying job satisfaction and employee motivation .
The research and work of I-O psychologists in the areas of employee selection, placement, and performance appraisal became increasingly important in the 1960s. When Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII covered what is known as equal employment opportunity. This law protects employees against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, as well as discrimination against an employee for associating with an individual in one of these categories.
Organizations had to adjust to the social, political, and legal climate of the Civil Rights movement, and these issues needed to be addressed by members of I/O in research and practice.
A Brief History Of Industrial Psychology
Industrial Psychology is almost as old as Psychology itself. Psychology came about in 1879 in the laboratory of Wilhelm Wundt in Germany and William James at Harvard. Both of them were philosophers and physicians fascinated with the mind-body debate. The older discipline of philosophy could not alone deal with this debate, more room and new tools were needed, giving way to Psychology. Texts applying psychology to business first appeared in 1903 the first Industrial-Organizational psychology text appeared in 1910 . It is believed that four men developed the tone and structure of I/O psychology: Hugo Munsterberg, James Cattell, Walter Dill Scott, and Walter Bingham .
Walter Binghams contributions to the field are many and diverse. He started the Division of Applied Psychology the first academic program in industrial psychology . He headed the Personal Research Federation and directed The Psychological Corporation. He was instrumental in Scotts and Yerkes development of the mental testing program. And, most importantly, he assumed a caretaker and spokesperson role and worked, till his death, to achieve recognition and respectability for I/O psychology because there were no elder statesman left to fill that role . He publicly represented the field, in commissions and on radio, and made numerous contributions to magazines, newspapers and other areas on its topics.
Book Review Psychology And Industrial Efficiency By Hugo Munsterberg
Psychology as a science is useful insofar as it is applied to solving the issues of everyday life. This is the purpose of Hugo Munsterbergs 1913 book Psychology and Industrial Efficiency. Munsterbergs approach to psychology is to answer common questions through psychological experimentation. The book is split into three parts, each dedicated to an aspect of industrial psychology: finding the right employee for the job, procuring the best performance of the job, and finding the best possible effect. Although nearly 100 years have passed since the original publication of this book, and some of the terminology and social conceptions have changed, this work by Munsterberg remains relevant. Industry is ever changing and therefore the ways that people interact with it also stands to be changed from time to time in the interest of efficiency.
Munsterberg begins his book by organizing the advent of applied psychology, which is the application of the results of laboratory experiments to lifes dilemmas. Experimental psychology for a time remained outside of practical application. As scientists began seeing the connections between industry and their laboratory experiments the foray into applied psychology began. Munsterberg states the goal is not to determine whether an outcome is good or bad, but simply to determine the most efficient way to get from the starting point to whatever outcome is desired.
Also Check: How Is Psychology Related To Geography
Comparisons To Wundt And James
One major point of disagreement between Wundt and Münsterberg was their opposing views on how psychology should be practiced. For Wundt psychology should be a pure science detached from practical concerns, while Münsterberg wanted to apply psychological principles that could be applied to practical concerns. While working as Wundt’s research assistant, Münsterberg studied voluntary activities through introspection, but they disagreed on the fundamental principles. Wundt believed that free will could be experienced as a conscious element of the mind during introspection, while Münsterberg did not. Münsterberg believed that as we prepare to act we consciously experience this bodily preparedness and mistakenly interpret it with the will to act a certain way. Münsterberg’s beliefs support his interpretation of James’s ideo-motor theory of behavior. For Münsterberg behavior causes ideas. However, for James ideas cause behavior. There are also similarities between James’s theory of emotion and Münsterberg’s analysis of voluntary behavior. For the James-Lange theory of emotion, “emotions are by-products of bodily reactions elicited by a situation.” Whereas for Münsterberg “the feeling of willful actions results from an awareness of covert behavior, or a readiness to act overtly, elicited by a situation.” In both cases, conscious experience is the result of behavior.
Synopsis Of Psychology And Industrial Efficiency
Hugo Münsterberg was a German-American psychologist. He was one of the pioneers in applied psychology, extending his research and theories to Industrial / Organizational , legal, medical, clinical, educational and business settings. He encountered immense turmoil with the outbreak of the First World War. Torn between his loyalty to America and his homeland, he often defended Germany’s actions, attracting criticism. He believed that mental illness had a psychological basis and made diagnoses based on behavioral observations, an interview and answers received by the patients whom he interviewed. These studies led him to publish the book, Psychotherapy . In 1908, he published his controversial book, On the Witness Stand , which talked about psychological factors that can affect a trial’s outcome. In 1913, he wrote the book Psychology and Industrial Efficiency which looked at problems with monotony, attention and fatigue, physical and social influences on the working power, the effects of advertising and the future development of economic psychology. His other works include: Psychology and Social Sanity , The War and America and The Photoplay: A Psychological Study .
Recommended Reading: What Is Precipitation In Geography
The Historical Development Of Industrial And Organizational Psychology
Industrial and organizational psychology had its origins in the early 20th century. Several influential early psychologists studied issues that today would be categorized as industrial psychology: James Cattell at Columbia, Hugo Münsterberg at Harvard, Walter Dill Scott at Northwestern, Robert Yerkes and Walter Bingham at Dartmouth, and Lillian Gilbreth at Purdue. Cattell, Münsterberg, and Scott had been students of Wilhelm Wundt, the father of experimental psychology. Some of these researchers had been involved in work in the area of industrial psychology before World War I. Cattells contribution to industrial psychology is largely reflected in his founding of a psychological consulting company, which is still operating today called the Psychological Corporation, and in the accomplishments of students at Columbia in the area of industrial psychology. In 1913, Münsterberg published Psychology and Industrial Efficiency, which covered topics such as employee selection, employee training, and effective advertising.
The focus of all this research was in what we now know as industrial psychology it was only later in the century that the field of organizational psychology developed as an experimental science . In addition to their academic positions, these researchers also worked directly for businesses as consultants.
Watch this video to hear first-hand accounts of the original Hawthorne studies from those who participated in the research.
What Is Industrial And Organizational Psychology
- Understand the scope of study in the field of industrial and organizational psychology
- Describe the history of industrial and organizational psychology
In 2019, people who worked in the United States spent an average of about 42â54 hours per week working . Sleeping was the only other activity they spent more time on with an average of about 43â62 hours per week. The workday is a significant portion of workersâ time and energy. It impacts their lives and their familyâs lives in positive and negative physical and psychological ways. Industrial and organizational psychology is a branch of psychology that studies how human behavior and psychology affect work and how they are affected by work.
Read Also: Who Is The Father Of Modern Physics
Polarization In The Workforce
The mix of jobs available in the United States began changing many years before the 2008 recession struck, and, as mentioned above, the American Dream has not always been easy to achieve. Geography, race, gender, and other factors have always played a role in the reality of success. More recently, the increased outsourcing or contracting a job or set of jobs to an outside source of manufacturing jobs to developing nations has greatly diminished the number of high-paying, often unionized, blue-collar positions available. A similar problem has arisen in the white-collar sector, with many low-level clerical and support positions also being outsourced, as evidenced by the international technical-support call centers in Mumbai, India, and Newfoundland, Canada. The number of supervisory and managerial positions has been reduced as companies streamline their command structures and industries continue to consolidate through mergers. Even highly educated skilled workers such as computer programmers have seen their jobs vanish overseas.
The Changing Nature Of Work
The American Dream has always been based on opportunity. There is a great deal of mythologizing about the energetic upstart who can climb to success based on hard work alone. Common wisdom states that if you study hard, develop good work habits, and graduate high school or, even better, college, then youll have the opportunity to land a good job. That has long been seen as the key to a successful life.
Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Hybridisation In Chemistry