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					              Industrial-Organizational Psychology and
                Other Branches of Applied Psychology
                    for Introductory Psychology


                                 By Aaron U. Bolin
                              Arkansas State University




Survey Questions for this Chapter
     What can you do with a degree in psychology?
     Why would anyone want to study Applied psychology?
     Industrial/Organizational psychology
         o   What does psychology have to say about work?
         o   What is the best way to match workers to jobs?
         o   What is the best way to design, manage, and lead businesses and other
             organizations?
         o   Why do some people have high levels of motivation while others do just enough to
             keep from getting fired?
         o   What exactly is leadership?
         o   How can we improve human productivity and reduce errors?
     Forensic psychology
         o   How do the police and other law enforcement officials use psychology?
     Sport psychology
         o   Does hiring a sport psychologist improve a team’s chance of winning?
     Consumer psychology
         o   Can psychology be used to influence and manipulate how people spend their money?
     Military psychology
         o   Can psychology be used as a weapon?
     How does someone become an applied psychologist?




                                           -- 1 --
                              Chapter Overview
                                       What can you do with a degree in psychology? Those of you who are majoring

                              in psychology or are planning on majoring in psychology have certainly heard this

                              question many times from your friends and family. Many people mistakenly assume that

                              psychologists are all clinicians who try to find the hidden meaning in everything that

                              other people do and say. Of course, this stereotype of psychologists is not entirely false; a

                              small number of psychologists do earn a living by offering psychoanalytic services.

                              However, you have undoubtedly realized that the field of psychology is much more

                              diverse than the clinician stereotype suggests, with many different areas of specialization.

                              Even so, you might still have trouble answering the question about what psychologists

                              do. This chapter is designed to help you answer that question by giving you more

                              information about a very special group of psychology specialties that collectively make

                              up the field of applied psychology.

Applied psychology: the                Applied psychology is the branch of psychology that is concerned with using
branch of psychology that
is concerned with using the   the principles of psychological science to solve real-life problems. Applied psychologists
principles of psychological
science to solve real-life
                              have used the principles of learning to train pigeons to help locate lost boaters wearing
problems.
                              life preservers, the principles of social psychology to improve coordination on sport

                              teams, and the principles of perception to improve the cockpit control panels of jumbo jet

                              airliners. Although the definition of applied psychology could technically encompass

                              clinical and counseling psychology, these specialties within psychology are typically

                              considered separate branches of psychology. For our purposes, the term Applied

                              psychology will only refer to the following areas of specialization within psychology:

                              industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, sport psychology, consumer

                              psychology, and military psychology. Together, we will discuss each of these specialty

                              areas in turn. Figure 1 shows the relationships among the different areas of applied

                              psychology.




                                                       -- 2 --
Figure 1. Branches of
Applied Psychology




                                  Why would anyone want to study Applied Psychology? The answer to this question

                         depends a lot on the characteristics of the person who asks it. Many people study applied

                         psychology just to get through a classroom assignment. Some people study applied

                         psychology for the money. Applied psychology can be a very financially rewarding career

                         choice. Other people study applied psychology because they want to make a contribution to

                         society. As we will see in the rest of this chapter, applied psychologists contribute to society

                         in numerous capacities: by making workers more productive, by making industry safer, by

                         catching criminals, by strengthening the military, etc. Still others study applied psychology

                         out of a burning curiosity and a love of learning. Applied psychologists are in a constant

                         search for new information about how people function, how to solve interesting problems,

                         and how to take psychology out of the laboratory and into our lives. In addition to all of these

                         reasons, you should study applied psychology because of the profound impact it has on your

                         life. You cannot go to work, drive a car, turn on the television, or browse the Internet without

                         being affected by applied psychology.

Figure 2. Applied                                                                       $93,000
Psychology 12-Month        Doctoral-Level
                                                                                        $90,500
                          Business/Industry
Median Salary by                                                                  $74,000
Degree and Position in
2001                                                                                                                                        10-14 years
                            Master-Level                                                                                                    experience
                                                                            $68,000
                          Business/Industry
                                                                      $45,000
                                                                                                                                            5-9 years
                                                                                                                                            experience
                                                                                                                  $150,000
                              Doctoral-Level
                                                                                             $95,000                                        2-4 year
                               Consulting                                                                                                   experience
                                                                                             $92,500



                               Master-Level
                                                                              $70,000
                                Consultant
                                                                           $56,000


                                              $-                $50,000             $100,000             $150,000             $200,000
                                                                                     Dollars
                                      Source of Data: 2001 Salaries in Psychology, Research Office, American Psychological Association, 2003.




                                                                    -- 3 --
                               Industrial/Organizational Psychology
                                          What does psychology have to say about work? After all, most people spend

                               more of their time at work than they do engaged in any other activity. Sigmund Freud,

                               one of the founders of psychology, believed that work was central to the human

                               experience. In his book Civilization and Its Discontents (1962), Freud made his now

                               famous statement, “To do well, normal human beings must be able to love and to work.”

                               Of course, love and work are not always separate endeavors. Many people love their

                               work and office romances are on the rise. Industrial/Organizational psychology is the

                               branch of psychology that is interested in work and working.

Industrial/Organizational                 Specifically, Industrial/Organizational psychology (which is usually
psychology: The branch
of applied psychology that     abbreviated as I/O Psychology) is the branch of applied psychology that is concerned
is concerned with the
application of psychological
                               with the application of psychological methods and research findings to the world of work
methods and research
findings to the world of
work and human                 and human performance. I/O Psychology is a very diverse and complex field. In its
performance
                               broadest sense, I/O Psychology encompasses a wide variety of topics including (but not

                               limited to) employment policies and laws, worker satisfaction, leadership, employee

                               health, workplace design, and workplace safety. In general, I/O psychologists are

                               interested in helping workers to be more productive and efficient, to be safer and more

                               accurate, to be happier and more satisfied, and to get a higher rate of return for their

                               efforts.

                               Brief History and Overview of I/O Psychology

                                          The history of I/O psychology reaches back to the very beginnings of

                               psychology in the United States. I/O psychology and other branches of applied

                               psychology originated as an outgrowth of the functionalist movement in psychology. The

                               functionalists were interested in the adaptive value of human behavior. In other words,

                               the functionalist wanted to find a practical use for the principles of psychology; they

      William James            wanted to find solutions for real-life problems. William James (1890), who was a

                               functionalist, was the first to suggest the need for psychological study of the workplace.




                                                         -- 4 --
                                      Many psychologists picked up on James’ suggestion and became early pioneers

                             in I/O psychology. Frederick Taylor (1911) and Hugo Münsterberg (1913) were among

                             the first psychologists to apply the principles of psychological science specifically to the

                             world of work. Taylor advocated a scientific approach to managing employees, while

                             Münsterberg did research on employee testing, eye witness testimony, and job placement.

                             Other pioneers in I/O psychology included Lillian Gilbreth (who helped develop and

                             refine time-and-motion studies), G. Stanley Hall (who founded the Journal of Applied
    Hugo Münsterberg
                             Psychology in 1917), Robert Yerkes (who helped develop two of the first intelligence

                             tests in 1917), and Walter Dill Scott (who founded the first psychological consulting

                             company in 1919 and also helped found consumer psychology).

                                      In the early years, I/O psychology had a very narrow focus. I/O psychology in

                             the time period before the end of World War I focused mostly on issues related to

Personnel psychology:
                             personnel psychology. Personnel psychology is the branch of I/O psychology that is
The branch of
industrial/organizational    concerned with employee testing, selection, placement, retention, performance, and
psychology that is
concerned with employee      training. Many I/O psychologists at this time believed that workers were ignorant of
testing, selection,
placement, retention,        proper work methods, disliked work, were only motivated by money and job security,
performance, and training.
                             preferred to be told what to do, and were just plain lazy. This system of beliefs about

Theory X: an approach to     employees has come to be known as the Theory X approach.
management that is based
on the assumptions that               I/O psychologists with a Theory X approach usually told managers that they
employees are lazy, do not
like to work, and are only   should be very strict, should closely monitor employee performance, should diligently
motivated by financial
rewards.                     enforce policies and procedures, and should carefully match employees to jobs. A

                             modern example of a Theory X approach to management that you may be familiar with is

                             an army drill sergeant. A drill sergeant never smiles, follows all of the policies and

                             procedures, is very strict in his/her management style, and does not seem to be having

                             any fun while he/she trains new army recruits.

                                      Of course, not all I/O psychologists had such a pessimistic view of employees.

                             I/O psychologists with a Theory Y approach assumed that workers enjoyed autonomy




                                                      -- 5 --
                                and responsibility and were naturally hard working. Managers were encouraged to smile,
Theory Y: an approach to
management that is based        to treat workers with respect, to break the rules to get the job done, and to be easy-going
on the assumptions that
workers enjoy autonomy,
                                in their management styles.
are willing to accept
responsibility, and that
people are not naturally                 The Theory Y approach grew out of the work of another pioneer in I/O
passive or lazy.
                                psychology, Elton Mayo. In a series of famous experiments that began in 1924 and are

                                now known as the Hawthorne studies, Mayo and his associates discovered that people

                                would work harder and more efficiently if they were treated with respect, if their opinions

                                were valued, and if someone was likely to notice their improved performance. Mayo also

Organizational                  discovered that people go to work for many reasons and that money and job security were
psychology: The branch
of industrial/organizational    not necessarily the only things that motivated employee performance. Mayo’s discoveries
psychology that is
concerned with job              helped to increase the interest of I/O psychologists in organizational psychology.
satisfaction, motivation,
organizational climate and
                                Organizational psychology is the branch of I/O psychology that is concerned with job
culture, leadership,
communication, and other
social processes in             satisfaction, organizational climate and culture, leadership, communication, and other
organizations.
                                social processes in organizations.

                                         A third branch of I/O psychology is called human-factors psychology. Unlike

                                personnel psychology and organizational psychology, human-factors psychology grew
Human-factors
psychology: The branch
                                out of the field of engineering. Human-factors psychology is the branch of I/O
of industrial/organizational
psychology that is              psychology that is concerned with the multiple factors that influence human performance,
concerned with the multiple
factors that influence          efficiency, errors, and injuries and the relationship between these factors and the design
human performance,
efficiency, errors, and         of tools, equipment, and machines. Frederick Taylor, one of the founders of human-
injuries and the relationship
between these factors and       factors psychology, was trained as an engineer. Human-factors psychology has had a
the design of tools,
equipment, and machines.
                                tremendous impact on the efficiency and safety of the modern workplace. For example,

                                human-factors psychology is partly responsible for the now standard practice of putting

                                safety guards on industrial cutting equipment and for designing computer software

                                programs to make them user friendly.

                                Modern I/O Psychology

                                         When taken together, personnel psychology, organizational psychology, and

                                human-factors psychology make up the core discipline of modern I/O psychology.




                                                         -- 6 --
                              Modern I/O psychology is a very interesting, growing, and financially rewarding field.

                              I/O psychologists are currently among the highest paid psychologists, and the job market
Scientist-Practitioner: an
                              for I/O psychologists is expected to grow over the next several decades. Most modern I/O
approach to psychology
taken by most I/O
psychologists that            psychologists consider themselves Scientist-Practitioners, an approach to psychology
emphasizes their dual roles
as both creating scientific   that emphasizes the dual roles of psychologists as both creators of scientific knowledge
knowledge and using that
knowledge to solve real-      and users of that knowledge to solve real-world problems. Our discussion of I/O
world problems.
                              psychology now turns from a focus on the historical roots of the discipline to a more in-

                              depth discussion of specific and more current topics within personnel, organizational, and

                              human-factors psychology.



Box: A Real Want Ad for an I/O Psychologist
                                        Position: I/O Consultant
                                       Experience Desired: Open
                                      Degree Level Desired: MA/MS
                                         When Available: Open
Position Description:
The Consultant position is a critical role within the professional services team requiring both consulting and
industrial organizational psychology skills. Successful Consultants are able to work on multiple client
projects while coordinating with various internal departments and external clients and maintaining a high
level of customer service and quality. Successful Consultants will also be expected to have strong inter-
personal, analytical, problem-solving and report development skills, enabling them to develop and deliver
outstanding value to clients. The position is based at corporate headquarters, but will require some travel to
customer locations, expected to be no more than 30% of the time.

Responsibilities include:
• Developing and delivering quality projects, including job analyses, solutions and validation studies.
• Acting as an internal support to Sales and Professional Services team members.
• Contributing to the on-going development of intellectual property and best practices by identifying new
opportunities, collecting data and developing thought leadership content.

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will have relevant applied I-O experience and superior inter-personal and written
communication skills. You must have an ability to lead and adapt to change, to work effectively with people
from different backgrounds and cultures and have a strong customer focus. A professional and fun outlook
to achieve individual, team and company goals is a must as well as a strong drive for results!
Masters degree in I-O Psychology or closely related field is required. Strong knowledge of MS Office
applications and SPSS or similar statistical packages is also required.

                                          Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003




                                                       -- 7 --
                              Personnel Psychology

Job analysis: a detailed               What is the best way to match workers to jobs? I/O psychologists have been
description and analysis of
a job that results in a       conducting research to answer this question for some time. According to I/O
complete list of what needs
to be done, the conditions
                              psychologists, the process of matching workers to jobs should begin with a thorough job
under which the work must
be performed, and the
knowledge, skills, and        analysis. A job analysis is a detailed description and analysis of a job that results in a
abilities that an employee
needs to perform the work     complete list of what needs to be done (i.e., job-related tasks), the conditions under which
successfully.
                              the work must be performed (i.e., the work environment), and the knowledge, skills, and

                              abilities that an employee needs to perform the work successfully.

                              Job Analysis

                                       Some jobs are relatively easy to analyze. For example, Frederick Taylor was

                              interested in selecting employees to shovel coal into a furnace in a steel mill. Taylor

                              identified one job-related task; the employee was expected to repeatedly get scoops of

                              coal from the coal bin and throw them into a hot furnace. The work environment

                              consisted of extremely hot temperatures and 10-hour days. To perform the work

                              successfully, employees needed the ability to withstand the heat, at least a moderate

                              amount of physical strength, a great deal of endurance, and the willingness to work at a

                              repetitive task for several hours. Other jobs, especially complex jobs such as brain

                              surgeon and CEO, are extremely difficult to analyze. However, the goal of the job

                              analysis is the same for both simple and complex jobs: to specifically state what needs to

                              be done, the nature of the work, and the type of individual who can perform the work

                              successfully.

                                       The job analysis is useful in the process of selecting employees for several

                              reasons. First, the job analysis results can be used to write a job description. A typical job

                              description states the job title, states the nature of the work to be performed, lists the

                              most common tasks performed in the job, and provides a narrative description of the job

                              holder’s responsibilities. Job descriptions are often used when advertising available

                              positions and usually discussed with job applicants during employment interviews. A




                                                        -- 8 --
second use for the job analysis is job evaluation. Job evaluation is the process used to

determine how much money to pay each employee. Although I/O psychologists use a

variety of job evaluation methods, the general procedure consist of determining the value

of each job-related task to the organization and then adding up the value of all tasks listed

in the job description to determine the overall value of the position. A third use for the

job analysis is to develop worker specifications. The worker specification is a description

of the minimally acceptable employee who could do the job successfully. The worker

specification is used as an aid in making selection (i.e., hiring) decisions. The basic idea

is for the hiring manager to know what the job requirements are ahead of time so that it is

easier to identify those applicants who meet the requirements. In other words, it is easier

to pick the best job applicants if you know what you are looking for in advance.

Psychological Tests

         Sometimes, whether an applicant meets a job requirement is difficult to

determine based solely on things like job applications, resumes, and face-to-face job

interviews. To help make hiring decisions when applicant qualifications are difficult to

determine, psychological tests are sometimes used to assess job requirements such as

cognitive ability, work ethic, and temperament. Most college students have at least a little

experience with psychological tests. For example, the ACT and SAT are both

psychological tests that are often required for admission to college. The ACT and SAT

are both designed to assess the job requirement known as Academic Preparation for

College for the position of First-Year College Student. Just as a college admission officer

uses the SAT and ACT to select college students, I/O psychologists use psychological

tests to select job applicants.

         However, the practice of using psychological tests to make selection decisions is

not without controversy. Many individuals have argued that psychological tests are

biased against certain ethnic groups and that the use of psychological tests to make

selection decisions is discriminatory. Partly in response to these criticisms and also to

prevent the misuse of psychological tests, I/O psychologists have helped to develop legal




                          -- 9 --
                              and professional standards for the use of psychological tests. These standards specify

                              how tests can be used, how the tests should be administered, and how to avoid using tests

                              in an unfair or discriminatory manner.

                                       In fact, I/O psychologists are so concerned about the use and misuse of

                              psychological tests that many of them devote their whole careers to conducting research

                              on psychological tests. The study of the measurement properties of psychological tests,

Psychometrics: the study      also known as psychometrics (from the root words “psycho” = mental and “metric” =
of the measurement
properties of psychological   measurement), has increased in importance in recent years as more and more decisions
tests.
                              that affect the course of an individual’s life are now made on the basis of test scores. Test

                              scores in the broadest sense are used to determine the course of an individual’s education

                              and grades, to determine the course of medical treatments, to determine who gets a

                              particular job or a promotion, to determine who is guilty and not guilty, and even who

                              can borrow money from the bank.

                                       Because psychological test scores are so important in our society, I/O

                              psychologists recommend only using psychological tests that produce consistent scores.

                              A test that produces inconsistent scores is like a tape measure that is printed on an elastic

                              band. Imagine the difficulty that carpenters would face if tape measures were printed on

                              an elastic band (i.e., were unreliable). One carpenter needing a board that measures 8 foot

                              2 inches might stretch the tape tight when measuring a particular board and conclude that

                              the board is too short. Another carpenter might measure the same board with little tension

                              in the tape and conclude the board is too long. Reliability refers to the consistency of a

                              measurement. Psychological tests, like tape measures, must be reliable in order to be

                              useful and fair.

                                       Psychological tests must also have validity in order to be useful and fair.

                              Validity refers to the meaningfulness of a measurement. I/O psychologists are usually

                              most interested in a specific type of validity known as predictive validity. Predictive

                              validity addresses the issue of what a test score means for job performance. You could

                              think of predictive validity like a crystal ball. A valid test score tells me something about




                                                       -- 10 --
                               a job applicant’s future performance; those with a high score on the test are generally

                               expected to have higher job performance than those who score low on the test. The

                               situation is very similar to admission for college. The college admissions officer looks

                               into the crystal ball (SAT and ACT scores) and predicts which students will be successful

                               in college. Sometimes, the prediction is wrong on an individual basis, but the college

                               admission officer finds that he/she has a higher degree of accuracy when using the crystal

                               ball than when not using it. I/O psychologists recommend only using tests that show a

                               clear relationship with future performance on the job.

                                        A valid test must also be fair in the sense that it should give everyone the same

                               chance of passing. Imagine the controversy that would result if the SAT or ACT

                               contained items about how to use bras, lipstick, eyeliner, and high-healed shoes. Males

                               taking the test might complain that the test is invalid (i.e., unfair). Females might have an

                               advantage on the test due to their greater familiarity with these products. If a male failed

                               these test items, we could not be sure if he failed because of low academic ability or

                               because he was just unfamiliar with the products mentioned. I/O psychologists spend a

                               great deal of time making sure that employment tests are valid for many different groups.

                               The idea is to make the crystal ball (i.e., the test) as clear and unbiased as possible so that

                               I/O psychologists can more accurately predict the future performance of each job

                               applicant.

                                        Once I/O psychologists have determined that a test is both reliable and valid,
Utility analysis: a            they must often convince business leaders and other decision makers both to pay for the
procedure used by I/O
psychologists to translate
                               test and to use it during the hiring process. One problem that I/O psychologists often
the cost and benefits of
different business
alternatives such as           confront is the differences in language between psychologists and business leaders. The
whether or not to use a test
in the hiring process into     language of business is dollars and cents, profit and loss. The language of psychologists
dollars and cents.
                               consists of theories, data, and statistics. I/O Psychologists help to cross this language

                               barrier with a procedure known as utility analysis. Utility analysis consists of translating

                               the cost and benefits of different business alternatives into dollars and cents. When they

                               talk to business leaders about starting to use psychological tests when selecting




                                                        -- 11 --
employees, I/O psychologists will use utility analysis to compare how much money the

company currently makes without using the test and how much money the company

would be expected to make if a testing program were implemented. If implementing a

testing program would result in greater profit for the company, then the business leaders

have a relatively easy decision to make.

         While the number of psychological tests continues to grow, most tests that are

used by I/O psychologists fall into a relatively small number of categories. I/O

psychologists use ability tests to measure talents such as cognitive ability, physical

strength, and manual dexterity. Although abilities can be developed over time, they are

typically very stable characteristics of the individual; you cannot acquire abilities

overnight. Students are usually most familiar with achievement tests, because these are

the type of tests that are used to measure how well students have mastered the content in

a particular course or training experience. Interest inventories measure how much you

like to do a variety of tasks and then match your interests to the interest of others in a

particular field. The idea behind interest inventories is that if accountants generally like

to do crossword puzzles, plan finances, and play chess, and you share these same

interests, then you might enjoy accounting as a career. Many colleges and universities

offer their students the opportunity to take interest inventories through the advising or

student counseling office. Check with your instructor to see if this option is available to

you. A fourth type of tests that I/O psychologists frequently use is the assessment center.

Assessment centers actually consist of a large variety of ability, achievement, and interest

tests that are administered over the course of a day or several days. In addition, the

examinee often participates in a variety of activities such as group discussions, job

simulations, role playing exercises, and interviews. The I/O psychologist uses the results

of the assessment center to construct a comprehensive picture of each individual’s

strengths and weaknesses in relation to a specific job.

         One final note about psychological testing. There is a strong trend toward

computerization of tests and even making tests available over the Internet. I/O




                         -- 12 --
psychologists are still studying the implications of this trend, but it is expected to

revolutionize the psychological testing industry.

Interviews

         Many if not all organizations use face-to-face interviews as part of the selection

process. It is very rare for a person to be hired without at least a brief interview (Berry,

2003). If you have ever gone for a job interview, you know that interviews can be an

anxious and confusing ordeal. However, many job applicants are surprised to learn that

most interviewers are also anxious and confused by the interviewing process. Interviews

are a great way to gather information about job applicants, to ask for clarification about

the applicant’s qualifications, and to assess an individual’s oral communication skills.

However, a variety of problems are built into the interview process, especially if you take

the view of an I/O psychologist and consider the interview a special kind of

psychological test.

         Most people would agree that tests such as the SAT and ACT would be unfair if

bonus points were awarded on the tests for being physically attractive, belonging to a

certain ethnic group, or smiling warmly while taking the test. Most people would also

agree that there was a problem if one test administrator had a special set of questions and

passed everyone, while a second test administrator had a different set of questions and

failed everyone. Unfortunately, employment interviews (a special type of test) are subject

to exactly these same problems and biases. I/O psychologists have shown that job

applicants who are physically attractive, belong to the same ethnic group as the

interviewer, and who smile warmly during the interview have a much greater chance of

“passing” the interview test (Berry, 2003). In addition, some interviewers ask very easy

questions and recommend almost everyone for hire, but other interviewers ask very tough

questions and rarely recommend anyone for hire.

         I/O psychologists have spent a great deal of time looking for ways to improve

the employment interview. The most promising method requires that employment

interviews be structured much like an oral examination. In a structured interview, the




                         -- 13 --
interview questions are written ahead of time and focus specifically on the job

requirements. The questions are asked in the same way and in the same order for each job

interview, and job applicants score points by giving superior answers to the questions.

Research has shown that structured interviews result in less bias, are less influenced of

irrelevant factors such as physical beauty, and are much more accurate in predicting who

will be a successful employee.

         I/O psychologists have clearly shown that unstructured interviews are not very

effective. So why don’t more employers use structured interview techniques? A

combination of factors contributes to employers’ continued reliance on unstructured

interviews. Some of these factors include a lack of knowledge about the limitations of

unstructured interviews, the difficulty associated with developing structured interviews,

and the expense associated with training interviewers to use structured interviews.


Employment Law

         A discussion about the process of hiring and promoting employees would be

incomplete without mentioning the legal requirements that employers must satisfy. The

development of many employment laws can be traced back to those now famous words

written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths

to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Ever since these words became part of

the national consciousness, Americans have debated the meaning of equality. Does equal

mean that everyone should get the same rewards, regardless of their contributions? Does

equal mean that everyone should have the same opportunities, even if they have not

earned them? Should equality be extended to cover women as well as men? Should

equality be extended to cover individuals from different ethnic groups?




                        -- 14 --
Box: Getting Hired Based on a Bad Interview
         What should you do if you are asked to give an unstructured interview as part of the hiring process? One
approach is to use your knowledge about the limitations of unstructured interviews to your advantage. Listed below are
common problems with unstructured interviews and suggestions on how to use them to improve your chances of getting
hired.
         The Halo Effect is the tendency of interviewers to allow one prominent piece of information about a job
applicant to set the tone for the whole interview. Halo can be positive, such as when an unqualified applicant is given
high ratings because he/she is physically attractive, or negative such as when a qualified applicant is given low ratings
because he/she has a criminal history. Advice to the applicant: Help the interviewer choose which prominent piece of
information to focus on by emphasizing your most positive qualities first.
         The Similarity Effect is the tendency of interviewers to prefer applicants who are like themselves. Male
interviewers have a slight tendency to hire male applicants, black interviewers have a slight tendency to hire black
applicants, and Harvard graduates have a slight tendency to hire Harvard graduates. Although the tendency to prefer
applicants who are similar to the interviewer may work against some applicants, smart job applicants make the similarity
effect work for them. Any two people always have something in common. The applicant’s job is to simply notice the
similarities and carefully call them to the interviewer’s attention. Advice to applicants: Listen to the interviewer, look
around the interviewer’s office, and ask questions until you find something that you both share in common, and then
bring the similarity to the interviewer’s attention.
         The Framing Effect is the tendency of interviewers to judge a piece of information as positive or negative
depending on the context with which it is presented. For example, skydiving is an unattractive sport if you know that 10
percent of all skydivers have a fatal accident. However, skydiving is an attractive sport if 90 percent of all skydivers
never have a serious accident. The same piece of information can be presented or framed in many different ways.
Advice to applicants: Always present your faults with a positive twist. If I like to sleep until 10:30 everyday, I would tell the
interviewer that I like to work late into the night. If I have a hard time with mathematics, I would tell the interviewer that I
am a verbal thinker who would work well with someone who specializes in mathematics.
         Negative Salience is the tendency of interviewers to pay more attention to and more time probing for reasons
to disqualify the applicant than reasons to hire the applicant. In other words, people generally pay more attention to
negative information than positive information. By the time you reach the interview stage of the application process, the
interviewer has already decided if you meet the minimum qualifications necessary to perform the job. The interview is
often designed as the last step in the application process to eliminate some applicants from further consideration. It is
important to remember that what you don’t say in an interview is more important than what you do say. If the interviewer
asks you about the worst part of your last job, do not take the bait. Advice to applicants: Do not talk badly about your
former employers or co-worker. Never dwell on the negative and avoid making negative comments if at all possible.
Every word from your mouth should be a positive reflection on your qualifications and positive attitude.
         Final advice to applicant: Relax! Nervousness is contagious; try to make your interviewer feel at ease so that
he/she will feel comfortable hiring you. Good Luck!




                                                          -- 15 --
         The gist of this debate hinges on the distinction between equality of opportunity

and equality of outcomes. Equal opportunity suggests that every person should have

access to the same educational, employment, and training experiences regardless of their

station in life. Equal outcomes suggests that every person should receive the same

amount of financial and personal rewards for the same contribution to society. The tricky

part of this debate lies in the fact that if some people receive more outcomes (such as

money) then they will be in a better position to take advantage of new opportunities than

those who receive less. Likewise, people who take advantage of more opportunities (such

as education) are likely to receive a greater share of outcomes in the long run. Most of the

laws that govern employment are designed to insure equal opportunity, but a few laws

(such as the Equal Pay Act) are designed to insure equal outcomes. While this debate is

important for philosophical reasons, the outcome of this debate also has very real

consequences for all Americans.

         For most of its history, the United States has denied equal opportunity to large

numbers of its residents. African-Americans and other minority groups were prevented

from taking advantage of many educational, employment, and political opportunities

until very recent times. Historically, women have also been denied access to education

and employment opportunities. Several landmark legislative, judicial, and executive

actions in the 1960s helped to address the most glaring examples of unfairness. However,

some individuals believe that these actions did not go far enough, and the success of

women and minorities in securing a legal right to equal opportunity has led to charges of

unfairness by other groups. Groups such as older employees, disabled employees,

childless employees, homosexual employees, and white male employees have all alleged

unfairness and/or discrimination in the decades since the 1960s. Table 1 provides a list of

some of the most important laws that govern employment in the United States. Based on

the continuing debate about equal opportunity and equal outcomes, this list can be

expected to grow and change for years to come.




                        -- 16 --
Table 1: Major Laws Governing Employment Practices
Law or Statute                  Explanation
 th
5 Amendment to the              Requires due process under the law. It gives employees the right to a legal hearing in
Constitution                    some instances of dispute with employers.
      th
13 Amendment to the             Originally designed to abolish involuntary servitude and slavery, this law has been
Constitution                    interpreted to include a restriction on some forms of racial discrimination in employment.
      th
14 Amendment to the             Requires equal protection and fair treatment under the law and has been interpreted to
Constitution                    include employment.
Equal Pay Act of 1963           Requires equal pay for equal work.
                                Protects against employment discrimination by race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Equal Rights Act of 1964
                                Established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an enforcement agency.
Age Discrimination in           Protects against employment discrimination by age; it is specifically designed to protect
Employment Act of 1967          workers who are aged 40 to 65.
Immigration Reform and          Protects legal immigrants from employment discrimination and makes it against the law to
Control Act of 1986             hire illegal immigrants.
Americans with Disabilities
                                Prohibits employment discrimination against disabled individuals.
Act of 1990
                                Updates and extends earlier civil rights legislation to protect American workers employed
Civil Rights Act of 1991
                                in foreign branches of American companies from employment discrimination.
Various Judicial Orders,
Court Rulings, Executive        Establish a wide variety of additional limits and responsibilities for different industries and
Orders, Agency Policies,        employers such as affirmative action goals, employment rights, and local minimum
State Laws, and Local           wages.
Ordinances


                                Training

                                         Of course, just because a person is hired using legal means does not mean that

                                he/she can do the job. Most, if not all, jobs require that employees receive some training

                                before they will be able to perform the job successfully. I/O psychologists are intimately

Training: a structured          involved in training employees to do their jobs. Training is defined as a structured
learning process designed
to eliminate a specific         learning process that is designed to eliminate a specific deficit in job-related skills. Many
deficit in job-related skills
by providing each trainee       students have trouble distinguishing between education and training. Training is designed
the opportunity to develop
at least a minimum level of     to address a specific gap in skills and often shoots for a minimum level of competence.
skill competence.
                                Education, in contrast, aims at providing a broad background of information and often

                                shoots for mastery of an entire content domain. It may be helpful to think of education as

                                pouring the concrete foundation of a large building: you want to be sure that the



                                                           -- 17 --
                                foundation can hold the weight of the building so you build it stronger and deeper than

                                will ever be needed. If education is like a foundation, then training is a lot like crack

                                filler. Training fills up a specific deficit (i.e., a crack) and you use just enough training to

                                get the job done. At the end of the day, a lot of training programs added together would

                                look like an education, and a single element of education would look a lot like a training

                                program. Table 2 describes some of the most common training methods used by I/O

                                psychologists.


Table 2: Common Training Methods
On-the-job Training (OJT)       The trainee begins performing the job immediately under the supervision of a more
                                experienced employee or trainer.
Lectures                        Information is presented to trainees by speaking to them.
Vestibule training              A separate workstation is set up so that the trainee can practice the job without disrupting
                                the production of other workers.
Job Rotation                    The trainee learns a variety of positions through OJT over an extended period of time. Job
                                rotation is designed to give the trainee a greater appreciation for the overall process and
                                to improve the flexibility of the workgroup.
Apprentice training             The trainee works under the supervision of a more experienced and skilled worker for an
                                extended period of time. Initially, the trainee only performs routine tasks with the goal of
                                learning the ropes and making the experienced employee more productive. Over time as
                                the skill level of the trainee improves, he or she is given progressively more responsibility
                                until eventually taking on the responsibility for a new apprentice.
Programmed Instruction          The trainee works through a series of manuals, booklets, or computer programs at his/her
                                own pace by completing mastery tests at each stage of the process.
Simulators                      The real-life aspects of the job are reproduced in an artificial environment to allow the
                                trainee to practice expensive or dangerous procedures.


                                Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal:                   Once a job applicant is hired and trained to do the job, I/O psychologists become
the evaluation of an
employee’s performance of       very interested in performance appraisal. Performance appraisal is the evaluation of an
job-related tasks; it usually
involves a formal rating by
                                employee’s performance of job-related tasks; it usually involves a formal rating by the
the employee’s immediate
supervisor.
                                employee’s immediate supervisor. I/O psychologists are interested in performance

                                appraisal for a very practical reason; they want to know if they have done a good job. If

                                the I/O psychologist has diligently documented the job requirements in the job analysis,




                                                         -- 18 --
carefully used psychological tests and other measures to isolate job applicants with the

best chance of doing a good job, used a structured job interview to eliminate applicants

who do not seem to be a good fit with the company, and conducted a thorough training

program with new employees, then all of the new employees should be doing an

excellent job. Of course, sometimes bad employees still get hired, sometimes good

employees have circumstances in their personal lives that disrupt job performance, and

sometimes people intentionally do a poor job. In these circumstances, I/O psychologists

try to systematically determine the reasons for poor job performance and correct the

problems.


Organizational Psychology

         What is the best way to design, manage, and lead businesses and other

organizations? The people who search for the answer to this question using the tools of

science are organizational psychologists. Organizational psychology is the branch of

I/O psychology that is concerned with issues such as job satisfaction, motivation,

organizational climate and culture, leadership, communication, and other social processes

in organizations. While the focus of personnel psychology is how to best match people to

positions, the focus of organizational psychology is how to best direct, coordinate, and

facilitate the activities of multiple employees once they are on the job.

         You may recall from earlier in this chapter that organizational psychology grew

out of Elton Mayo’s discovery that people will work harder and more efficiently if they

are treated with respect. Mayo’s work created a debate within I/O psychology about the

best way to manage organizations. You may also recall that one side of the debate

believed in a Theory X approach to management (i.e., that employees are lazy and do not

like to work). Advocates of the Theory X approach felt that managers should be bossy,

strict, and vigilant. In contrast, advocates of a Theory Y approach to management

believed that workers enjoy the responsibility of making their own decisions. According

to Theory Y, managers should take a hands-off approach and let employees manage




                        -- 19 --
                             themselves. In reality, both approaches have good points and bad points. Theory X

                             generally makes it easier for managers to plan ahead and keep things running with

                             machine-like efficiency, but it also makes most employees unhappy. Theory Y generally

                             makes the employees happy and loyal, but it makes planning very difficult and also

                             makes it possible for employees to take advantage of the company by choosing to do

                             nothing.

                                        While the debate over Theory X and Theory Y continued, an I/O psychologist

                             from the United Kingdom asked a very interesting question: What if a manager makes

                             sure the work gets done (Theory X) and treats the employees with respect (Theory Y)?

                             This psychologist’s name was Eric Trist, and the approach to management that he

                             recommended came to be known as socio-technical systems theory. Briefly, Socio-
Socio-technical systems
theory: an approach to       technical systems theory suggests that all organizations are comprised of two things: the
management that suggests
that all organizations are   people and the work that needs to be accomplished. According to the theory, the best way
comprised of two things:
the people and the work
that needs to be             to run an organization is to find a compromise between Theory X, which emphasizes the
accomplished.
                             work, and Theory Y, which emphasizes the people. As we will see in the remainder of

                             this section on organizational psychology, Trist’s ideas helped to end the debate between

                             Theory X and Theory Y.

                             Motivation and Job Design

                                        Why do some people work hard and have high levels of motivation while others

                             do just enough to keep from getting fired? I/O psychologists have proposed a variety of

                             answers to this question, and we will briefly consider three of the most influential

                             perspectives. The first perspective is based on the idea that human beings are born with a

                             number of needs (e.g., need for food, need for water) and develop several additional

                             needs through learning and experience (e.g., need for respect, need to belong). Needs

                             theory, as this perspective is usually called, suggests that people will work hard at jobs

                             that meet their needs and slack off on jobs that fail to meet their needs.

                                        Several psychologists have developed their own theories based on the needs

                             perspective, but Abraham Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy is clearly the most influential need




                                                      -- 20 --
                     theory. Maslow proposed that all human needs fall into one of five hierarchical

                     categories: survival needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-

                     actualization needs (see Figure 2). According to Maslow, the needs at the bottom of the

                     hierarchy must be met before people become interested in satisfying the needs at the top

                     of the hierarchy. Based on this theory, employees will work hard at a job until it meets

                     their survival needs (i.e., until they earn enough money to survive). Once the employees’

                     survival needs are met, they will only work hard on a job that meets their security needs

                     (i.e., they work for job security). Once the employees’ security needs are met, they will

                     only work hard on a job that meets their social needs (i.e., they might want to talk while

                     they work). The only way, according to Maslow, to make someone work hard all of the

                     time is for the job to meet all of their needs and meet those needs in the order of the

                     hierarchy. One final word about Maslow’s theory: notice that people are only interested

                     in money when they are concerned about survival needs (Theory X), but they become

                     interested in responsibility and growth once their needs for survival and security are met

                     (Theory Y).



Figure 3. Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs




                                              -- 21 --
         The second perspective on worker motivation that we will discuss is known as

Job Characteristics Theory. Job Characteristics Theory proposes that some people do not

work hard at their jobs because the jobs themselves are tedious and boring. Just consider

the example of shoveling coal into a furnace from earlier in this chapter. Shoveling coal

is strenuous, repetitive, and boring. In addition, the person shoveling coal has to work

long days in high temperatures. In order to motivate someone to shovel coal, Job

Characteristics Theory suggests that managers alter characteristics of the work to make

them more appealing. For example, the manager could rotate responsibility for shoveling

coal among many employees; the person who shovels the coal could also be given

responsibility for ordering the coal shipments; the company could buy an inexpensive fan

to help cool the person who shovels the coal; and the people who shovel the coal could

work in pairs to keep each other company. Again, notice that the recommendations of Job

Characteristics Theory point to a compromise between the needs of the worker (Theory

Y) and the need of the company to get the work done (Theory X).

         The third perspective on worker motivation that we will briefly review is Goal

Setting Theory (Locke & Latham, 2002). The Goal Setting Theory model of motivation

proposes that simply having goals is motivating. Goals serve several motivational

purposes such as directing workers’ attention, focusing effort, encouraging persistence,

and facilitating problem solving. Of course, some goals are more motivating than others.

In general, research on goals has shown that goals that are Specific, Measurable,

Attainable, Relevant, and Time sensitive encourage the highest level of performance.

These SMART goals are even more motivating if managers and employees both

participate in the goal setting process.

Job Satisfaction and Psychological Climate

         I/O psychologists make a distinction between motivation and job satisfaction.

While motivation refers to the effort, energy, and persistence with which an employee

performs a job, job satisfaction refers to how the employee feels about his or her job.




                         -- 22 --
Clearly, if the employee really likes everything about the job then he/she has positive job

satisfaction, and if the employee absolutely hates everything about the job then he/she

has negative job satisfaction. In reality, most people have some things they like about

their jobs and some things they dislike about their jobs. Therefore, I/O psychologists

typically make a further distinction between global job satisfaction and facets of job

satisfaction. Global job satisfaction is used to refer to an overall evaluation of the job,

while facets of job satisfaction are more specific such as satisfaction with pay,

satisfaction with supervision, and satisfaction with promotion opportunities. I/O

psychologists are interested in job satisfaction because it has important implications for

the company and for the individual. For example, people who are dissatisfied with their

jobs experience higher stress and poorer health (Ivancevich, 1985), are more likely to quit

and to sabotage the company (Bolin & Heatherly, 2001), and are more likely to dislike

their next job (George, 1989).

         Furthermore, individuals who are dissatisfied with their jobs can impact other

employees. The constant complaints and unhappiness of dissatisfied employees can

create a negative psychological climate for everyone else. I/O psychologists use the term

psychological climate to refer to the shared perceptions of employees about the work

environment. In other words, psychological climate is what the employees, as a group,

think about the work environment.

         As an illustration of the relationship between job satisfaction and psychological

climate, consider the following story. Sally is dissatisfied with her job so she complains

all of the time. Sally complains to her co-worker, Steve, that the lighting in the building is

depressing. Steve never really noticed the lighting before, but now that Sally called it to

his attention, he agrees that it really is depressing. Later that day, Sally complains about

the lights to Tim, and Steve complains about the lights to Terry. Now, the company has

four dissatisfied employees with a shared perception (i.e., a psychological climate) that

the lighting in the building is depressing.

         One of the most interesting things about psychological climate is that the impact




                         -- 23 --
of these shared perceptions on employee morale and productivity can be devastating,

even if they are not true. If the employees all believe that the lighting in the building is

depressing, then they are much more likely to feel depressed. If the employees all share a

belief that the company pays unfair wages, then the employees are much more likely to

quit, even if the wages are actually higher than the industry average.

         The reason that psychological climate has such a large impact on employee

behavior lies in the fact that human beings are social animals. As a general rule, people

like to communicate and be around other people. We often socialize with others in the

workplace, and the behavior of other people makes up a large portion of most work

environments. Human beings are also active processors of information, especially social

information. In effect, we often allow ourselves to be influenced by other employees’

perceptions because these perceptions contain social information that suggests how we

should behave. If everyone at work complains about the lighting in the building, the

complaints suggest that the appropriate social response is to be unhappy with the lighting.

         Scientists who have studied other social animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas,

elephants, wolves, lions, and even chickens have noticed that one animal in each of these

groups, known as Alpha, played a dominant role. The dominant animal had special

privileges, such as the right to eat first, and special responsibilities, such as protecting the

group from predators and competitors. Of course, human groups, like groups of other

social animals, are also characterized by the emergence of a dominant individual. In

human groups, the dominant individual is called the leader.

Leadership

         What exactly is leadership? I/O psychologists have typically taken one of three

major approaches to defining leadership. The first approach, known as the behavioral

approach to leadership, focuses on what leaders do. In a series of studies that are now

known as the Ohio State Leadership Studies (Stogdill & Croons, 1957), psychologists

discovered that leaders do two very important things. Leaders make sure that things get

done. They do this by assigning tasks to other group members and supervising the work,




                         -- 24 --
a class of behaviors known as initiating structure. In addition, leaders also help to insure

good relationships between other members of the group. They do this by mediating

conflicts and enforcing group norms, a class of behaviors known as consideration. So,

according to the Ohio State Leadership Studies, leadership consists of all of the behaviors

necessary to get the group’s work done (Theory X) and to keep the group members happy

(Theory Y).

         A second major approach to leadership is known as the trait approach. The trait

approach to leadership attempts to define leadership by referring to characteristics of the

person in the leadership role. According to the trait approach, leaders should be

extraverted (i.e., have an outgoing personality), be high in the need to achieve difficult

goals and the need to exert power, be charismatic (i.e., have a magnetic personality), be

emotionally stable, be conscientious, and be optimistic. In other words, leadership is

having the personal characteristics that make it easier to initiate structure and show high

levels of consideration to other group members.

         The third major approach to leadership is known as the contingency approach.

The contingency approach to leadership defines leadership in reference to the group’s

situation. According to the contingency approach, leadership is not a specific behavior or

a personality trait. Instead, leadership is being able to anticipate and adjust the group’s

behavior to the needs of the particular circumstances. For example, if I took my family

for a canoe ride down the river on a sunny day, then I would lead by anticipating the

needs of my family group. I would be sure to provide life preservers, lunch, and planned

rest periods. If my family group began to argue (as my children normally do), I would

lead by mediating the conflict and trying to prevent further arguing (perhaps by sitting

between the children). If the canoe began to sink, I would lead by checking to make sure

life preservers were on tight, ordering the children to start bailing out the water, and

getting my wife to help paddle toward the shore. Notice that while the contingency

approach to leadership still requires the leader to initiate structure and to show

consideration to other group members, the emphasis in this approach is on the flexible




                         -- 25 --
                               adaptation of the leader to the demands of the situation.

Box: Are Leaders Born, Made, or Self-Made?
         In the animal world, the only real qualification for leadership is the ability to be more physically dominant and
aggressive than the other animals in the group. Since each individual animal’s physical size and aggressiveness are
genetically determined traits for many species, then a strong argument could be made that leaders in the animal
kingdom are just born to lead. Does that mean that some humans are also born to lead?
         A lot of anecdotal stories suggest that some leaders are born to lead. For example, Napolean rose from
obscurity to lead one of the most feared armies on Earth by the time he was in his late twenties. George Patton, Martin
Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Margaret Thatcher all seemed destined to lead from a very early age. In
addition, many anecdotal stories support the idea that leadership is learned or gained by experience. For example,
Theodore Roosevelt was a sick and weak little boy. However, through exercise and study, he built himself into a
president that most historians agree was one of the most hearty, effective, and aggressive. Leaders like Michael Jordan,
Vince Lombardi, and Winston Churchill also had frequent early failures that helped to shape the course of their lives.
         Although anecdotal stories are very interesting and persuasive, psychologists rely on research evidence to
answer questions about the origins of leadership. Research studies generally confirm the idea that leaders are both born
and made. Some people are born with natural gifts that make them more likely to assume a leadership role later in life.
Inborn characteristics such as intelligence and high energy levels are closely associated with leadership. However,
leaders must also develop social skills, tenacity, decision-making, and knowledge in order to lead effectively. In addition,
extensive research shows that even if you are not born with leadership gifts, you can develop these gifts through
education, exercise, and self-study.

                               Human-Factors Psychology

                                        How can we improve human productivity and reduce human mistakes and

                               errors? Human-factors psychology is the branch of I/O psychology that is concerned

                               with the multiple factors that influence human performance, efficiency, errors, and

                               injuries and the relationship between these factors and the design of tools, equipment, and

                               machines. In a nutshell, I/O psychologists are interested in making tools and machines

                               safer and easier to use. Anyone who has ever tried to change the radio station in a strange

                               car while driving, tried to set the time on a digital watch, or struggled with electronic

                               hotel room keys can appreciate the difficulty that can be created by poorly designed

                               machines. However, human-factors psychology is also concerned with life-and-death

                               design problems. Human-factors psychology developed during World War I to help

                               design the control panels for tanks, planes, and ships. Today, everything from sports

                               equipment to video game controllers is influenced by human-factors psychology.




                                                        -- 26 --
         While the field is quite broad, I/O psychologists who specialize in human-

factors psychology are especially interested in human-machine systems. Whenever a

human being and a machine must work together to accomplish a task, the interaction that

takes place is known as a human-machine system. Human-machine systems are common

in our modern technological society. In fact, I am part of a human-machine system right

now as I use this word processor to write this chapter.

         Additional examples of human-machine systems include ATM’s, VCR/DVD

players, cars, and lawnmowers. I/O psychologists often study human-machine systems to

discover sources of tension, injury, error, and other difficulties. Once these difficulties

are identified, I/O psychologists can test ways of improving the system.

         Over the years, I/O psychologists have isolated a number of principles that

should be used when designing human-machine systems. A well-designed human-

machine system is intuitive for the human (i.e., it makes logical sense such as an on-off

light switch), provides timely information and feedback (i.e., it lets the human know

something is wrong while the problem can still be fixed such as a low fuel warning light

on an automobile), and helps manage the user’s attention (i.e., it gets you to pay attention

only to what is important such as spell-checker that highlights questionable words).


Workplace Design

         Another area of great interest to I/O psychologists is workplace design.

Workplace injuries such as carpal-tunnel syndrome, eye-strain, and back injuries are

extremely common in the United States. I/O psychologists have discovered that many of

these problems can be reduced or eliminated by making small changes in the workplace

environment. Minor changes such as making tables and chairs adjustable, using natural

light, improving ventilation, and wearing a lift belt can save companies large sums of

money by reducing accident claims and absenteeism. Workplace design can also make

employees happier, less prone to illness, and more productive.




                         -- 27 --
Box: Control Dependency: Driving and QWERTY
         Have you ever purchased an upgrade to your favorite software and found that the new version was harder to
use than the old version? Have you ever driven someone else’s car and been unable to figure out how to turn on your
headlights or the windshield wipers? If these experiences sound at all familiar, then you have experienced control
dependency first hand.
         Control dependency refers to the tendency for people to have trouble switching from one method of controlling
a human-machine system to another. Control dependence is generally a positive development when the human-
machine system is stable, because it allows the human being to operate the machine system at a much higher rate of
efficiency and accuracy. However, once you become proficient at using a particular machine system, it is very difficult to
change, even if the change is only to a new version of the old system. The result is that once you get used to one
machine system, such as driving your car, it becomes difficult to locate the controls in a strange car. Perhaps the most
common case of control dependency is the standard computer keyboard.
         The standard keyboard is known as QWERTY, because the first row of keys begins with those letters.
QWERTY was designed in a time when people were faster than machines. Because the old typewriters were slow and
mechanical, they would jam if people typed too fast. The solution to this problems was to design a keyboard, QWERTY,
that made it virtually impossible to type fast without making a large number of errors. Once people became proficient at
using the QWERTY keyboard, they found it very difficult to switch to a more efficient design. Besides, all of the
typewriters were already built with the QWERTY keyboard and all of the typing instructors were teaching students to
type using the QWERTY keyboard. When people began to switch from typewriters to word processors, they brought
their control dependency on the QWERTY keyboard along with them. If you find it difficult to type or if you make frequent
errors while typing, then QWERTY is doing exactly what it is designed to do, which is to get you to slow down.



                               Other Branches of Applied Psychology
                                        In addition to I/O psychology, many applied psychologists specialize in using

                               psychology in exciting areas such as the legal system (forensic psychology), sports (sport

                               psychology), advertising (consumer psychology), and the military (military psychology).

                               We will now consider each of these areas in turn.

                               Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology: the                How do the police and other law enforcement officials use psychology?
branch of applied
psychology that is             Forensic psychology is the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the
concerned with the
scientific study and
                               scientific study and application of psychological principles to issues associated with the
application of psychological
principles to issues
associated with the law,       law, the legal system, criminal investigation, criminal profiling, jury decision making,
the legal system, criminal
investigation, criminal        and witness evaluation. Forensic psychology is also referred to as the psychology of law,
profiling, jury decision
making, and witness
evaluation.



                                                       -- 28 --
                              criminal psychology, police psychology, and correctional psychology. In addition to

                              performing research on the legal system and crime, forensic psychologists often serve as

                              expert witnesses at trials, aid police during criminal investigations, evaluate criminals for
Psychological jury
selection: applying the       sentencing and parole, and provide advice to lawyers about psychological jury selection.
principles of psychological
science to the task of        Psychological jury selection is the application of the principles of psychological science
selecting jury members that
are most likely to return a   to the task of selecting jury members that are most likely to return a favorable verdict. A
favorable verdict.
                              favorable verdict may be guilty or not guilty depending on whether the forensic

                              psychologist is working for the defense or for the prosecution.

                                          Many students confuse forensic psychology with forensic science and forensic

                              psychiatry. Although the fields are closely related with a great deal of overlap, they can

                              be distinguished based on the training and focus of their practitioners. Forensic

                              psychologists are trained in the principles of human behavior and focus more on the

                              behavioral and mental aspect of the legal system. Forensic scientists have extensive

                              training in chemistry and biology and focus more on the physical evidence at a crime

                              scene. Forensic psychiatrists are trained in medicine and mental disease and focus more

                              on the identification, treatment, and prevention of the criminal mind and criminal

                              insanity.

                                          Forensic psychology dates back at least to the early 1900s. William Stern

                              conducted a series of pioneering studies on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony in 1901.

                              He showed that eyewitness memories are generally inaccurate and can be influenced by

                              leading questions. Stern briefly showed people a picture of a man with empty hands.

                              Later, he asked his “witnesses” to recall if they saw the knife in the man’s hand. Most of

                              the witnesses reported that they remembered a knife even though a knife was not present

                              in the photograph. Hugo Münsterberg was another pioneer in forensic psychology. In his

                              book, On the Witness Stand that was published in 1908, Münsterberg foresaw many

                              modern techniques of criminal investigation including criminal profiling, lie detector

                              machines, and cognitive interviewing of witnesses.




                                                        -- 29 --
                                        Modern day forensic psychologists work in a variety of different settings and

                               practice in a variety of different forensic specialty areas. Forensic psychologists can be

                               found testifying in the courtroom, interviewing inmates in prisons, giving detailed

                               assessments to parolees, administering polygraph tests, teaching in the universities, and

                               gathering evidence at crime scenes. Some forensic psychologists who specialize in

                               criminal profiling work in multiple jurisdictions. Their work may require them to travel

                               to many different regions of the country. Criminal profiling involves the analysis of
Criminal profiling: a
criminal investigation
technique that involves the    crime scenes and physical evidence in an effort to infer characteristics of the perpetrator.
analysis of crime scenes
and physical evidence in       Criminal profilers try to understand the criminal’s motivation, personality, and habits and
an effort to infer
characteristics of the         use this understanding to help the police apprehend the offender. Geographic profiling is
perpetrator.
                               a recent advance in criminal profiling in which the locations in a connected series of

                               crimes are used to predict the most probable area of the perpetrator’s residence (Holmes

                               & Rossmo, 1996). Forensic psychologist will certainly continue to add to our

                               understanding of criminal psychology and the law in the future.



                               Sport Psychology
Sports psychology: the                  If you remember back to our discussion in the opening paragraphs of this
branch of applied
psychology that is             chapter, I/O psychologists are interested in helping people to be more productive and
concerned with the
scientific study and
                               efficient, to be safer and more accurate, to be happier and more satisfied, and to get a
application of psychological
principles to issues
associated with sports         higher rate of return for their efforts. Sport psychologists pursue these same goals by
management, athletic
performance, sports-           helping teams, athletes, coaches, and trainers improve performance in sports and
related safety, and
competition.                   athletics. Sports psychology is the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with

                               the scientific study and application of psychological principles to issues associated with

                               sports management, athletic performance, sports-related safety, and competition.

                               Although most students have an intuitive grasp of the meaning of the word sport, most

                               sport psychologists prefer the definition used by Wann (1997). According to Wann, a

                               sport is any activity that involves power and/or skill, competition, strategy and/or chance,

                               and that is engaged in for the enjoyment, satisfaction, and/or personal gain of the




                                                       -- 30 --
participants and spectators.

         Psychologists have been conducting research on sports performance since 1898,

but widespread interest in the systematic study of sports is a recent historical occurrence.

Coleman Roberts Griffith founded the first sport psychology research facility in 1925, but

it closed just a few years later in 1932. Between the 1930s and the early 1960s, relatively

few psychologists showed any interest in sport psychology. However, sport psychology

has grown tremendously since the 1960s, so much in fact that the American

Psychological Association recognized sport psychology as a special area of study in

1987. Today, many professional sports teams, athletic associations, and coaches hire

sport psychologists to boost performance.

         You might be wondering if it works. Does hiring a sport psychologist improve a

team’s chance of winning? The short answer to that question is, “Yes!” However, it is

important to realize that sport psychologists work on a wide variety of interesting

research projects, and many of these projects have nothing to do with winning or losing.

For example, sport psychologists are very interested in the decision to participate in

sports in the first place. They ask and answer questions such as: Who plays sports? How

do they choose which sport to play? Are there differences in athletes and non-athletes?

Are there differences in male athletes and female athletes? Sport psychologists are also

interested in how athletes learn to play sports and how they develop skill. They often try

to apply the principles of learning and cognition to sports. In addition, sport psychologists

do research on how to motivate athletes, how to help athletes avoid injury, how to help

athletes recover psychologically from injuries, how to encourage leadership and cohesion

within a team, how to limit fights and hostility between athletes, and even how to limit

fights and hostility between the fans. Finally, sport psychologists are concerned about

winning. They study ways to increase the “home-court advantage” at home and eliminate

it on the road, ways to improve athletes’ focus and teamwork under stress, ways to

improve the accuracy of judges and referees, and ways to get athletes “in the zone” and

keep them there.




                        -- 31 --
Box: I Think I Can, I Think I Can …
         As children, many of us were told the story of The Little Engine That Could. For those of us who are unfamiliar
with the story, it is sufficient to know that the moral of the story was that the Little Engine believed in his own abilities and
visualized his goal. This belief and visualization helped the Little Engine perform a very difficult task successfully.
Surprisingly, sport psychologists have confirmed that belief and visualization really can impact performance. Below are
two examples of ways that you can use belief and visualization to improve your own athletic performance (Sheikh &
Korn, 1994)
Self-Confidence
         If you believe it, you can achieve it (over the course of time). Of course, not just any old belief will do. Sport
psychologists have discovered that athletes fall into three broad categories based on belief. Over-confident athletes
believe that their abilities greatly exceed the difficulty of the task and that superior performance can be taken for granted.
Over-confident athletes are not motivated to practice and often blame mistakes on causes that are external to
themselves such as inaccurate referees or bad teammates. As a result, it takes Over-confident athletes a long time to
improve their performance. In contrast, Under-confident athletes do not like to practice because they doubt their abilities
will be sufficient to perform the task, expect poor performance, and view mistakes as a permanent reflection of their own
incompetence. As a result, Under-confident athletes might actually get worse over time. A third type of athletes are Self-
confident. Self-confident athletes believe that they possess the ability and skill to complete a task successfully. Self-
confident athletes expect good performance and view mistakes as temporary setbacks that can be used as a learning
experience. Self-confident athletes have a high level of motivation to practice because they expect practice to increase
their level of competence. As a result, Self-confident athletes are much more likely to experience rapid and sustained
improvement. The neat thing about being Over-confidence, Under-confidence, or Self-confidence is that it is a choice. By
choosing to develop a realistic picture of their current abilities and an optimistic vision of their future abilities, Self-
confident athletes can actually choose to make the most of practice.
Mental Practice
         Not all practice has to be physical though. In fact, sport psychologists have discovered that mental practice can
actually be more effective than physical practice. Mental practice is easy to learn and can be conducted anywhere and at
any time. Just begin by relaxing and focusing on your breathing. Make your breath slow, deep, and regular. Next,
carefully imagine the performance situation in detail. Mentally rehearse the tasks necessary for successful performance.
For example, if you want to improve your free throw shooting in basketball, then vividly imagine shooting a series of
successful free throws. Feel the ball in your hands. Smell the atmosphere of the basketball court. Hear the cheering fans
as you slowly bounce the ball. Feel the smooth tension in your legs as you flex and then extend your knees. Notice how
your arms relax on the follow-through. Watch the ball rotate as it travels in a gentle arc. Hear the sudden hush of the
crowd as the ball makes a gentle swish. Experience the emotional reward provided by the cheering fans and the
encouraging high-fives of your teammates. Now, re-run the scene in your imagination over and over. Always use a
positive image, being sure that you make each and every shot. The trick in having a successful mental practice is to
make the image as vivid and compelling as possible. Perhaps you could imagine the color of the ball as bright orange
instead of dull orange. Maybe instead of cheering quietly, the crowd is deafening. Can you mentally turn up the intensity
of the lights? Always include a reward and encouragement in your image. Perhaps the free throw you just made won
your team the championship. Instead of high-fives, maybe the team could carry you off the court. Remember to relax
and keep your breathing slow, deep, and regular. If this is the first time you have tried mental practice, you should be
able to notice an improvement in performance after only one 30-minute session of mental practice.



                                                           -- 32 --
                               Consumer Psychology
Consumer psychology:                    Can psychology be used to influence and manipulate how people spend their
the branch of applied
psychology that is             money? Promotional messages are part of our everyday experience. The goals of these
concerned with the
scientific study and
                               advertisements are to influence our attitudes and to change our behavior, usually to make
application of psychological
principles to issues
associated with                us buy more of a certain product. Consumer psychology is the branch of applied
advertising, marketing,
consumer behavior, and         psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application of psychological
merchandising.
                               principles to issues associated with advertising, marketing, consumer behavior, and

                               merchandising. Walter Dill Scott, an early consumer psychologist, pioneered the

                               scientific study of advertising with his 1903 book, The Theory of Advertising. Since that

                               time, consumer psychologists have accumulated a vast amount on information on the

                               science of subtle manipulation, also known as advertising. One pair of advertising

                               researchers noted that over 1,000 new scientific articles are now published on the topic of

                               advertising each year (Lindzey & Aronson, 1985). Due to the vast amount of advertising
     Walter Dill Scott
                               research, complete coverage of advertising is well beyond the scope of this chapter.

                               Instead, I will only cover a few of the interesting highlights.

                                        Advertisers use the principles of psychology in a variety of interesting ways to

                               influence consumer behavior. For example, advertisers have discovered that social

                               embarrassment is a very effective motivational strategy. Advertisers market products

                               such as toothpaste, tooth whitener, acne wash, deodorant, and even beer by creating

                               paranoia in customers about bad breath, yellow teeth, blemishes, body odor, and even

                               bitter-beer face. Advertisers have also explored the usefulness of subliminal persuasion

                               (Brean, 1958). Although the findings on subliminal persuasion are somewhat

                               inconclusive, most researchers agree that subliminal persuasion has a very weak effect on

                               attitudes and behavior. As a result, most advertisers opt for more direct forms of

                               advertising simply because it is much more effective than subliminal persuasion. In more

                               recent times, advertising researchers have explored the effectiveness of placing ads in

                               new places (e.g., shopping carts, public restrooms, and the bare skin of professional




                                                        -- 33 --
                               boxers). Another recent trend in advertising is the use of coordinated saturation

                               campaigns. In a saturation campaign, advertisements for products such as movies, fast

                               food, soft drinks, and cars are linked together with common themes and characters.

                               Advertisements are then distributed to the public using radio, television, print, and in-

                               store ads. Disney, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola have mastered the saturation campaign,

                               using it with great success to simultaneously market hamburgers, animated movies, and

                               soft drinks to young children.

                               Military Applications of Psychology
Military psychology: the                Can psychology be used as a weapon? Military psychology is the branch of
branch of applied
psychology that is             applied psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application of
concerned with the
scientific study and
                               psychological principles to issues associated with military performance, leadership, and
application of psychological
principles to issues
associated with military       morale. Military psychology grew out of the work of a group of early psychologists
performance, leadership,
and morale.                    headed by Robert M. Yerkes. Yerkes helped to develop the Army Alpha and Beta

                               examination to aid in the placement of millions of new soldiers into appropriate military

                               jobs at the start of WWI. The field has grown since that time and now covers topics as

                               diverse as assimilating new recruits into the military, training for military occupations,

                               maintaining troop morale, selecting leaders, improving military intelligence, conducting

                               psychological warfare operations, eliminating sexual harassment, and engineering

                               weapons control systems.

                                        Military psychology is a very exciting and growing field. For example, did you

                               known that military psychologists have developed methods of training animals to assist

                               in combat operations? During the war with Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military used specially

                               trained dolphins and seals to help mark floating mines. Military psychologists also help

                               train dogs to sniff out explosives and other hazards. The psychologist B.F. Skinner

                               (1960) even experimented with pigeon-guided missiles in WWII. Military psychologists

                               have also studied the effects of captivity on prisoners of war, interrogation techniques,

                               and even brain-washing (Watson, 1980). Today, the United States military maintains a




                                                        -- 34 --
special psychological operations division that is charged with designing and executing

psychological warfare campaigns.



Training for a Career in Applied Psychology
         How does someone become an applied psychologist? The skills needed by an

applied psychologist vary greatly depending on their area of expertise and the role they

will play. I/O psychologists generally work with businesses and therefore need at least a

little background in business and quantitative methods. I/O psychologists who specialize

in human-factors psychology also require additional training in areas such as equipment

design, sensation and perception, and research methodology. Forensic psychologists

generally work with the legal system and normally receive some training in law and

criminal justice. Sport psychologists usually devote a portion of their time to the study of

exercise science, and consumer psychologists need to develop at least a rudimentary

understanding of the principles of marketing. In addition, military psychologists typically

seek out some exposure to the military either through ROTC, enlistment in the armed

services, or employment as a civilian for a military organization.

         While all of these careers in applied psychology require specialized training, a

few general statements can be made about the necessary qualifications for a career in

applied psychology. First, most applied psychologists have an advanced degree, either a

master’s or a doctorate, in their specialized field. Second, most applied psychologists

have some training in a closely related field. If you are planning a career in I/O

psychology, perhaps you should minor in business as an undergraduate. For a career in

forensic psychology, you might consider a double major in psychology and pre-law.

Third, all applied psychologists develop a thorough understanding of the principles and

theories of psychological science. If you are an undergraduate considering a career in

applied psychology, you should take lots of psychology courses, seek out opportunities to

get involved with your psychology department, and seek out opportunities to get

experience in your field.




                        -- 35 --
                          For Further Exploration on the Web
                     Organization                                             Web Address
Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology         http://www.siop.org
Introduction to Military Psychology                      http://www.apa.org/about/division/div19intro.html

U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and      www-ari.army.mil
Social Sciences
U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program                          http://www.spawar.navy.mil/

The Ultimate Forensic Psychology Database                http://flash.lakeheadu.ca/~pals/forensics/
The American Board of Forensic Psychology                http://www.abfp.com/
Society for Consumer Psychology                          http://fisher.osu.edu/marketing/scp/

The Psychology of Consumers                              http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/

APA Exercise and Sport Psychology                        http://www.psyc.unt.edu/apadiv47/

Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport         http://www.aaasponline.org/index2.html
Psychology




                                                      -- 36 --
                                                References
Berry, L. M. (2003). Employee Selection. Belmont: CA, Wadsworth.
Bolin, A. & Heatherly, L. (2001). Predictors of employee deviance: The relationship between bad attitudes and bad
        behavior. Journal of Business and Psychology, 15(3), 405-418.
Brean, H. (1958). What hidden sell is all about. Life, 31 March, 104-114.
Driskell, J.E., & Olmstead, B. (1989). Psychology and the military: Research applications and trends. American
        Psychologist, 44, 43-54.
Freud, S. (1962). Civilization and its discontents: Newly translated from the German and edited by James Strachey.
        New York: Norton.
George, J. (1989). Mood and absence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 317-324.
Holmes, R. & Rossmo, D.K. (1996). Geography, Profiling, and Predatory Criminals. In R. Holmes & S. Holmes
        (Eds.). Profiling violent crimes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ivancevich, J.M. (1985). Predicting absenteeism from prior absence and work attitudes. Academy of Management
        Journal, 28, 219-228.
James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt.
Lindzey, G. & Aronson, E. (1985). Handbook of social psychology (3rd Ed.), vol. 2. New York: Random House.
Locke, E. & Latham, G. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year
        odyssey. American Psychologist, 57, 705-717.
Münsterberg, H. (1913). Psychology and industrial efficiency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Scott, W. D. (1903). The theory of advertising. Boston: Small, Maynard.
Sheikh, A.A. & Korn, E. R. (Eds.). (1994). Imagery in sports and physical performance. Amityville, NY: Baywood.
Stogdill, R.M. & Coons, A.E. (Eds.). (1957). Leader behavior: Its description and measurement. Columbus, OH:
        Bureau of Business Research, Ohio State University.
Skinner, B.F. (1960). Pigeons in a pelican. American Psychologist, 15, 28-37.
Taylor, F. W. (1911). The principles of scientific management. New York: Harper.
Wann, D. L. (1997). Sport psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Watson, P. (1980). War on the mind: The military uses and abuses of psychology. London: Penguin.




                                                      -- 37 --
                                                 Vocabulary
Applied Psychology: the branch of psychology that is concerned with using the principles of psychological science
         to solve real-life problems; it consists of industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, sport
         psychology, military psychology, and consumer psychology.
Consumer Psychology: the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application
         of psychological principles to issues associated with advertising, marketing, consumer behavior, and
         merchandising.
Criminal profiling: a criminal investigation technique that involves the analysis of crime scenes and physical
         evidence in an effort to infer characteristics of the perpetrator.
Forensic Psychology: the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application
         of psychological principles to issues associated with the law, the legal system, criminal investigation and
         profiling, jury decision making, and witness evaluation.
Human-Factors Psychology: The branch of industrial/organizational psychology that is concerned with the
         multiple factors that influence human performance, efficiency, errors, and injuries and the relationship
         between these factors and the design of tools, equipment, and machines.
Industrial/Organizational Psychology: The branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the application of
         psychological methods and research findings to the world of work and human performance.
Job Analysis: a detailed description and analysis of a job that results in a complete list of what needs to be done
         (i.e., job-related tasks), the conditions under which the work must be performed (i.e., the work
         environment), and the knowledge, skills, and abilities that an employee needs to perform the work
         successfully.
Military psychology: the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application
         of psychological principles to issues associated with military performance, leadership, and morale.
Organizational Psychology: The branch of industrial/organizational psychology that is concerned with job
         satisfaction, motivation, organizational climate and culture, leadership, communication, and other social
         processes in organizations.
Performance Appraisal: the evaluation of an employee’s performance of job-related tasks; it usually involves a
         formal rating by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
Personnel Psychology: The branch of industrial/organizational psychology that is concerned with employee testing,
         selection, placement, retention, performance, and training.
Psychological jury selection: applying the principles of psychological science to the task of selecting a jury that is
         most likely to return a favorable verdict.
Psychometrics: the study of the measurement properties of psychological tests.
Scientist-Practitioner: an approach to psychology taken by most I/O psychologists that emphasizes their dual roles
         as both creating scientific knowledge and using that knowledge to solve real world problems.
Socio-technical systems theory: an approach to management that suggests that all organizations are comprised of
         two things: the people and the work that needs to be accomplished. According to the theory, the best way
         to run an organization is to find a compromise between Theory X, which emphasizes the work, and Theory
         Y, which emphasizes the people.
Sports psychology: the branch of applied psychology that is concerned with the scientific study and application of
         psychological principles to issues associated with sports management, athletic performance, sports-related
         safety, and competition.
Theory X: an approach to management (also known as scientific management) that is based on the assumptions that
         employees are lazy, do not like to work, and are only motivated by financial rewards. Theory X uses time-
         and-motion studies, task analysis, job specialization, assembly lines, pay schedules, and the like to increase
         productivity.
Theory Y: an approach to management that is based on the assumptions that workers enjoy autonomy, are willing
         to accept responsibility, and that people are not naturally passive or lazy.
Training: a structured learning process designed to eliminate a specific deficit in job-related skills by providing
         each trainee the opportunity to develop at least a minimum level of skill competence.
Utility Analysis: a procedure used by I/O psychologists to translate the cost and benefits of business alternatives
         into dollars and cents.




                                                       -- 38 --
                 About the Author

                 Aaron U. Bolin earned his doctorate in Social and Industrial/Organizational Psychology

                 in 2002 from Northern Illinois University. He currently teaches in the Department of

                 Psychology and Counseling at Arkansas State University where he is involved in a

                 variety of student research projects and also serves as a faculty advisor to the local

Aaron U. Bolin   chapter of Psi Chi. Dr. Bolin’s personal research interests include employee theft and

                 deviance, employee selection and testing, survey research, and personality. Outside of

                 work, Dr. Bolin enjoys reading and spending time with his family. Dr. Bolin wishes to

                 acknowledge the insightful comments and constructive criticisms of several anonymous

                 reviewers. Many of the reviewer comments were used to improve the text of this chapter.




                                          -- 39 --

				
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