Industrial/Organizational, Human Factors, and Engineering Psychology

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Industrial/Organizational, Human Factors, and Engineering Psychology

Industrial Organizational Psychology title.jpgPsi2.jpg

What is Industrial Organizational Psychology?

Industrial Organizational Psychology also know as I/O - Is the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in work environment.

Subfields of Industrial Organizational Psychology:

• Engineering Psychology - sometimes grouped with the study of human factors or ergonomics. Engineering psychologists research how to design products, technology, systems, and environments that are accessible to a wide range of users. They often work in health care, technology, industrial settings such as energy and transportation, and consumer product design

• Personnel Psychology - Methods and principles to selecting and evaluating potential employees.

• Organizational Psychology- Evaluates what motivates employees to have a successful, productive, satisfying work environment.

Personnel Psychologist:

1. Identify the need of the employer

2. Decide the method in choosing the employees

3. Recruit and interview candidates

4. Train new employees

5. Evaluate their performance

Personnel Psychologist also administer aptitude test , work samples, and past job performance.

Organizational Psychology:

Developing Organization

 Analyzing organization structures

 Maximizing worker satisfaction and productivity

 Facilitating organizational change

Enhancing quality of work life:

 Expanding individual productivity

 Identifying elements of satisfaction

 Redesigning jobs

Human Factors (Engineering) Psychology

 Designing optimum work environments

 Optimizing person-machine interactions

 Developing systems technologies


== BASIC SKILLS (,2009) ==

The following list the basic skills that are important for a career in industrial organizational psychology

 • Reading comprehension: How well you understand written sentences and paragraphs
 • Active listening: How well you listen and understand what people are saying
 • Writing: How well you communicate with others in writing
 • Speaking: How well you can talk to others to tell them information
 • Mathematics: How well you use numbers to solve problems
 • Science: How well you use science to solve problems
 • Critical thinking: How well you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches 
 • Active learning: How well you find ways to understand new information
 • Learning strategies: How well you use different ways to teach or learn things
 • Monitoring: How well you determine how well something is being done or learned


A bachelor’s degree in psychology is sufficient training for a position within human resources. However, to secure a significantly larger salary, more independence, and opportunities in management, one should earn a master’s or doctoral degree (All Psychology Careers, 2008).

In the U.S. you must have a graduate degree in the field (master's or Ph.D.) to be an I/O psychologist. To be a professor generally requires the Ph.D., but for applied work an MA is often sufficient. However, salaries and career opportunities are far better with the Ph.D., and most American I/O psychologists have this degree (Spector, 2010).

As opposed to most other fields of psychology, a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology will open many career doors. In addition, a Ph.D. will allow you to demand higher pay for your expertise. This being said, many individuals who end up earning their PhD first earn their Master's degree and spend some time in the workforce developing an understanding of real life business scenarios and how their expertise can turn a struggling company into one that is flush with profit (All Psychology Careers, 2008).


 Southeast United States  
 • Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) M.A.
 • Auburn University (Auburn, AL) Ph.D.
 • Carlos Albizu University – Miami (Miami, FL) M.S.
 • Clemson University (Clemson, SC) M.S., Ph.D.
 • Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL) M.S., Ph.D.
 • Florida International University (Miami, FL) Ph.D.
 • George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) M.A., Ph.D.
 • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) Ph.D.
 • North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) M.S., Ph.D.
 • Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) Ph.D.
 • Radford University (Radford, VA) M.A., M.S.
 • University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) Ph.D.
 • University of Georgia (Athens, GA) M.S., Ph.D.
 • University of North Carolina Charlotte (Charlotte, NC) M.A.
 • University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) Ph.D.
 • University of West Florida (Pensacola, FL) M.A.
 • Valdosta State University (Valdosta, GA) M.S.
 • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) Ph.D.

Career Info

== What Do Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Do? ==

Industrial/organizational psychologists apply psychological principles and research methods to the work place in the interest of improving productivity and the quality of work life. There are many different jobs/settings in which we find I/O psychologists, giving wide latitude to pursue interesting work. Many serve as human resources specialists, helping organizations with staffing, training, consulting and employee development. Others work as management consultants in such areas as strategic planning, quality management, and coping with organizational change. Some are professors who conduct research and teach.

The majority work for private companies and consulting firms that are hired by private companies. In the U.S. the most common tasks done in these applied settings include development of tests and systems to select new employees (decide who to hire), designing training programs for employees, designing systems to assess employee job performance, analyzing the tasks involved in jobs and the attributes people need to do them, and conducting surveys of employee attitudes about their jobs. I/O psychologists often get involved in issues of civil rights for minorities and the disabled, as they devise methods to combat discrimination in hiring. There are many other settings and tasks, however, and you can find I/O psychologists working for government at all levels, as well as the military (Spector, 2010).

== Job Outlook ==

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook states that: Industrial-organizational psychologists will be in demand to help to boost worker productivity and retention rates in a wide range of businesses. I-O psychologists will help companies deal with issues such as workplace diversity and anti-discrimination policies. Companies also will use psychologists' expertise in survey design, analysis and research to develop tools for marketing evaluation and statistical analysis.

Top paying industries for this occupation: Industry pay.jpg

Top paying states for this occupation: State pay.jpg

== Jobs available in the Southeast ==

 Job Title:  Research Psychologist  
Location:  Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL 
 == Responsibilities  ==  
1. Provides research and technical expertise for the Spatial Disorientation/Spatial Awareness research programs at NAMRL by conducting
research and development to improve existing SD/SA scientific knowledge, and enhance the health, safety, and operational readiness of 
military personnel. 
2. Executes the data collection phase of clinical drug trials and analyze subject data post-trial.  The contractor shall complete all
FDA required reports for clinical drug trials. 
3. Develops and executes protocols for motion and vestibular effects, acceleration, and human factors and collect and analyze subject
data from these protocols. 
4. Writes technical reports containing the findings of all data analyses meeting the standards for publication. 
5. Conceives design, and executes basic and applied research
6. Provides scientific and technological guidance on laboratory research programs which address spatial disorientation/awareness, motion
and vestibular effects, acceleration, and multisensory integration. 
7. Performs statistical analysis and develop and review technical reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and conference presentations,
and other research documents.  Present scientific briefings and presentations. 
 == Minimum Education/Training Requirements: == 
Ph.D. Degree in cognitive, industrial/organizational, and/or testing and   measurement areas
of psychology or related fields. 
 = Minimum Experience: == 
4 to 6 years in conducting original research including design and implementation of protocols with human subjects,
database design, data analysis, and report production. 
 = Physical Capabilities: == 
Walking, standing, and sitting; Adjust medical equipment and assist in transporting patients 
 == Work Environment: == 
Well-lighted and heated office, may be required from time-to-time to work in open Emergency Room setting
 Job Title:  Performance Management & Assessment Sr. Consultant
Location:  Duluth, GA 
 == Responsibilities  ==  
1. Works closely with Talent Acquisition Leaders to develop, manage and implement assessment processes or programs
2. Develops executive assessment strategy and process for executive selection
3.Manages multiple projects with internal customers regarding assessments and data analyses
4. Develops valid and reliable assessment and selection tools for use within the business
5. Conducts validation studies and adverse impact analyses and writes validation and other technical reports to document development and
implementation of assessment processes
6. Partners with HR and business leadership to understand issues and constraints related to performance within the business and develops
processes and programs to address them.
7. Conducts adverse impact analyses for selection and performance management processes.
 == Minimum Education/Training Requirements: == 
Doctoral degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Organizational Development
or related field
 = Minimum Experience: == 
Five or more years experience designing and implementing selection and assessment tools; 
Five or more years experience in developing and implementing performance management strategies and tools.
 Job Title:  Project Director 
Location: Lutz, Florida 
 == Responsibilities: == 
Evaluate potential candidates for employment for specific job titles through the use of clinical interviewing and the administration
and interpretation of standard group and individual tests of personality development and intellectual capacity.
 == Minimum Education: ==  
Bachelors degree in Psychology minimum. Masters degree preferred
 == Experience: ==  
Minimum of 5 years in field entry level, experience in management/director level preferred.  Experience administering, analyzing and 
interpreting psychological assessments.
 Job Title:   Psychologist
Location: Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia 
 == Responsibilities  ==   
Evaluate potential candidates for employment for specific job titles through the use of clinical interviewing and the administration
and interpretation of standard group and individual tests of personality development and intellectual capacity. Also provide trauma  
debriefing, counseling and evaluation of members of the service following major incidences or during times of personal crisis; and 
evaluate investigative personnel for psychological fitness for specialized assignments.   
 == Minimum Education/Training Requirements: == 
1. Completion of two years of graduate work, consisting of at least 60 graduate semester credits in psychology, in an accredited 
graduate program leading to a doctoral degree in clinical, counseling, school, forensic, clinical health, or neuropsychology; plus
two years of satisfactory full time experience, gained after admission to the accredited graduate program, in one of these areas,
under the supervision of a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, in a hospital, penal institution, social agency, clinic, court,
school or other agency or institution; or
2. A doctorate in clinical, counseling, school, forensic, clinical health, or neuropsychology; or
3. Completion of a re-specialization in clinical psychology from an accredited program plus one year of satisfactory full time
experience as described in “1” above.
In addition to meeting the requirements listed above: Completion of the equivalent of three semester credits from an accredited graduate  
school in each of the following: Personality testing, Individual intelligence testing, Psychopathology or abnormal psychology; and 
Psychological and/or behavioral intervention 
 == Minimum Experience: ==  
240 hours of experience, under the supervision of a qualified psychologist, in each of the following: Personality testing, Individual
intelligence testing; and Psychological and/or behavioral intervention. Experience in psychological and/or behavioral intervention may have
been under the supervision of a qualified psychiatrist.  Completion of an American Psychological Association (APA) approved doctoral program
in professional psychology is evidence of meeting the course requirements listed in”1” above.  Completion of an APA approved internship in
professional psychology is evidence of meeting all supervised experience requirements, including the one year full time experience listed
 == Job Title: ==  Human Resources Director
Location: Pinellas county Florida 
 == Responsibilities: ==  
Guide and manage the overall provision of Human Resources services, policies, and programs for the entire company. The major areas
directed are:
• recruiting and staffing;
• performance management and improvement systems;
• organization development;
• employment and compliance to regulatory concerns;
• employee orientation, development, training, relations, services, counseling, safety, welfare, wellness and health;
• policy development and documentation;
• company-wide committee facilitation;
• company employee and community communication;
• compensation and benefits administration;
 == Minimum Education/Training: ==  
Bachelor degree in Human Resource Management or in Psychology.  
 == Experience: ==   
Minimum of 5 years supervisory experience in HR.  Knowledge in compensation, local labor laws, benefits.


== Industrial-Organizational Psychology (Industrial Organizational Psychology, 2009) == "Faculty research in I/O Psychology spans a wide range of topics driven by both science and practical organizational questions. Current broad topics include personnel selection, skill acquisition and training, personality determinants of job behavior and performance, affect and mood effects on decision making, job loss and search outcomes, workforce aging and diversity, leadership, cognitive fatigue, teamwork, work motivation, the determinants of career choice, determinants of cross-cultural effectiveness, and the effects of work design on performance."

1) Studying and Multitasking: Pilot studies to understand how students multitask (i.e., work on two or more tasks at a time) with audio, video, computer, etc. sources while also studying. Data analysis is currently under way, as are plans for follow-up investigations.

2)Work and Aging: The aging of the workforce in both the U.S. and most developed countries, has important ramifications for workers, organizations, and societies. Over the past few years we have focused on scientific and professional activities that aim to better understand and manage the ramifications of an aging workforce. Our current program of research, supported by the Society for Human Resource Management, examines the motivational and situational determinants of retirement attitudes and intentions. In addition, we have partnered with European researchers to investigate the influence of aging diversity on individual well-being and team-level outcomes. Other ongoing and planned projects in this area focus on the development and validation of “Third Age” selection procedures, identifying employee traits and management/work conditions that promote intergenerational knowledge transfer, and age-related differences in motivational traits and work motivation processes and outcomes.

== Engineering Psychology (Engineering Psychology, 2009) ==

1) Cognitive Ergonomics Lab: investigates the relationship between man operators and the technology they use in dynamic environments like air traffic control, healthcare, and driving. We are focusing on how people use strategies to manage these environments to keep performance high and workload low, especially when coordinating with smart technologies.

2) Human Engineering Lab: examines Human Perception through many mediums including the driving environment; working to prevent accidents

3) Human Factors and Aging Lab: oriented toward developing a fundamental understanding of aging, cognition, and attention; aim to improve quality of life for adults of all ages

Peer Reviewed Articles, Magazine Articles, and Scholarly Journals

== Peer Reviewed Journal Articles ==

Brutus, S., Gill, H., & Duniewicz, K. (2010).  State of science in industrial and organizational psychology: A review of 
        self-reported limitations.  Personnel Psychology, 63(4), 907-936.  doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2010.01192.x

This study investigated self-reported limitations of published papers as an alternative and novel operationalization of the
state of science of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. A content analysis was conducted of the reported limitations
in every I-O psychology articles published in the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel
Psychology between 1995 and 2008 (N = 2,402).  Articles were coded for the number and types of limitations reported, characteristics
of the research design, and topic area.  Threats to internal validity were the most often reported limitations. In addition, variations
were detected in the reporting of limitations over time, indicating a subtle but steady shift in the focus of I-O psychology research.
Implications of these results for the science and practice of I-O psychology and for the use of self-reported limitations in scientific
communication are discussed.
Katsakiori, P., Kavvathas, A., Athanassiou, G., Goutsos, S., & Manatakis, E. (2010).  Workplace and organizational accident causation
     factors in the manufacturing industry.  Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, 20(1), 2-9.  Retrieved
     from EBSCOhost.

Labor inspectors investigate accidents to identify possible accident causes, initiate prosecution, and plan future accident prevention. 
The  Method of Investigation for Labor Inspectors (MILI) was designed to help them to identify workplace and organizational factors in
addition to immediate factors and legal breaches.  The present study analyzes the impact of workplace (work design and provision of unsafe
equipment) and organizational factors (training and employee involvement) on accident causation and validates MILI on real accident cases.
Accident data from the manufacturing sector are analyzed with LISREL structural equation modeling.  Results confirm the relationship between
work design and training as well as between provision of unsafe equipment and employee involvement.  The present study provides evidence
that MILI is a structured accident investigation method allowing multiple accident causation factors to be revealed and that it could help
all interested parts (not only labor inspectors, but companies as well) to thoroughly investigate occupational accidents.

== Magazine Articles ==

Industrial Organizational Psychology:

This article discusses how to improve employee morale, which is a key area as an industrial organizational psychologist.

Baldoni, J. (2010, June 25). Managing Employee Satisfaction in the Workplace. Business Week. Retrieved March 07, 2011, from

Engineering Psychology (Human Factors):

This article gives tips on how to setup your workstation for both mind and body which is covered by engineering psychology.

Reynolds, G. (2010, April). Tension-Relieving Arrangements For Your Workspace. O Magazine. Retrieved March 07, 2011, from

== Scholarly Journals (Wegenek & Buskist, 2010) ==

  • Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice
  • Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal
  • Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
  • Journal of Economic Psychology
  • Journal of Organizational Behavior
  • Journal of Vocational Behavior
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
  • Organizational Research Methods
  • Personnel Psychology
  • Small Group Research


SIOPlogo.jpgSociety of Industrial Organizational Psychology

Apalogo.jpgAmerican Psychological Association

Bls logo.jpgU.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics


All Psychology Careers. (2008-2011). The Industrial and Organizational Psychology Industry... Retrieved February 15, 2011, from

Engineering Psychology. (2009). Retrieved March 05, 2011, from GA Tech School of Psychology:

GAcollege411. (2009). Career Planning (Industrial Organizational Psychology). Retrieved February 15, 2011, from

Industrial Organizational Psychology. (2009). Retrieved March 05, 2011, from GA Tech School of Psychology:

Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. (2009). View Graduate Training Programs. Retrieved February 15, 2011, from

Spector, P.E. (2010, October 10). Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved February 27, 2011, from

Wegenek, A. R., & Buskist, W. (2010). The Insider’s Guide to the Psychology Major. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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