What Is Industrial Organizational Psychology

Industrial organizational psychology is the branch of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to organizations. Often referred to as I-O psychology, this field focuses on increasing workplace productivity and related issues such as the physical and mental well being of employees. Industrial organizational psychologists perform a wide variety of tasks, including studying worker attitudes and behavior, evaluating companies, and conducting leadership training.

The overall goal of this field is to study and understand human behavior in the workplace.

The Two Sides of I-O Psychology

You can think of industrial organizational psychology as having two major sides. First, their is the industrial side, which involves looking at how to best match individuals to specific job roles. This segment of I-O psychology is also sometimes referred to as personnel psychology.

People who work in this area might assess employee characteristics and then match these individuals to jobs in which they are likely to perform well. Other functions that fall on the industrial side of I-O psychology include training employees, developing job performance standards, and measuring job performance.

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