What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

Through industrial-organizational psychology, organizational operations can be improved with psychological insight. Beyond the hard skills of individuals in the workforce, there are many psychological factors at play that affect the efficacy of the entire team.

A solid base of understanding in the ways that certain factors in the workforce and economy can affect workers’ psychology can bring a business up to the next level of success; on the other hand, failure to understand how certain triggers in the environment can negatively impact workers’ psychology can be exceedingly detrimental.

It does not take a master’s to have a suitable level of understanding about how industrial results can be heavily impacted by psychological principles. The following factors are some of the most important aspects of industrial-organizational psychology to keep in mind.

Defining I-O Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychology is occasionally referred to as I-O psychology. In the most basic sense, the concept is aimed at determining just what the most effective practices are for improving workforce productivity through positive psychological influence. In addition to optimizing productivity, I-O psychology can be a valuable point of perspective for managers to understand certain trends in the workforce affecting overall performance.

I-O psychology not only refers to the mental well-being of employees, but also concerns certain factors regarding their physical well-being as well. Because so many factors of psychology and emotional status are somatically affected, understanding both the physical and mental aspects of the human psyche is an integral aspect of I-O psychological analysis.

I-O Psychologist Examinations

In order to have the best chance at gaining accurate insights into the most valuable I-O psychological factors in the workplace, certain organizations may employ a professional who is specifically credentialed as an I-O psychologist. The I-O psychologist will conduct a variety of task in order to develop the most accurate and thorough picture of the collective psychological impetus affecting the workforce as a whole.

In order to draw their conclusions, an I-O psychologist will often observe both the attitude and behavior of employees in the company in order to observe any common patterns. While cross-referencing the collective performance of the company with any behavioral patterns that the I-O psychologist observes, the results will be cross-referenced with observations made in other companies in order to determine their validity.

Once an I-O psychologist has managed to determine certain conclusions about the state of an organization based on their observations, the next phase of the process tends to be planning a series of interventions. Because the clearest window of insight into employee behavior will oftentimes be best drawn by refraining from having them become aware of the direct observation of their behavior, the most success-conducive training will oftentimes have to be employed in a subtle manner.

The Objective Industrial And Subjective Emotional Columns

True to its name, the term “I-O psychology” can be divided into two primary columns. The strictly industrial column of I-O psychology is primarily aimed at optimizing worker efficacy by assigning them the tasks that are most compatible with their nature. Once an affinity between an individual’s nature and certain tasks has been drawn, I-O initiatives may involve a series of training programs and goal setting procedures in order to incentivize development in the most productive direction.

Aside from the strictly industrial column of I-O psychology, there is also the column that is fundamentally based in emotion and subjectivity. Though different individuals may not interpret or be affected by the same events identically due to their personalities, being aware of these differences is an indispensable aspect of being able to correctly analyze the most psychologically impactful trends in the workplace.

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