Example Career: Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
Apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee testing and selection, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to organize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
What Job Titles Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Might Have
- Industrial Psychologist
- Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (I/O Psychologist)
- Organizational Psychologist
What Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Do
- Formulate and implement training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences.
- Conduct research studies of physical work environments, organizational structures, communication systems, group interactions, morale, and motivation to assess organizational functioning.
- Conduct presentations on research findings for clients and at research meetings.
- Provide expert testimony in employment lawsuits.
- Study consumers' reactions to new products and package designs, and to advertising efforts, using surveys and tests.
- Review research literature to remain current on psychological science issues.
- Develop interview techniques, rating scales, and psychological tests used to assess skills, abilities, and interests for the purpose of employee selection, placement, and promotion.
- Conduct individual assessments, including interpreting measures and providing feedback for selection, placement, and promotion.
- Write articles, white papers, and reports to share research findings and educate others.
- Develop new business by contacting potential clients, making sales presentations, and writing proposals.
- Develop and implement employee selection and placement programs.
- Identify training and development needs.
- Train clients to administer human resources functions including testing, selection, and performance management.
- Facilitate organizational development and change.
- Analyze job requirements and content to establish criteria for classification, selection, training, and other related personnel functions.
- Assess employee performance.
- Observe and interview workers to obtain information about the physical, mental, and educational requirements of jobs as well as information about aspects such as job satisfaction.
- Coach senior executives and managers on leadership and performance.
- Study organizational effectiveness, productivity, and efficiency, including the nature of workplace supervision and leadership.
- Write reports on research findings and implications to contribute to general knowledge and to suggest potential changes in organizational functioning.
- Participate in mediation and dispute resolution.
- Provide advice on best practices and implementation for selection.
- Counsel workers about job and career-related issues.
- Advise management concerning personnel, managerial, and marketing policies and practices and their potential effects on organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
What Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
What Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
What Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Need to Learn
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.