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.

You can think of industrial organizational psychology as having two major sides. First, there 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.While industrial organizational psychology is an applied field, basic theoretical research is also essential. With roots in experimental psychology, I/O psychology has a number of different sub-areas such as human-computer interaction, personnel psychology, and human factors.

Students who are interested in applying psychological principles to real-world setting should consider industrial organizational psychology. If you have a strong interest in psychology as well as related subjects such as product design, computers, statistics and engineering, this may be the ideal field for you.

Typical salaries for I-O psychologists vary considerably depending upon such factors as the type of degree held and type of employer. According to the Society for Industrial (SIOP) and Organizational Psychology:

  • Starting salary for Master’s graduate – $38,750
  • Starting salary for Ph.D graduate – $55,000
  • Median salary – $80,000
  • University professors – $70,000
  • Private sector – $100,000
  • Highest earners – Top 5% of SIOP members earn from $250,000 to several million each year.

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.”

There are a number of university programs that offer bachelor’s degrees in industrial-organizational psychology. People with a bachelor’s degree typically work in human resources, although there are some opportunities in other areas. Those looking for greater job opportunities and higher pay may want to consider continuing their education at the master’s level.

There are many opportunities for job candidates with master’s degree in I-O psychology. These psychologists often work in human resources, consulting, government and positions in the private sector.

Business psychology conducts tests on the employees of a particular company who hired them and then they will analyze the state of mind of each and every employee they have tested. They will tell you things that will determine the state of your mind by way of questions and giving you situations that will really test the mind work.

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