What is Industrial Organizational Psychology?

Industrial and organizational psychology, also known as I/O psychology, center on the specific human mindsets, behaviors, and conduct that impact performance, productivity, and collaboration in the workplace. This field delves into the human psyche and studies career development and decision-making at various levels. I/O psychology looks at individual decisions, small group behavior, and the assessment of jobs.

Workplace behavior is, of course, relevant in all industries, including:

  • Business
  • Industry
  • Public
  • Community
  • Health
  • Academic organizations

Workplace behavior concerns and benefits all employees as well. Organizations use industrial organizational psychology in various areas, including recruitment, training, workplace motivation, work-life balance, and more. Industrial organization psychologists work to understand individual employees' mental health and behavior to help decide how to create the best working environment for productivity.

Additionally, I/O psychology can be utilized to find the right person for the right job. The industrial component may be used to create detailed applications, questionnaires, as well as design interviews to help employers find the person that best fits the needs of a specific job. However, I/O psychology is not just for employers. The organizational component of this field focuses on how the make the employee's experience one that would be enjoyable and productive. This focus includes strategies that build colleague relationships and increase collaboration so that work is a place employees genuinely want to come to each day. I/O psychologists, often hired or contracted in, are skilled in areas that include employee selection, ergonomics, identifying and devising training and development needs, coaching, performance for the individual and organization, researching consumer engagement and satisfaction, and even work-life balance.

For over the last 100 years, industrial and organizational psychology has been developing effective strategies that have helped improve working situations and productivity. Some strategies that contribute to a positive work environment include:

  • Questions about employee motivation
  • Leadership
  • Workplace performance
  • Training
  • Skill-building opportunities
  • Assessments to screen and hire employees that best fit each organization

If interested in pursuing a career in industrial and organizational psychology, a student must first earn a bachelor's degree; psychology is the most common choice. After earning a bachelor's degree, the student engages in a master's program specializing in industrial and organizational psychology.

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Organizational Psychology Topics

Organizational Psychology Education Resources

Many courses contribute to a learner's understanding of industrial and organizational psychology. The accessible content and various topics offered here help establish the foundation for understanding human psychology, business protocols, and ethics - all of which contribute to a career in industrial and organizational psychology. Study.com provides an independent learning experience that works with each learner's schedule and needs.

Courses Related to Organizational Psychology

The courses provided assist learners in understanding industrial and organizational psychology. The list also includes other classes closely connected to this field of study. The engaging and relevant content offers learners applicable information that will be useful in pursuing a career or building a knowledge base. The design of rigorous courses like Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Human Resource Management, and others helps prepare learners for the next steps in their educational journey.

Organizational Psychology Test Prep for Teachers and Students

Organizational Psychology Test Prep

The courses included on Study.com are useful when preparing for the DSST Organizational Behavior exam and the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) School Psychology Test I exam. These courses explore different aspects of developmental psychology and psychology services within school settings. Other topics covered include the organizational behavior of workplace environments, management of conflict in the work environment, and understanding workplace stress.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is organizational psychology?

    Organizational psychology studies psychology in the workplace, and in practical use, aims to create an environment where employees are motivated and productive. By looking at a workplace environment and fostering collaboration, organizational psychology can help establish a place where relationships are valued and the physical space is comfortable.

  • What does an industrial psychologist do?

    An industrial psychologist has a multitude of responsibilities. These include creating an in-depth application for employees, developing appropriate interview strategies, and creating even training programs.

  • How long does it take to study industrial psychology?

    Registering as an industrial psychologist usually requires a master's degree. To prepare for this degree, many students choose to first study for an undergraduate degree in psychology. Some universities have undergraduate programs that are specifically geared toward industrial and organizational psychology.

  • What are the three major fields of industrial/organizational psychology?

    There are several major fields in industrial and organizational psychology. Three of these major fields are employee selection, organizational development, and work-life balance.