Chapter 1 Historical Background of I/O Psychology

Chapter 1: Historical Background of I/O
Learning Objectives
• Explain how I/O psychology relates to the profession of psychology as a whole.
• Be able to identify the major fields of I/O psychology.
• Understand how and why psychologists are licensed.
• Learn the history of I/O psychology, including major people, events, and eras.
• Give the reasons for cross-cultural interest in I/O psychology.
Figure 1-1 Timeline of major I/O psychology developments and world events.
Figure 1-2 Badge worn by visitors to the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company
Chapter Summary
• Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology is one area of specialization within the broad profession of
• I/O psychologists generally function in one of two roles: scientists or practitioners.
• I/O psychology is practiced and studied throughout the world.
• The discipline of I/O psychology comprises several subfields.
• The history of I/O psychology is best represented by seven eras, the most recent being the Information
Age (1994–present).
• Business is now conducted on a global scale, which presents many professional opportunities for I/O
• The mandate of I/O psychology is to increase the fit between the workforce and the
workplace when the composition of both is rapidly changing. As work assumes a
more central role in our lives, the need for I/O psychology to balance work and family
issues continues to grow.

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