Industrial/organizational psychology (often shortened to I/O psychology) is a somewhat deceptive title for the field. Even when industrial psychology alone was used to label it, practitioners were involved with issues and activities far beyond solving industrial problems—for example, designing procedures for selecting salespeople, advertising methods, and reducing accidents on public transportation. "Organizational" suggests the application of knowledge to organizations, but the intended meaning is closer to "the study of forces that influence how people and their activities at work are organized."
In colleges and universities, I/O psychology is a long-recognized discipline. Graduate programs leading to the M.A. and, more commonly, Ph.D. degrees in this field are most typically offered within psychology departments, sometimes in collaboration with departments of business; occasionally they are offered by business departments alone. In most cases, students working toward graduate degrees in I/O psychology first study a wide range of psychological topics, then study in even greater detail those that make up the I/O specialty. The study of research methods, statistical tools for evaluating findings, motivation, personality, and so on forms a base from which psychological testing, interviewing, job analysis, and performance evaluation are studied in depth.
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