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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I/O Psychology Defined

As a branch of psychology, industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology applies the theories and principles of psychology to the business and work environments. The purpose of I/O psychology is “to enhance the dignity and performance of human beings, and the organizations they work in, by advancing the science and knowledge of human behavior” (Rucci as cited in Aamodt, 2010, p. 2).

Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology is the application of psychological principles and theories to the workplace. I/O psychologists study, among other things, the attitudes and behaviors of employees and employers; interpersonal relationships at work; the structure of organizations and organizational policies; the complex processes of motivation and leadership; both individual and organizational performance; the context, culture, and climate of organizations; and the match between people and jobs (Levy, 2010, p. 2).

Defined by Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance. 


Aamodt, M. G. (2010). Industrial/organizational psychology: An applied approach (6th ed.).  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Levy, P. E. (2010). Industrial/organizational psychology: Understanding the workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

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