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UIUC PSYC 455 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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Psyc 455 1st EditionExam # 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 - 2Lecture 1 Ch. 1: Introduction to Organizational Psychology Organizational Psychology: the scientific study of individual and group behavior in formal organizational settings.  Katz and Kahn: the essence of an organization is patterned human behavior. When behavior is patterned, this implies that some structure is imposed on the behavior of individuals.  Formal organization: one that exists to fulfill some explicitly stated purpose, and that purpose is often stated in writing e.g business organizations, non profit organizations, and government agencies. Informal organization: one in which the purpose is typically less explicit than for a formal organization e.g five poker players, sports team. The focus of org. psychology is more on formal organizations.  Psychologists view individual behavior as the most important mediating factor. I/O Psychology: the application of the methods and principles of psychology to the workplace.  Organizational side – associated with the aim of understanding and predicting behavior within organizational settings. Industrial side – associated with the management of human resources in organizations.  The Scientist Practitioner Model captures the dynamic interaction between generating scientific knowledge and the application of that knowledge for some practical purpose.  Science and practice are not independent, and often feed off each other. History  Frederick Winslow Taylor: principles of Scientific Management = a philosophy of management, and efficiency, and price-rate compensation. Those who perform work tasks should be separate from those who design work tasks. (Contrary to org. psychology thinking) Workers are rational beings, and they will work harder if provided with favorable economic incentives. (Considerable support) Problems in the workplace can and should be subject to empirical study. (Fully embraced) Max Weber  Best known for his development of the notion of bureaucracy as an organizing principle. Bureaucratic Organization – employees know exactly what they are supposed to be doing, and the lines of authority are clearly stated. Advancement and rewards should be based on merit and not on nepotism or social class.  Wrote extensively on leadership, power, and norms. Hawthorne Studies Seen as the beginning of organizational psych. Original purpose was to investigate the impact of environmental factors – such as illumination, wage incentives, and rest pauses – on employee productivity.  Researches found that productivity increased regardless of the changes in level of illumination.  Hawthorn Effect: the idea that people will respond positively to any novel change in the work environment. Might occur when a relatively trivial change is made in a person’s job, and that person initially responds to this change very positively, but theeffect does not last long.  Researchers also found that employees reacted differently to different styles of leadership.  Overall implication is that social factors impact behavior in organizational settings. Unionization Participative decision-making, workplace democracy, quality of work life, and the psychological contract between employees and organizations are rooted in the union movement.  Kurt Lewin Group dynamics, motivation, and leadership. Action research: the idea that researchers and organizations can collaborate on research and use findings to solve problems.  World War II Impact of diversity in the workplace Impetus for major studies on morale and leadership styles Morris Viteles’ book: Motivation and Morale in Industry Emergence of the human relations perspective  Maturity and Expansion Salancik and Pfeffer proposed Social Information Processing Theory (SIP) as an alternative to more traditional need-based theories of job satisfaction and job design. Multilevel Perspective: forces at both the group and organizational levels impact behavior in organizations.  Dejobbing: moving away from highly specific jobs toward more temporary, project-based work. Impacts the psychological contract between employees and the organization. Lecture 2 Ch. 2: Research Methods and Statistics 4 Data Collection Methods: observational methods, survey research, experimentation, and quasi-experimentation.  Observational Methods Simple observation involves observing and systematically recording behavior. It allows behavior to be captured in its natural context. Advantage: simple observation avoids reactivity: changing the phenomenon of interest in the process of measuring it. Disadvantages: very labor intensive, observations are often subjective and may be impacted by observer’s biases.  Participant Observation: the observer is also a participant in the event he or she is studying.  Illustrated by Van Maanen’s investigation of police recruits where he became a recruit himself. Disadvantages: by taking on the role of participant, a researcher may change the phenomenon under investigation. May lose objectivity. Archival Data sources: archival data represent any form of data or other records that are compiled for purposes that are independent of the research being conducted.  E.g Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), which contains information on the working conditions of a vast number of occupations.  Advantages: many archival databases are readily available to the public and easily accessible. No distortion of validity.  Disadvantages: contain only indirect measures of the phenomenon of interest to theresearcher.  Survey Research Involves asking research participants to report about their attitudes and/or behaviors, either in writing or verbally. Prevalence studies: research institute may want to know the level of drug abuse among teenagers. Focus groups are used to determine what to measure. A focus group is a qualitative data gathering technique that is used to generate ideas during the preliminary stages of a research project.  Probability Sampling: researcher selects a sample from a larger group (or population) in order to generalize the results to that larger group, within some margin of error.  Most basic form is simple random sampling, which involves selecting members of a population such that all have an equal and nonzero probability of being included in the sample.


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