Psychology 272 - Industrial Psychology

(Winter, 2020) -MWF, Period 6 - Room A-205 SMC

INSTRUCTOR: Frank T. McAndrew

Psychology Department Web Page

Psychology Department Writing Policy

Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

O*NET Online

Industrial Psychology Resources for Students (SIOP)

Instructor Contact Information:
Frank McAndrew: SMC E131, Ext. 7525, e-mail: fmcandre@knox.edu.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach (8th Ed., 2016) by M.G. Aamodt; ISBN: 978-1-305-11842-3
In addition to the text, there are a number of readings that can be downloaded from this web page. These readings are listed at the end of the syllabus.

The format for the classes in this course will be primarily lecture and discussion, with a number of in-class activities.  Your final grade will be the percentage of possible points that you accumulate out of the total possible points on four examinations and four class projects.  THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT WRITING POLICY WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL WRITTEN PROJECTS. No make up tests will be given without prior permission and a very good excuse.  The tests will be based on the textbook, the outside readings, and class lectures.  The last test will be given during final examination week, but it is not a comprehensive final exam. 

(A = 93-100%)
(A- = 90-92%)
(B+ = 88-89%)
(B = 83-87%)
(C = 73-77%)
(D = 63-67%)
(F = anything < 60%)

Learning Goals:

Your learning will be assessed by the quality of the written work that you hand in and your performance on a series of three examinations.   Every course that you take is designed to help you acquire knowledge and skills.  The departmental learning goals & competencies assessed in this course include the following:

1) Effectively and ethically apply the scientific method to studying the mind, the brain,
    and behavior.

2) Understand the basic theoretical approaches and classic empirical findings of
3) Effectively communicate with clear, grammatically-correct writing.
Goal #1 will be assessed via the job analysis project
Goal # 2 listed above will be assessed via the tests & quizzes.
Goal# 3 will be assessed via all of the projects in the class


TOPIC                                                                                            READINGS

Introduction to Industrial Psychology & its Research Methods         Chapter 1

Holland's Occupational Preference Inventory (Project #1)

Career Choice and Career Development                                          Outside Readings #1 & 2

Job Analysis                                                                                  Chapter 2

Conducting a Job Analysis (Project #2)

Legal Issues in Employee Selection                                                Chapter 3

TEST #1 (Wednesday, January 22) - Chapters 1, 2, & 3; Outside Readings #1, 2                          

Employee Recruiting & Selection                                                                Chapters 4, 5, 6; Outside Readings #3, 4, 5, 6

TEST #2 (Friday, February 7) - Chapters 4, 5, 6; Outside Readings #3, 4, 5, 6

Performance Evaluation                                                                 Chapter 7; Outside Readings #7 & 8

Performance Evaluation Criteria (Project #3)

Designing and Evaluating Training Programs                                   Chapter 8

The Physical Design of Workspaces                                                pp. 550-557; Outside Readings  #9, 10, & 11

TEST #3 (Friday, February 21) - Chapters 7 & 8; Outside Readings #7, 8, 9, 10, 11

The Work Environment:  Health, Safety, & Job Stress                Chapter 15; Outside Readings #12, 13, 14, 15, & 16

Employee Motivation                                                               pp. 524-530; Chapter 9; Outside Readings #17, 18, 19

Understanding What Motivates You (Project #4)

TEST #4 (During Scheduled Final Exam Time) - Chapters 9 & 15; Outside Readings #12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19


This term, you will engage in a wide variety of in-class activities designed to make you more familiar with the concepts you are studying in the text. There will be four projects that will count toward your final grade.  Three of these assignments will result in a brief written paper (a few pages), and one is a project that involves “field work” and a somewhat longer paper.  The details of these assignments will be presented to you in class, but a general description of each is listed below.
Project #1 - Assessing your Vocational Interests: Holland's Vocational Preference Inventory  (15 points)
Dr. John L. Holland has created a very influential instrument for helping individuals to explore what occupations might be good for them to pursue.  His instrument is known as The Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI). In your first class project, you will be doing a self-assessment of your occupational interests by using a shortened version of Holland's VPI, something he calls The Self-Directed Search. After analyzing your vocational interests, you will write a reflective essay in which you discuss your reactions to the results of your self-directed search.

Project #2 - Job Analysis  (20 points)
A job analysis identifies the important aspects of a job that distinguish it from other jobs.  The job analyst must describe in specific terms the nature of the tasks performed by workers on the job and the degree to which an employee is involved with data, people, and things.  Job analysis is a necessary first step in creating effective selection, training, and performance appraisal programs.

After reading the chapter on job analysis in the textbook, you will plan and conduct a job analysis of a real job. You must choose an approach to job analysis from among the many that you have learned about in this course.  You will describe the procedures you used to collect data and explain why these were the most appropriate ones to use for your analysis.   Be sure to select a job that you can obtain information about through observation and interviews with job holders or others familiar with the job.  Once you have determined what the job involves, be sure to write a complete and accurate job description for the job that you have analyzed.

The results of your job analysis will begin with a brief explanation of what job analysis is and why it is necessary for our company.  Go to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) at http://www.occupationalinfo.org/onet/.  Be sure to include the O*NET code for the job that you have chosen.

Project #3 - The Problem of Criteria in Performance Evaluation (10 Points)
It is more difficult than it might first appear to develop valid criteria for evaluating the performance of employees.  Your assignment in this project is to develop criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of sales representatives for a major toy company.  The sales reps are responsible for establishing and servicing accounts with retailers who will carry the company's toys on its shelves.  The job entails getting the retailers to purchase toys from the company for sale to the public.  The sales reps are responsible for finding new clients as well as for keeping the old ones satisfied.  The sales reps are assigned to territories by the company, with the more senior employees getting the choice of the most desirable territories.  Territories can differ greatly in terms of such things as geographic area covered, population base, and average number and size of retail stores in the territory. 

Your assignment will be evaluated according to how well you get around the criteria problems we have discussed, such as contamination and the problem of using "hard" vs. "soft" criteria.  In your proposal, be very specific about exactly what measurements would be used, when they will be taken, how often they will be taken, and so on.  Be sure to defend your decision.  The length of your memo should be no more than 2 or 3 pages.

Project #4 – Understanding What Motivates you (10 points)
There are many different incentives to get employees to work hard.  Some of these incentives are intrinsic motivators, which are qualities of the work itself that make work tasks absorbing, enjoyable, and satisfying.  Other incentives are extrinsic in nature, in that they are outcomes of the work such as money and status that enable an individual to acquire other things that are important to him or her.  In this project, you will be presented with a long list of possible motivators.  From this, you will select a shorter list of things that you think will be most important to you on the job that you get after college.  You will then do an analysis of this selected list and write a reflective essay about the types of work incentives are most relevant to you.


Millennials in the Workplace

2.  What Millennials Want Most: A Job That Actually Matters

3.  The Perfect Hire: Technology and Psychology are Reshaping the Search for the Best Employees

4.  Congratulations Graduate: Eleven Reasons Why I will Never Hire You.

5.  Dressing: Pass or Fail?

6.  The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing

7.  Is it really fair to grade workers on a curve?

8.  Assess Pros and Cons of 360-degree Performance Appraisal

9.  Cubicle Sweet Cubicle

10. Workspace Design Trends to Increase Your Productivity

11. In the Office of the Future, You will NEVER Sit down

12. The Company Man

13. High Status Stress

14. Stress, Type A Behavior, and Coronary Disease

15. Running Faster Just to Fall Further Behind

16. Land of the Free?

17. On the Folly of Rewarding A while Hoping for B

18. That Urge to Achieve

19. The Myth of Job Enrichment                                                                                                                           

I have put copies of the Powerpoint slides that I used in class on the web. To see copies of the PPT slides that were used in the lectures for this course, click on the picture of the overhead projector.

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