PSYCHOLOGY 234: INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY

TERM I - 1998

PROF: Chris Wetzel

Office hours: MF 3 - 5 TTH TTh 9 - 10

OFFICE: 115 Clough

By appointment: TTh 4 - 5

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Besides teaching you the basic concepts of Industrial/Organizational psychology, a major course objective is to give you a detailed picture of what the "company psychologist" does so that you will a) appreciate the difficulty of his/her task, b) be receptive to procedures/innovations proposed by an IO psychologist if you are ever an executive with an IO psychologist as a subordinate, and c) be able to recognize a competent from an incompetent IO psychologist (there are many of the later around). Consequently, this course will take a "nuts and bolts" approach to one of the few areas of psychology that has spawned a technology.

A second purpose is to give you practice at organizing and presenting rather technical, complicated material. This is an essential skill which any liberal arts graduate should possess, and it should be honed by the activities of this course.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND FORMAT

For most weeks, the week will be divided into 2 lectures and 1 class discussion session. The course will require a high level of participation on your part, and it will take a technical, applied focus. For example, you will apply chapter concepts to Rhodes life (eg., student=worker, teacher=manager, college=the organization, grades=pay, etc.).

ASSESSMENT

You will do 13 chapter "applications," the top 11 of 12 will count 33% of your grade. The 13th one counts 8% because you will lead the class discussion on that application. You will turn in a 1-2 page outline of each particular application, and the outline will be judged according to its soundness (based on text/lecture information) and creativity.

There will be two exams and a final. They will be entirely objective and will consist of multiple choice, short answer, and a few essay questions. The first 2 exams each contribute 13% each to your final grade; the final counts 10%.

Your final activity will be to create a web-page on a specific topic such as flex time, Theory Z, profit sharing, etc. You will be given a list of topics to choose from, but you may select your own topic (with instructor approval) if nothing interests you. The web presentation will require library research in order to present the most recent information on the topic as well as collecting web materials on the topic. The presentations give you a chance to study something in depth that is covered only superficially in the text or in lecture. This web presentation counts 13% of your grade.

Because one of my course goals is to have you actively involved in the material, 10% of your grade will be determined by class participation, which I define as asking questions and engaging in discussion during lecture or student presentations. Your grades on popquizes are also included in this component.

The text is Muchinsky's Psychology Applied to Work, 1997, Fifth edition. The student exercise book might also prove useful.

Schedule

#

Day

Date

Reading

Topic

Assigment Due

1

W

8/26

 

 

 

2

F

8/28

Chap 1,2

History, research methods

Case study, p. 56

3

M

8/31

3

Developing Criteria

 

4

W

9/2

3

 

CHAP 3 APPLICATION

5

F

9/4

4

Developing Predictors

 

Labor Day

6

W

9/9

4

 

CHAP 4 APPLICATION

7

F

9/11

5

Making Personnel Decisions

 

8

M

9/14

5

 

CHAP 5 APPLICATION

9

W

9/16

5

 

 

10

F

9/18

6

Training and Development

CHAP 6 APPLICATION

11

M

9/21

6

 

 

12

W

9/23

7

Performance Appraisal

CHAP 7 APPLICATION

13

F

9/25

7

 

 

14

M

9/28

 

 

EXAM 1 ON CHAP 1-7

15

W

9/30

8

Organizational theory

 

16

F

10/3

8

 

CHAP 8 APPLICATION

17

M

10/5

9

Organizational behavior

 

18

W

10/7

9

 

CHAP 9 APPLICATION

19

F

10/9

10

Mental health issues

 

20

M

10/12

10

 

CHAP 10 APPLICATION

21

W

10/14

old 9

Job satisfaction

 

22

F

10/16

Old 9

 

 

Fall Break

23

W

10/21

11

Motivation

CHAP 11 APPLICATION

24

F

10/23

11

 

 

25

M

10/26

12

Leadership

CHAP 12 APPLICATION

26

W

10/28

12

 

 

27

F

10/30

 

 

EXAM 2: CHAP 8-12, OLD 9

28

M

11/2

13

Job design and organiz. Develop.

 

29

W

11/4

13

 

CHAP 13 APPLICATION

30

F

11/6

14

Labor relations

 

31

M

11/9

14

 

CHAP 14 APPLICATION

32

W

11/11

15

Work conditions and ergonomics

 

33

F

11/13

15

 

 

34

M

11/16

16

Work in the next millennium

CHAP 15 APPLICATION

35

W

11/18

16

 

 

36

F

11/20

Web reading

 

 

37

M

11/23

Web reading

 

 

Thanksgiving

38

M

11/30

Web reading

 

 

39

W

12/2

Web reading

 

 

40

F

12/4

Web reading

 

 

41

M

12/7

 

 

Web project Due

42

W

12/9

 

 

 

Friday, December 11, 8:30 pm.

Final Exam

 

Applications

Chapter 3

Assume that due to extreme grade inflation the faculty has just voted to do away with all grades; consequently no student has a GPA. 1) Conduct a job analysis (in your head) of the "student job" and define the criteria for being as successful student at Rhodes. List and describe what these criteria are. 2) Which of the three common methods of job analysis would you employ to identify job performance criteria NB: you are not assessing job performance. You may use more than one method but explain why. 3) Next, come up with ways to obtain both "hard" and "soft" data for assessing student success. 4) Given the criteria you have developed, identify possible sources of criterion deficiency and contamination. 5) Would you petition the faculty to go back to GPA as the "ultimate criteria," or would you use your own? Why? 6) What have you learned about criteria from this application?

Chapter 4

Dean Wottle has asked you to design a selection procedure for accepting Rhodes students. Currently Rhodes uses SATs/ACTs, high school GPA, application information, letters of recommendation, interview impressions (if available), and miscellaneous factors such as alumni status, special talents, race, geographic location, etc. 1) Which of these would you use, and why? 2) .Assume that you have the power to require students to take one achievement test and one personality test. Go to the library and look up Burros' Mental Measures Yearbook (call no. Z5814 P8 B932; located in ref. section) and find the 2 tests you would use to select Rhodes students (spend no more than 30 min. doing this). Photocopy the description of the tests you have chosen and then JUSTIFY your choice of tests, either by underlining the important information you found out about them or by writing a justification paragraph. Hint: what are the important psychometric properties to look for and how does the test relate to your criteria. 3) Will you use composite or multiple hurdle criteria to arrive at an accept/reject/waitlist decision? 4) For interview impressions, how would you determine the interview's face, content, concurrent and predictive criterion validity? 5)What do you think are the levels of the various validities for the interview? 6)How would you determine the interview's incremental validity? 7) What have you learned from this application about selection procedures and why they are not frequently validated?

Chapter 5

Examine the scattergram on the left side of the Application D handout. Assume that this is a concurrent validity study where you are predicting Y from X. Assume that Y is a measure of the number of credit hours earned at the A level for a graduating senior. X is a measure of study skills administered during freshman orientation (higher numbers represent better study skills). 1) Plot the regression (prediction) line into the above figure by obtaining two predicted scores, one for a person with an X score of 6, another with a score of 16. To do this, plug their score into the regression equation taken from the figure. 2) Using the line, visually estimate the predicted score for someone with an X score of 10. 3) Determine the %proficiency improvement by using the right-hand figure of the handout. To do this, assume a 50% selection ratio, and use the Y scores in the figure to calculate the ratio of the poorest to the best worker. 4) Using 2 different cutoffs (C1 and C2), determine the number of false positives and negative errors when the criterion of success is at s1 (87% preselection success rate (assume high numbers indicate success). 5) With the same two cutoffs, recalculate the false positive and negative errors when the success rate is 28% (at point S2 on the Y axis). 6) For each success rate, describe what happens to the false positive and negative error rates when the cut-off goes from C1 to C2. 7) For each cutoff, describe what effect the success rate has on false positive and negative rates. 8) If you wanted to decrease false positive rates, name 2 ways you could do it. 9) What can you infer is the relationship between false positives, negatives, success rate, and selection ratio? 10) Given that Rhodes accepts 90% of its students and the ratio of best/worst senior GPA is about 4 to 1, what are the prospects for using selection tests to improve Rhodes students performance? Why? 11) Would you use the study skills test as one of the admissions criteria? If not, why? If yes, where would you place the cut-off and why? What have you learned from this application about the factors which determine a tests utility?

Chapter 6

You have been through first-year orientation, and you have had at least 2 years "work" experience. Devise a training program for new students at Rhodes. 1) What would be the goals or criteria of the training? 2) Which of the off-site training methods would you use and why? 3) How would you evaluate the success of your training program? (Be brief but let me know you know what criterion and design you would use) 4) Which 2 types of validity proposed by Goldstein are the same as 2 of the 4 types proposed by Kirkpatrick? 5) Which of Kirkpatrick's do you think would be the easiest to obtain, and which do you think would be the best (truest) measure of real impact? 6) What have you learned about training research, and why do you suppose so few studies are done to assess training effectiveness?

Chapter 7

Design a performance appraisal system for this course. 1) what purposes could the system serve and what ones do you think are most important? 2) Which of the three types of data would you collect and why? 2) Would you use professor’s judgments, peer assessments or self-assessments? Why? 3) What kinds of rating errors would you worry about with the data you collected? 4) How would your performance appraisal system factor in students' abilities and efforts to determine a final grade? 5) What has this application taught you about the reasons why performance appraisals are so difficult to do well?

Chapter 8

Do exercise 8-2 in the Student workbook., 169 - 173

Chapter 9

Do exercise 9-2, but use as your most recent job "Rhodes Student." For question #3, use grades as pay, and awards as promotions.

Chapter 10

Many students claim that Rhodes is a very stressful place. 1) Which two of Warr's 9 environmental determinants of well-being are least likely to be present for Rhodes Students (and why) ? 2) Which two are most likely to be present? 3) Identify two examples of "task content" and "role" stressors. 4) Then specify 2 examples of each of the three types of responses to stress. 5) In terms of work/family conflict, which one of the three models do you see as applying most to Rhodes students? 6) Given the high stress level, why do you think that so few students use the "EAPs" (employee assistance programs) offered by the Career/Counseling Center?

Chapter 11 + old 9

Assume you are a Search/Life professor. 1) For each of the 4 classes of job (student) satisfaction theories, state one thing you would change about the Search Life course (eg. format, grading, requirements, etc) so that satisfaction is maximized. Be sure to explain how the changes might differ according to the different theories. 2) Compare each approach/ theory and briefly criticize each one. 3) Specify how you would assess satisfaction (JDI, MSQ, or something else). 4) What has this application taught you about the satisfaction theories? 5) Now take student productivity (performance) and tell me what one thing you would change about Search/Life so as to maximize student productivity . 6) Specify what assumptions you made to derive your course, how each of your four courses differ from each other, and which one is closest to your ideal (and why)?. 7) What has this application taught you about the motivation theories?

Chapter 12

Assume that you are the leader (teacher) in this class. 1) classify yourself as a leader according to the Ohio state school behavioral approach and tell me how you might decrease student grievance rates. 2) according to Fiedler's model, predict your LPC score (then take the test and see how you come out), determine your leadership effectiveness (according to both your predicted and your actual score), and then explain how you can improve effectiveness (justify all three). 3) What kind of leader are you according to the path-goal model, and, given the current environmental factors and subordinate (student) characteristics (specify what you assume about both), what style should you adopt? 4) how should you make the decision about adding a lab component to the class according to Vroom and Yetton's model (go through the steps, specifying your assumptions). How has this application changed you conceptualization of leadership?

Chapter 15

1) Identify three or four environmental stressors in the Rhodes work "environment." 2) When they appear in combination, which would show a super-additive effect, an additive effect, and a compensatory effect? Why (justify your reasoning with theory)? 3) Propose an alternative work (class) schedule and justify why it would be better than our present system.