Industrial-organizational psychologists -- or I-O psychologists -- help
organizations and businesses run smoothly. Specializing in human behavior
in the workplace, they help managers respond to issues and problems involving
people at work. This includes issues that could lead to a company-wide meltdown.
An industrial psychologist can enter a workplace or organization and study
how it operates. They then make suggestions on how to improve productivity
and employee morale. Their work may include researching communication, motivation,
social interaction and leadership.
An I-O psychologist looks at how employers select, place and promote employees.
They look at individuals to make sure they're doing the job that best suits
them. They also help employers find which workers have management abilities
and develop training programs.
I-O psychologists can also help businesses communicate better with their
consumers. By creating studies, they can measure consumers' reactions to new
products, and help businesses develop new marketing strategies.
This is a desk job -- these psychologists generally work in an office using
a computer. They can work in business, industry, universities, government,
research organizations, consulting firms and other organizations.
"They have to be able to use a computer," says Lee Hackel of the Society
of Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (SIOP). "It's cognitively intense
work, but that's all the physical requirements involved."