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Psychology 327: Psychology in Organizations

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Class will meet Wednesdays from 1 am to 4: 40 am in Stevenson 3052.

Course Description:

Industrial / Organizational (I/O) Psychology is the application of social science methods and principles to industrial and organizational behavior. Topics include: teams in organizations, motivation, individual differences, attitudes and emotions relevant to work, stress and well-being, fairness and diversity within organizations, leadership and organizational change and development. The ultimate objective of this discipline is to maximize both employee well-being and organizational effectiveness. Because of the data-intensive nature of I/O Psychology, if you have a basic understanding of how empirical psychological research is conducted (from Statistics, Psychological Research Methods, Social Psychology or Personality), you will find the course material more accessible.

Course Goal:

Upon completing this course, students should be able to evaluate and apply current psychological theory and research to organizational settings and problems.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand why psychologists study the behavior of workers and organizations, and how this study has contributed to both our understanding and practice of work.
  • Increase critical thinking by carefully examining the methodology and results of empirical research.
  • Demonstrate the application of relevant psychological theory and research problems faced by employees and organizations.
  • Summarize and evaluate psychological research and theory relevant to a specific organizational context.
  • Use psychological theory and research to support possible solutions to organizational problems.
  • Learn from direct experience about teams and organizations.

This course also is designed to contribute to the following Psychology Department learning objectives:

  • Students should be able to apply psychological theories and concepts to problems and questions they find personally important
  • Students should be able to apply psychological theories, concepts and principles to personal and broader social systems and issues.
  • Students should be able to recognize and understand the complexity of cultural diversity.
  • Students should be able to understand and apply basic research methods in psychology and the social sciences.

Recommended Course Text:
Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2013). Organizational Behavior. Pearson Education: Upper Saddle River.

Other resources:



Heather Smith, Ph.D.
Psychology Department
Stevenson 3089

Course assignments:
Team assignment
Term paper
Case studies