Occupational Psychology (Psych 496/596)
Instructor: John Edwards Office: Moreland 134 Phone: 737-1370
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours: Wednesday 1-2,
Thursday 10-11 & by appointment
Date Topic Reading
Tue 9/30 INTRODUCTION
Thu 10/2 RESEARCH METHODS/MEASUREMENT CHs 1 & 2
Tue 10/7 JOB ANALYSIS CH 3
Thu 10/9 "
Tue 10/14 SELECTION CHs 4 & 5
Thu 10/16 "
Tue 10/21 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL CH 7
Thu 10/23 TEST 1
Tue 10/28 TRAINING CH 6
Thu 10/30 "
Tue 11/4 WORK ATTITUDES
Thu 11/6 WORK MOTIVATION CH 11
Tue 11/11 "
Thu 11/13 LEADERSHIP CH 12
Tue 11/18 TEST 2
Thu 11/20 WORK GROUPS pp. 266-271
Tue 11/25 "
Thu 11/27 NO CLASS
Tue 12/2 ORGANIZATIONS & O.D. CHs 8 & 13 Paper Due!
Thu 12/4 WORK ENVIRONMENT CH 15 & 10
FINAL EXAM - - - 9:30 am
TEXT: Muchinsky, P. M. (1997). Psychology Applied to Work. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole.
COURSE GOALS: Provide an overview of psychological research on human behavior in work settings and organizations.
COURSE FORMAT: The work of the course involves one paper, two tests and a final exam. Class meetings will involve lecture and occasional discussion. Material will be covered in class that is not covered in the text and vice/versa. Students should identify themselves on papers and tests only with their social security number so I can grade blindly.
COMPLETION OF COURSE WORK: To receive a non-failing grade, a student must complete at least one of the tests and the final exam. However, failure to complete a test or paper results in a zero for that assignment, which may well lead to course failure anyway. In other words, completion of all the assignments does not guarantee a passing grade, but not taking one of the tests or the exam does guarantee a failing grade.
Make-up tests and exams are rarely given and tend to be difficult. DOCUMENTED problems should be discussed with the instructor PRIOR to the test, or, in the extremely rare case of an emergency which prevents contacting the instructor prior to the test, as soon as possible. I intend to be quite strict about this. Note that having other assignments due, vacations, friends in town, hangovers and the like do not constitute acceptable excuses. I will not move the test or exam times for individuals for any reason. This EXPRESSLY includes vacation plans. You have prior warning!
GRADING: The final grade is based on 125 total possible points: 35 for each of the two tests, 40 for the final exam, and 15 for the papers.
Grade distributions will be based upon the performance of all the students in the class (i.e., grades are curved). The class average grade will be equivalent to a B-. Grades above the class average will be equivalent to a B or better; grades below the class average will equivalent to a C+ or worse. Graduate students have to do a little more work (as requested by the university). See the "Paper topics" section for a description of this work. Graduate students will not be included in the curve for undergraduates (i.e., undergraduates do not have to compete against graduate students) but will be graded relative to the undergraduate curve.
CLASS ATTENDENCE: Class attendance is the student's responsibility (i.e., not mine). Students are responsible for everything covered in class. This includes details about the tests or assignments. Therefore, I strongly advise class attendance. If you have to miss a class, be sure to get the notes from another class member (i.e., not from me). This includes information about the assignments. Please help each other out!
THE PAPERS: A paper is due in class on Tuesday, December 2. The paper is to be relatively brief in that there is a three page limit. DO NOT write more than three pages! On the other hand, be sure you adequately address the assignment. Meeting these two challenges will almost certainly require some planning and some revision on your part. Papers must be typed, double space, and readable(i.e., no microscopic type). Although I won't be formally grading your grammar, writing technique will be important in that it is your job to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively.
The grading for the paper is on a simple scale: You get 15 points
if you turn the paper in on time and address the topic in an understandable,
appropriate way. You get 10 points if you turn the paper in on
time and attempt to address the topic but your example is inappropriate
or your explanation is inadequate (see below). You get 5 points
if you turn in the paper on time but don't do the assignment appropriately
(i.e., you don't attempt to use industrial psychology in any meaningful
way, or you don't do what is asked in the assignment). You get
0 if you turn nothing in. In addition, you lose 5 points per 24-hour
period the paper is late, starting at the beginning of class the
day it is due (i.e., if you turn it in at 12:40 on Wednesday,
December 3 you lose 5 points; if you turn it in at 12:40 on Thursday,
December 4 you lose 10 points, etc.). I suggest you turn it in
early to avoid losing points due to printer problems, flat tires,
etc. I'm happy to take them early.
PAPER TOPIC: Oregon State University recently tried fill three spots in the Admissions and Orientation Department - Assistant Director, Supervisor of Orientation Activities, and Recruiter. Obviously, the university wants to hire the best people it can for these spots. Using your knowledge of I/O Psychology, discuss how you would set up the selection procedure for these jobs. Be sure your plan is both useful (i.e., that it will achieve the goal of hiring a good person for the particular jobs) and legal.
Assume two complications:
1) because the university is committed to "diversity", they would really like to hire minorities if possible; and
2) the "Supervisor of Orientation Activities" is a new job (i.e., one just created). The Assistant Director and Recruiter used to share the responsibilities that are now going to be assume by the new employee.
Grad students only: In addition to the above, describe how, after a year, you would evaluate the performance of these three new employees. You get two additional pages for this (for a total of 5).
HOW TO WRITE THE PAPER (adapted in part from class materials for Psychology 367.01, Ohio State University): Papers should be written in a "short essay" format. That is, these papers are not exercises in creative or expository writing, but are exercises in clearly communicating ideas and arguments. Your ideas should be presented in a clear enough manner for a typical college student to understand them. This means that you must DEFINE YOUR TERMS and DESCRIBE THE THEORIES you use in your papers, because the average college student won't be familiar with the material presented in this class. In other words, explain fully what you have learned from class.
Writing brief essays is challenging, and you should approach these papers with this in mind. Try to write as efficiently as possible. You want to be clear, but at the same time don't waste space by using unnecessary words to make a point or by talking about something that isn't really relevant to your argument. Doing so will prevent you from making important arguments or describing something more fully in another section of the paper, and thereby hurting your grade. The way to approach these papers is to write a draft and then revise it repeatedly, editing it until it is concisely and clearly written. Having a WELL ORGANIZED paper will help with this as well.
Along the same lines, be sure your paper is organized around the paper topic. Don't veer off to talk about irrelevant issues. In other words, the papers shouldn't be a rehash of everything you heard during lecture, but a precise, organized, and specific application of relevant ideas to a particular problem.
One purpose of the paper assignments is for your instructor to see how well you understand material from lecture and readings and how well you can apply that material. Therefore, the information from class and from the book represents the "building blocks" that you should use in constructing your paper. In other words, BUILD YOUR PAPER AROUND COURSE MATERIAL! Use as much information as possible from lectures and readings to support your ideas in the papers. Use the papers to demonstrate that you have understood the lectures, read the text, and can effectively apply the material to a problem.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. One mistake that students often make in writing psychology papers is to cite their personal experience as evidence for some idea or argument. Psychology is a science, so you want to draw on the theories and research associated with this science. Avoid using your intuition or personal experiences as "proof". Use course material!
WRITE IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Don't copy material from books, even relatively small amounts of material. Write in your own words and don't plagiarize. You will get in loads of trouble. I will address this more fully in class. In the rare instance where you want to quote a source, put the quoted material in quotation marks and cite (i.e., say where you got it from). However, generally speaking, try to avoid direct quotes. Use of lengthy quotes, even if properly punctuated & cited, will hurt your grade. I want to see what YOU know - I already know that book authors know their stuff. Generally, I will simply ignore the material in lengthy quotes, meaning that I will treat your paper as though it did not contain the material in the quotes.
OUT-OF-CLASS SOURCES. You can use material other than the book or lecture from this class if you wish. However, a mistake that students sometimes make is to draw on material that is not related to the subject matter of the course. Such sources can include "pop" or self-help psychology books, tv documentaries, or books from other fields such as political science, business-related books for the general public, women studies, etc. Although such material may have its uses in understanding or explaining social behavior and thought, the purpose of the class (and therefore the papers) is to cover the ideas and research traditionally associated with industrial/organizational psychology. Therefore, stick to that material when writing your papers. If you use material from sources other than the book and lecture from this class, be sure it is "industrial psychology". If you aren't sure, ask me.
FORMAT. Papers must be typed and double-spaced. Try to keep your fonts at 10 point or bigger so I can keep my eyesight as I grow older. Please allow one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of each page so I can write comments if necessary.