Monday, August 10, 2015

Experimental & Survey Research Methods in I/O Psychology by Sean Delevan

Experimental & Survey Research Methods in I/O Psychology

Sean D.
17 July 2015

Different research aspirations will require the implementation of various research methods and designs to ensure that the results are both genuine and accurate. There are different approaches to be taken when conducting research, which is determined by the question that is posed to be answered. The resolve of this paper is to demonstrate both experimental and survey research designs and how they can be applied to problems associated with employee motivation and rewards systems in I/O psychology. Finally, the inclusion of three scholarly sources will be submitted along with an explanation of their applicability to the research questions under investigation.  
“Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology is mutually the learning of performance in organizational and work settings and the solicitation of the procedures, facts, and doctrines of psychology to individuals and groups in organizational and work settings” (SIOP, 2015). Some of the more communal problems that are found in I/O psychology typically deal with enlistment, collection and assignment, training and progress, performance measurement, workplace inspiration and reward systems, quality of work life, structure of work and human factors, organizational improvement and consumer performance (APA, 2012).
           Experimental research builds on the principles of a positivist approach and allows for the modification of one thing in a situation in an effort to compare an outcome to what existed in the absence of the modification. Applying experimental research approaches to some of the aforementioned problems commonly associated with I/O, the ability to influence one or more of the hypothesized issues such as poor recruiting and/or selection processes, will help I/O psychologists and management personnel to make the necessary adjustments. With the manipulation of certain components, I/O psychologists are able to make the necessary modifications in training and development needs as well as new formulations for implementing training programs designed for evaluating the effectiveness of newly implemented programs.
Disputably one of the most operative ways in which to explain the ways something can be effective is through the provision of a clearly depicted example. Research supports that one of the primary issues faced by I/O psychologists is workplace motivation and rewards systems. When work becomes monotonous, employee motivation begins to taper and/or become obsolete, therefore, it is the duty of an I/O psychologist to find ways to rectify the situation so organizational success can continue to be achieved. This particular issue is interpreted to be a causal relationship, one where the cause precedes the effect.
Applying the experimental research method to this problem can be noted in management making adjustments to employee base pay or incorporating frequent reward and compensation programs for certain jobs where organizations are seeing lesser motivated employees in. If the employees, after the implementation of increased pay and/or rewards systems are showing more motivation in their efforts, this supports that the manipulation was efficient and the consequence is now being altered by a different cause. Recognized as a ‘true experiment’, this approach “has a control group and subjects are assigned groups so researchers can test one effect at a time” (Campbell, Stanley, & Gage, 1963). In this case, the group includes those in a single department whom are showing signs of lowered motivation and job satisfaction.
Survey research, also a very useful tool that I/O psychologists are able to utilize in the workplace, serves the purpose of describing the innate characteristics of a particular population.Most surveys hold three rudimentary features: (1) the collection of data (2) samples (3) and a description of the participating population” (Stopher, 2012).  There are two principal styles of survey research that can be used for different reasons: cross-sectional studies and longitudinal surveys. Using the same central issue annotated in the preceding information (employee motivation and rewards), the implementation of a survey research method would prove to be highly advantageous so long as the correct type of survey approach is chosen.
The most applicable type of survey to present in this particular instance would be a longitudinal survey. It is explained that “a longitudinal methodology performs most appropriately when the sequential nature of the phenomena is evident, when it is improbable that overriding events could misperceive a follow-up study, and when alternate elucidations are likely and cannot be measured through a cross-sectional approach” (Rindfleisch, Malter, Ganesan, and Moorman, 2008). This is arguably the most applicable survey method to implement because the cause and effect relationship will most likely be very clear once the information has been achieved, and manipulations have been made which negates the purpose of conducting a secondary survey.
The use of experimental research and survey research is very common when it comes to answering questions and finding ways in which to alter cause and effect relationships. I-O psychologists give to an organization's success by cultivating performance, fulfillment, security, health and the overall well-being employees. It is the duty of I/O psychologists to research worker conducts and attitudes, and how these can be enhanced through hiring practices, training programs, feedback, and management systems. This can only be achieved when appropriate research methods and designs are implemented. Thereby increasing the necessity of understanding the differences and applicability of such approaches.

American Psychological Association (APA) (2012). Industrial and organizational psychology. Retrieved from
Aric Rindfleisch, Alan J. Malter, Shankar Ganesan, and Christine Moorman (2008). Cross-sectional vs. Longitudinal survey research. Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLV, No. 3. Retrieved from
Campbell, D. T., Stanley, J. C., & Gage, N. L. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research (No. 04; Q175, C3.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from

Stopher, P. (2012). Collecting, managing, and assessing data using sample surveys. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from

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