I-O (Organizational Psychology)

Organizational Psychology


  • Organizational psychologists are known as Industrial –organizational psychologists or I-O
  • Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is concerned with the study of workplace behavior.
  •  I-O psychologists often apply research to increasing workplace productivity, selecting employees best suited for particular jobs and product testing.
  • This section of psychology takes theories, research, and intervention and communication strategies and applies them to groups in both work and non-work settings
  • People in this field focus on helping people understand their interactions with one another so that everyone can work together to accomplish important tasks.
  • An organizational psychologist works with everyone from lower-ranked employees to middle management and leadership teams
  • People with a bachelor's degree typically work in human resources, although there are some opportunities in other areas.
  • Those looking for greater job opportunities and higher pay may want to consider continuing their education at the master's level
  • Those with doctorate degrees in I-O psychology have the highest amount of opportunity and pay.

Pros of a Career in I-O Psychology

  • Many career opportunities with a Master’s-level degree.
  • Diverse career paths (i.e. private sector, consulting, government, education.)
  • Opportunities for self-employment.

Cons of a Career in I-O Psychology

  • Clients and projects change often.
  • Research can often be tedious and burnout can occur.
  • Many positions require doctoral degrees.

6 Key areas

  • Training and development: Professional in this area often determine what type of skills are necessary to perform specific jobs as well as develop and evaluate employee training programs.
  • Employee Selection: This area involves developing employee selection assessments, such as screening tests to determine if job applicants are qualified for a particular position
  • Ergonomics: The field of ergonomics involves designing procedures and equipment designed to maximize performance and minimize injury.

  • Performance Management: I/O psychologists who work in this area develop assessments and techniques to determine if employees are doing their jobs well.
  • Work Life: This area focuses on improving employee satisfaction and maximizing the productivity of the workforce. I/O psychologists in this area might work to find ways to make jobs more rewarding or design programs that improve the quality of life in the workplace.

  • Organizational Development: I/O psychologists who work in this area help improve organizations, often through increasing profits, redesigning products, and improving the organizational structure.


  • Starting salary for Master’s graduate - $38,750
  • Starting salary for PhD graduate - $55,000
  • Median salary - $80,000
  • University professors - $70,000
  • Private sector - $100,000

Highest earners - Top 5% of SIOP members earn from $250,000 to several million each year


  • Goes above and beyond disorganization
  • According to Dr. Randy Frost, a professor of Psychology at Smith College and a hoarding expert, "Compulsive hoarding is the acquisition of and failure to discard possessions that appear to be either useless or of limited value. This behavior is quite common, and only becomes a clinical disorder when the behavior or resulting clutter presents problems in living."

Compulsive Hoarding

  • “Compulsive Hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. More than 3 million people are compulsive hoarders.” (Flynn, Chan, & Severson, 2010)


  • Some of the symptoms may include:
    -Cluttered living space;
    -Inability to discard items;
    -Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines, or junk mail;
    -Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything;
    -Acquiring un-needed or useless items sometimes even trash; -Difficulty managing daily activities including procrastinating and trouble making decisions;
    -Difficulty organizing;
    -Excessive attachments to possessions and difficulty letting anyone touch or borrow them;
    -Limited or no social interactions.
    Hoarding can range from a harmless mess, to a life threatening condition

Children of Hoarders

  • Children of Hoarders are more likely to follow in their parents footsteps.
  • Signs of hoarding in children can begin at the age of 5
  • Usually shown in young children when asked to give up a toy, teddy bear, or blanket

4 Categories

  • Four specific categories which define the severity of clutter and hoarding potential.
    -Structure and zoning;
    -Pets and rodents;
    -Household functions:
    -Sanitation and cleanliness

Keep or Toss

  • The logic chain isn't effective for hoarders, who are very adept at coming up with excuses (for themselves and others) for why they need to keep much of what they've collected and who can find it truly agonizing to even contemplate getting rid of any of their possessions, no matter how useless or valueless they might be


  • Hoarders aren't just packrats or folks who have a few too many things; they're people, often with some sort of mental health issues, who feel the need (or compulsion) to gather and hold onto things that have little to no value, from bottle caps to old newspapers to empty toothpaste tubes to clothing.
  • The thought of getting rid of their things, or of not bringing in more things, can be physically painful to hoarders

Levals of Hoarding

¨  Level I hoarder
                Household is considered standard. No special knowledge in working with the chronically disorganized is necessary.

  • Level II hoarder
                    Household requires professional organizers or related professionals to have additional knowledge and understanding of chronic disorganization. Level III hoarder
    Household may require services in addition to those a professional organizer and related professional can provide.
  • Professional organizers and related professionals working with Level III households should have significant training in chronic disorganization and have developed a helpful community network of resources, especially mental health providers.
  • Level IV hoarder
    Household needs the help of a professional organizer and a coordinated team of service providers.
  •  Psychological, medical issues or financial hardships are generally involved. Resources will be necessary to bring a household to a functioning level.

These services may include pest control services, “crime scene cleaners”, financial counseling and licensed contractors and handy persons.

Types of Hoarding

  • Animal Hoarding
    Animal Hoarding is a complex community health issue. It involves mental health, animal welfare and public safety concerns. In most cases, animal hoarders appear to believe they are helping their animals. They believe that any home is better than letting the animals die in a shelter. They are in denial and are able to convince other people that they are in control of the situation.
  • Usually, Animal Hoarders are completely blind to the fact that they are not helping the animals, and they do not see the degree of suffering that they cause. Indications for an animal hoarder may be:
    -Owning many animals without knowing an exact number of how many;
    -Home is deteriorated and may have dirty windows, broken furniture, and holes in the floors and walls;
    -Extreme Clutter
  • Strong smells of ammonia and the presence of urine, feces and vomit;
    -Animals are unsocialized, emaciated, and lethargic;
    -The presence of fleas and vermin;
    -Individual isolated themselves from the community and appears to also be in neglect themselves;
    -Individual insists all animals are loved and cared for, even in the presence of extreme distress and illness
  • Garbage Hoarding
    Some people suffering from compulsive hoarding are obsessed with collecting garbage.
  • The term for this is syllogomania.
  • These people will go as far as climbing into dumpster and removing trash to bring home with little to no insight as to how unsanitary their actions are.
  • Often they believe that they are doing good for the world by saving what they consider to be useful items from going to the dump.
  • In their minds, they plan to find use for these items at a later time, but instead just manage to turn their own home into a dump
  • Collectors
    Some compulsive hoarders do not just simply collect junk, but focus their attention on one or more type of useful items in copious amounts.
  • Often these homes are not as unsanitary as the homes of garbage or animal hoarders. However, what starts out as a harmless collection may soon turn into an obsession.
  • Collector/Hoarders are known to collect some of the following items; clothing, newspapers, magazines, books, toy trains, cameras, and personal items, just to name a few.
  • These types of hoarders most likely also have a problem with compulsive shopping and may spend many hours and lots of money frequenting flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales, and may also be hooked on home shopping channels and eBay.


  • Many mental health professionals who work with hoarders collaborate with Professional Organizers, giving the client both psychological support and the assistance of an organizer who can help with the hands-on work.
  • This is known as collaborative therapy
  • This therapy usually lasts for at least 20 weeks