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Flashcards in Industrial / Organizational Psychology Deck (87)
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Absolute Techniques (Critical Incident Technique,
Forced-Choice Rating Scale, BARS)

the method of subjective performance assessment that indicates a ratee's performance in absolute terms (not in terms related to other employees). Uses a list of the critical incidents to rate each employee. Each item in forced-choice rating scale consists of 2-4 alternatives that are about equal in desirability, and the rater selects the alternative that best or least describes the ratee. BARS is a graphic rating scale that requires the rater to choose the 1 behavior for each dimension of job performance that best describes the employee.


Adverse Impact Rule
80% Rule

adverse impact occurs when use of a selection test or other employment procedure results in substantially higher rejection rates of legally protected (minority) group than for the majority. Majority hire results x .80; result should be same or lower than minority hiring rate.


Americans with Disabilities Act

requires companies with 15 or more employees to avoid using procedures that discriminate against people with physical or mental disabilities. Also, when a disabled person is able to perform the essential functions of the job, the employer will make reasonable accommodations to help individual complete the job. As long as it does not result in hardship for the employer.


Big Five Personality Traits

Factor analyses have identified five basic personality traits; Narcism, extraversion, openness to the experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Of these, conscientiousness has been found to be the best predictor of job performance across different jobs, job settings and criterion measures.



method of generating creative ideas that requires individuals or group members to freely suggest any idea or thought without criticism, evaluation, or censorship. Research suggests that individuals brainstorming alone do better than the same number brainstorming together.


Centralized and Decentralized Networks

Centralized communication networks are best for simple tasks; while decentralized communication networks are better for complex tasks and are associated with greater overall satisfaction.


Comparable Worth

AKA pay equity; refers to the principle that jobs that require the same education, experience and skills should pay the same wage/salary regardless of the employees age/gender/race/etc.


Compressed Workweek

an alternative work schedule that involves decreasing the number of work days by increasing the number of hours worked each day. It is associated with better supervisor ratings of employee performance, employee overall job satisfaction and employee satisfaction with the work schedule, with the effects being strongest for employee attitudes.


Consideration and Initiating Structure

Ohio State University studies found that the behavior of leaders can be described in terms of two independent dimensions; Consideration (person-centered) and initiating structure (task-oriented style).


Contingency Theory

proposes that a leader's natural effectiveness is related to an interaction between the leader's style and the nature (favorableness) of the situation. Low LPC (leaders who describe their least preferred coworker in negative terms) are most effective in very unfavorable or very favorable situations; High LPC leaders are better in moderately favorable situations.


Criterion Contamination

occurs when a criterion measure assesses factors other than those it was designed to measure. I.e. when a rater's knowledge of a ratee's performance on a predictor affects hoe the rater rates the rater on the criterion. It can artificially inflate the criterion-related validity coefficient.


Dawis and Lofquist's Theory of Work Adjustment

describes the satisfaction, tenure and other job outcomes as the result of the correspondence between the worker and his work environment on two dimensions; satisfaction and satisfactoriness. Satisfaction: depends on the degree to which the characteristics of the job correspond to his needs and values. Satisfactoriness: depends on the extent to which the workers skills correspond to the skill demands of the job.


Demand-Control Model

predicts that job demand and job control are the primary contributors to job stress. Jobs associated with the highest levels of stress are characterized by high job demand and low job control and include machine:paced and service jobs.


Differential Validity and Unfairness

when the validity coefficient of a predictor is significantly different for one subgroup than another. Unfairness occurs when members of the minority group consistently score lower on a predictor but perform approx the same on the criterion as members of the majority group. Differential validity and unfairness are potential causes of adverse impact.


Downsizing / Survivor Syndrome

Workers who are not downsized may exhibit survivor syndrome; depression, anxiety, guilt, stress-related illness, and decreased job satisfaction and organizational commitment.


Equity Theory

an employees motivation is related to employee's comparison of input/output ratio contrasted against other employees ratios.


Expectancy Theory

regards job motivation as the result of 3 elements; 1) expectancy 2) instrumentality 3) valence. The highest levels of motivation occur when an employee believed that high job effort result in high task success (expectancy), that high success leads to the attainment of certain outcomes (high instrumentality), and that outcomes are desirable (positive valence). Valence = positive / attractiveness, negative / aversiveness



an alternative work schedule that allows workers to choose the times they will begin and end work. It is associated with increased employee productivity, overall job satisfaction, satisfaction with the work schedule and decreased absenteeism.


Force Field Analysis

model of planned change; organizational change involves 3 stages: 1) unfreezing 2) changing 3) refreezing


Formative and Summative Evaluation

Formative: conducted while a training program is being developed, their results are used to make necessary modifications to the program; Summative: is conducted after the program has been implemented in order to assess outcomes.


Four Levels of Criteria

4 levels of criteria for evaluating the effects of a training program: 1) reaction 2) learning 3) behavioral 4) results.


Frame-of-Reference Training

emphasizes the multidimensional nature of job performance and focuses on the ability to distinguish between good and poor work-related behaviors. It is useful for eliminating rater biases.


Gender Differences in Leadership
Eagly and Johnson 1990

meta-analysis of the research found that male and female leaders do not consistently differ in terms of consideration or initiating structure. However, female leaders are more likely to rely on democratic (participative) decision-making style.


Goal Setting Theory

proposes that employees will be more motivated to achieve goals when they have explicitly accepted those goals and are committed to them. It also proposes that assigning specific, moderately difficult goals and providing employees with feedback about their progress towards achieving goals increases productivity.


Group Norms / Idiosyncrasy Credits

Group norms are the standard rules of conduct that maintain uniformity of behavior among group members. Idiosyncrasy credits are positive sentiments within a group toward a member that allow the member to occasionally deviate form group norms. A person accumulates idiosyncrasy credits when he has a Hx of conforming to group norms, has contributed in some special way to the group, or has served as the group leader.


Group Polarization

tendency to make more extreme decisions than individual members would have made alone



occurs when the desire of group members for unanimity and cohesiveness overrides their ability to realistically appraise or determine alternative courses of action. It can be alleviated when the group leader encourages dissent, has someone play the devil's advocate and refrains from stating his idea or solution too quickly.


Hawthorne Effect

refers to an improvement in job performance resulting from participation in a research study (i.e. due to the novelty of the situation, increased attention, etc.)


Riasec Differentation

career theory emphasizes importance of a good personality/ work environment match and distinguishes between 6 personality and environment types: 1) realistic 2) investigative 3) artistic 4) social 5) enterprising 6) conventional. A personality / environment match is most accurate as a predictor in job outcomes when a person exhibits a high degree of differentiation -i.e. has clear interests as evidenced by a high score on one type and low scores on the others.


Identical Elements

ensuring that training and performance environments are similar in terms of materials, conditions, etc. maximizes the transfer of training.