Standard Article

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

  1. Frank J. Landy

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0439

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Landy, F. J. 2010. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. Baruch College, City University of New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Industrial and organizational psychology (I-O) has a long history of research and application in both the United States and abroad. In America, its earliest roots are found in the work of Hugo Munsterberg, a colleague of William James and chair of the Department of Psychology at Harvard at the beginning of the twentieth century. Munsterberg was a pioneer in industrial selection, which is still a core activity of I-O psychologists. He developed tests to hire applicants for jobs such as telephone operator and trolley driver (Landy, 1992). There has been an unbroken development of testing technique and theory for the 100 years since then. Two additional major figures in the early development of I-O psychology (circa 1910–1940) were Walter Dill Scott and Walter Van Dyke Bingham (Landy, 1993, 1997). The early history of I-O psychology was one of application of more general psychological principles, such as learning, without much emphasis on theory development (Viteles, 1932). By 1960, this had changed, and I-O psychology then and to the present day has adopted an integrated scientist-practitioner model for academic training, practice, and research.