Research settings in industrial and organizational psychology: Are findings in the field more generalizable than in the laboratory?

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Abstract

The authors analyzed for content all the empirical articles from the 1966, 1970, and 1974 volumes of the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, and Personnel Psychology to determine the types of organizations, Ss, and dependent measures studied. Contrary to the common belief that field settings provide for more generalization of research findings than laboratory settings do, field research appeared as narrow as laboratory research in the actors, settings, and behaviors sampled. Indeed, industrial-organizational psychology seems to be developing in the laboratory a psychology of the college student, and in the field, a psychology of the self-report of male, professional, technical, and managerial employees in productive-economic organizations. It is suggested that coordinated strategies of research in both laboratory and field settings are needed to construct an externally valid industrial and organizational psychology. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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