Unit 2 Seminar: Option 2
Laura McFarland
PS390: Prof: Dr. St. Germain
Kaplan University


I/O psychologists engage in scientific research in order to help organizations, especially human resources personnel, to create a good working environment. Without research, organizations would be unable to learn from past mistakes and successes (Landy & Conte, 2012). By researching a model of a system, in other words the theory, can help predict outcomes of the present system or anticipate how modifying the system may benefit the workplace (Landy & Conte, 2012). The scientific method is important for researching with an unbiased exploration of phenomenon (Landy & Conte, 2012). Moreover, the scientific method is the system of discovering knowledge based on theory, predictions, testing, and reporting conclusions (Landy & Conte, 2012). It is an objective methodology for understanding and refining knowledge about human behavior. The steps of the scientific method are:
Ask a question.
Do research.
Construct a hypothesis.
Test the hypothesis
Analyze the data
Make a conclusion.
Communicate the results.
I/O research is advantageous to organizations to help make decisions that are effective and supportive of a satisfying and motivated environment. The research process is essentially leading to prediction of an outcome (Landy & Conte, 2012). There are two types of research applied, quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative refers to the value or measure of something, thusly, qualitative refers to the quality of things; the meanings, definitions, characteristics, and descriptions (Landy & Conte, 2012). Historically, I/O scientists have relied on quantitative methods for measuring behavior (Landy & Conte, 2012). Quantitative strategy depends on tests, questionnaires, rating scale survey and even measures of physiological phenomenon, to discover statistical results in terms of numbers (Landy & Conte, 2012). On the other hand, qualitative methods generally pays attention to the narrative descriptions and observation of events to construct case study, using journals, reports, charts and flow diagrams for analysis (Landy & Conte, 2012). Qualitative research takes longer to perform as it requires greater degree of design clarity.
Generalization is the process of exploring and reasoning that involves drawing broad assumptions from distinct observations (Landy & Conte, 2012). The goal of most qualitative research is to offer a contextualized understanding of experience (Landy & Conte, 2012). Generalizability is applied by scientist to offer research findings by studying a sample of the larger population (Landy & Conte, 2012). Therefore, generalization gives researchers a statistical probability of the phenomenon and without generalization, research would require data over the entire population (Landy & Conte, 2012). Additionally, researchers must identify the population that best represents the condition and ensure that the sample size is the best reflection of the target population (Landy & Conte, 2012).

Reference:
Landy & Conte. (2012). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 4th Edition. Wiley, 2012-12-07. VitalBook file.