Industrial psychology, also referred to as industrial-organization (I-O) psychology is the study of workplace behavior. Psychologists in this field are concerned with research in establishing ways of boosting productivity, determining employee suitability to specific tasks and trying products. This field is wide encompassing employee training and assessment, research and academic positions. There are areas of specialization like human-computer interaction and human factors. Professional industrial psychologists offer consultancy services.
The United States department of labor predicts that industrial psychologists will be in demand as they will be needed to increase productivity in the work place and retention rates in a variety of businesses. They will help in issues like diversity in the work place and anti-discrimination policies. The services of I-Os will also be required in survey design, analysis and research to come up with marketing strategies and statistical analysis (Kelly 1992).
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a field dedicated to the study of the interaction between the computer and the user with the ultimate goal of achieving user satisfaction. HCI focuses on machine and human interaction; it derives information from both the machine and human perspective. Computer graphics, operating systems, programming languages and development are dealt on the machine part. On the human side, cognitive psychology, communication theory, social sciences, industrial and graphic design disciplines and linguistics. Human-machine interaction is very critical in that insufficient HCI designs are fatal (Kelly 1992). Disasters in the aviation industry have always resulted from utilization of non- standard flight instruments which are superior but produce unwanted results.
Human factors, is a field of psychology that deals with topics like workplace safety, ergonomics, human error, product design and human potential. The aim of human factors is to increase productivity and reducing accidents in the work place. Professionals in this field focus mainly on research and using the knowledge derived from human behavior, cognition and perception to come up with practical products and safe working conditions.