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Journal of Applied Psychology

Journal of Applied Psychology

  • One hundred years of the Journal of Applied Psychology: Background, evolution, and scientific trends.
    To launch this Special Issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology celebrating the 1st century of the journal we conducted a review encompassing the background of the founding of the journal; a quantitative assessment of its evolution across the century; and an examination of trends examining article type, article length, authorship patterns, supplemental materials, and research support. The journal was founded in March of 1917 with hopeful optimism about the potential of psychology being applied to practical problems could enhance human happiness, well-being, and effectiveness. Our quantitative content assessment using both keyword frequencies and latent semantic analyses of raw content, in both bottom-up (corpus driven) and top-down modes (analyst driven), converged to document an evolution ranging from a broad and exploratory applied psychology to a more focused industrial psychology to an industrial and organizational psychology to an organizational psychology. With respect to other trends, during the first 4 decades 20 to 30% of journal items were book reviews, which then abruptly ceased in the mid-1950s. Articles have grown increasingly longer over time. Author teams are increasingly larger, and sole authored articles are vanishingly small in frequency. The use of supplemental materials and articles reporting research support have surged dramatically in the most recent period. Across the various foci we examined, our review portrays the evolution of the journal as reflecting the development of a mature, focused, and cumulative scientific discipline addressing psychological science applied to work and organizations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Individual differences and their measurement: A review of 100 years of research.
    This article reviews 100 years of research on individual differences and their measurement, with a focus on research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. We focus on 3 major individual differences domains: (a) knowledge, skill, and ability, including both the cognitive and physical domains; (b) personality, including integrity, emotional intelligence, stable motivational attributes (e.g., achievement motivation, core self-evaluations), and creativity; and (c) vocational interests. For each domain, we describe the evolution of the domain across the years and highlight major theoretical, empirical, and methodological developments, including relationships between individual differences and variables such as job performance, job satisfaction, and career development. We conclude by discussing future directions for individual differences research. Trends in the literature include a growing focus on substantive issues rather than on the measurement of individual differences, a differentiation between constructs and measurement methods, and the use of innovative ways of assessing individual differences, such as simulations, other-reports, and implicit measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Twilight of dawn or of evening? A century of research methods in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
    We offer a critical review and synthesis of research methods in the first century of the Journal of Applied Psychology. We divide the chronology into 6 periods. The first emphasizes the first few issues of the journal, which, in many ways, set us on a methodological course that we sail to this day, and then takes us through the mid-1920s. The second is the period through World War II, in which we see the roots of modern methodological concepts and techniques, including a transition from a discovery orientation to a hypotheticodeductive model orientation. The third takes us through roughly 1970, a period in which many of our modern-day practices were formed, such as reliance on null hypothesis significance testing. The fourth, from 1970 through 1989, sees an emphasis on the development of measures of critical constructs. The fifth takes us into the present, which is marked by greater plurality regarding data-analytic approaches. Finally, we offer a glimpse of possible and, from our perspective, desirable futures regarding research methods. Specifically, we highlight the need to conduct replications; study the exceptional and not just the average; improve the quality of the review process, particularly regarding methodological issues; emphasize design and measurement issues; and build and test more specific theories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Solving the Supreme Problem: 100 years of selection and recruitment at the Journal of Applied Psychology.
    This article reviews 100 years of research on recruitment and selection published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Recruitment and selection research has been present in the Journal from the very first issue, where Hall (1917) suggested that the challenge of recruitment and selection was the Supreme Problem facing the field of applied psychology. As this article shows, the various topics related to recruitment and selection have ebbed and flowed over the years in response to business, legal, and societal changes, but this Supreme Problem has captivated the attention of scientist–practitioners for a century. Our review starts by identifying the practical challenges and macro forces that shaped the sciences of recruitment and selection and helped to define the research questions the field has addressed. We then describe the evolution of recruitment and selection research and the ways the resulting scientific advancements have contributed to staffing practices. We conclude with speculations on how recruitment and selection research may proceed in the future. Supplemental material posted online provides additional depth by including a summary of practice challenges and scientific advancements that affected the direction of selection and recruitment research and an outline of seminal articles published in the Journal and corresponding time line. The 100-year anniversary of the Journal of Applied Psychology is very much the celebration of recruitment and selection research, although predictions about the future suggest there is still much exciting work to be done. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • 100 years of training and development research: What we know and where we should go.
    Training and development research has a long tradition within applied psychology dating back to the early 1900s. Over the years, not only has interest in the topic grown but there have been dramatic changes in both the science and practice of training and development. In the current article, we examine the evolution of training and development research using articles published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP) as a primary lens to analyze what we have learned and to identify where future research is needed. We begin by reviewing the timeline of training and development research in JAP from 1918 to the present in order to elucidate the critical trends and advances that define each decade. These trends include the emergence of more theory-driven training research, greater consideration of the role of the trainee and training context, examination of learning that occurs outside the classroom, and understanding training’s impact across different levels of analysis. We then examine in greater detail the evolution of 4 key research themes: training criteria, trainee characteristics, training design and delivery, and the training context. In each area, we describe how the focus of research has shifted over time and highlight important developments. We conclude by offering several ideas for future training and development research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Taking stock of two relational aspects of organizational life: Tracing the history and shaping the future of socialization and mentoring research.
    As part of the centennial celebration for the Journal of Applied Psychology, this article reviews the literature on organizational socialization and mentoring. Our review includes a comparison of organizational socialization and mentoring as processes for employee adjustment and development, the historical context that fueled the emergence of these two areas of study, and a chronological mapping of key foundations, trends, themes that emerged across time, and major milestones. Along the way, a special emphasis is placed on research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and high impact work is highlighted. We conclude with a discussion of five areas for future research. Specifically, we outline ideas for bridging the socialization and mentoring literatures, better understanding and capturing dynamic processes across time, the development of multilevel theories and models, addressing causality, and considering the implications for organizational socialization and mentoring research based on how technology is changing the way we work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Motivation related to work: A century of progress.
    Work motivation is a topic of crucial importance to the success of organizations and societies and the well-being of individuals. We organize the work motivation literature over the last century using a meta-framework that clusters theories, findings, and advances in the field according to their primary focus on (a) motives, traits, and motivation orientations (content); (b) features of the job, work role, and broader environment (context); or (c) the mechanisms and processes involved in choice and striving (process). Our integrative review reveals major achievements in the field, including more precise mapping of the psychological inputs and operations involved in motivation and broadened conceptions of the work environment. Cross-cutting trends over the last century include the primacy of goals, the importance of goal striving processes, and a more nuanced conceptualization of work motivation as a dynamic, goal-directed, resource allocation process that unfolds over the related variables of time, experience, and place. Across the field, advances in methodology and measurement have improved the match between theory and research. Ten promising directions for future research are described and field experiments are suggested as a useful means of bridging the research–practice gap. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Job attitudes, job satisfaction, and job affect: A century of continuity and of change.
    Over the past 100 years, research on job attitudes has improved in the sophistication of methods and in the productive use of theory as a basis for fundamental research into questions of work psychology. Early research incorporated a diversity of methods for measuring potential predictors and outcomes of job attitudes. Over time, methods for statistically assessing these relationships became more rigorous, but the field also became narrower. In recent years, developments in theory and methodology have reinvigorated research, which now addresses a rich panoply of topics related to the daily flow of affect, the complexity of personal motives and dispositions, and the complex interplay of attitude objects and motivation in shaping behavior. Despite these apparent changes, a review of the concepts and substantive arguments that underpin this literature have remained remarkably consistent. We conclude by discussing how we expect that these major themes will be addressed in the future, emphasizing topics that have proven to be enduring guides for understanding the ways that people construe and react to their appraisals of their work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)


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