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Psychology and Industrial Efficiency   By: (1863-1916)

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First Page:

PSYCHOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY

BY

HUGO MÜNSTERBERG

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1913

TO HAROLD F. McCORMICK

PREFATORY NOTE

This book corresponds to a German book, which I published a few months ago, under the title Psychologie und Wirlschaftsleben: Ein Beitrag zur angewandten Experimental Psychologie (Leipzig: J.A. Barth). It is not a translation, as some parts of the German volume have been abbreviated or entirely omitted and other parts have been enlarged and supplemented. Yet the essential substance of the two books is identical.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

I. APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY

II. THE DEMANDS OF PRACTICAL LIFE

III. MEANS AND ENDS

I. THE BEST POSSIBLE MAN

IV. VOCATION AND FITNESS

V. SCIENTIFIC VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE

VI. SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT

VII. THE METHODS OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

VIII. EXPERIMENTS IN THE INTEREST OF ELECTRIC RAILWAY SERVICE

IX. EXPERIMENTS IN THE INTEREST OF SHIP SERVICE

X. EXPERIMENTS IN THE INTEREST OF TELEPHONE SERVICE

XI. CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MEN OF AFFAIRS

XII. INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS

II. THE BEST POSSIBLE WORK

XIII. LEARNING AND TRAINING

XIV. THE ADJUSTMENT OF TECHNICAL TO PSYCHICAL CONDITIONS

XV. THE ECONOMY OF MOVEMENT

XVI. EXPERIMENTS ON THE PROBLEM OF MONOTONY

XVII. ATTENTION AND FATIGUE

XVIII. PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL INFLUENCES ON THE WORKING POWER

III. THE BEST POSSIBLE EFFECT

XIX. THE SATISFACTION OF ECONOMIC DEMANDS

XX. EXPERIMENTS ON THE EFFECTS OF ADVERTISEMENTS

XXI. THE EFFECT OF DISPLAY

XXII. EXPERIMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO ILLEGAL IMITATION

XXIII. BUYING AND SELLING

XXIV. THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF ECONOMIC PSYCHOLOGY

NOTES

INDEX

PSYCHOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY

INTRODUCTION

I

APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY

Our aim is to sketch the outlines of a new science which is to intermediate between the modern laboratory psychology and the problems of economics: the psychological experiment is systematically to be placed at the service of commerce and industry. So far we have only scattered beginnings of the new doctrine, only tentative efforts and disconnected attempts which have started, sometimes in economic, and sometimes in psychological, quarters. The time when an exact psychology of business life will be presented as a closed and perfected system lies very far distant. But the earlier the attention of wider circles is directed to its beginnings and to the importance and bearings of its tasks, the quicker and the more sound will be the development of this young science. What is most needed to day at the beginning of the new movement are clear, concrete illustrations which demonstrate the possibilities of the new method. In the following pages, accordingly, it will be my aim to analyze the results of experiments which have actually been carried out, experiments belonging to many different spheres of economic life. But these detached experiments ought always at least to point to a connected whole; the single experiments will, therefore, always need a general discussion of the principles as a background. In the interest of such a wider perspective we may at first enter into some preparatory questions of theory. They may serve as an introduction which is to lead us to the actual economic life and the present achievements of experimental psychology.

It is well known that the modern psychologists only slowly and very reluctantly approached the apparently natural task of rendering useful service to practical life. As long as the study of the mind was entirely dependent upon philosophical or theological speculation, no help could be expected from such endeavors to assist in the daily walks of life. But half a century has passed since the study of consciousness was switched into the tracks of exact scientific investigation. Five decades ago the psychologists began to devote themselves to the most minute description of the mental experiences and to explain the mental life in a way which was modeled after the pattern of exact natural sciences... Continue reading book >>




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