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Biopsychology in the Workplace

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1 Biopsychology in the Workplace
Module from SIOP

2 Biopsychology at Work Biopsychology is a subfield of psychology that emphasizes the integration of human biology and psychology (body and mind together). This means considering: How the body functions physiologically and neurologically How our mind and body operate together in sensation and perception, and responding to stimuli in the world around us

3 Why Relevant in the Workplace?
Workers are human beings and therefore also biological organisms We all have complex brains and central nervous systems, which enable and complicate our day-to-day functioning: Biologically we may be able to explain body mechanisms that are associated with reward, pleasure, pain, memory, etc. Other psychological aspects also likely factor into how we react to stimuli in our environments

4 Practicing Biopsychology
Expertise in biopsychology requires specialized training that most I-O psychologists do not have. Most good I-O graduate programs do provide at least one course in biological processes associated with human functioning (part of licensure preparation) It is also common to forge collaborations between I-O and neuropsychology or biology researchers when applying a biopsychological perspective to issues within work organizations

5 Example Topics Some researchers/practitioners of I-O are more likely than others to need familiarity with biopsychological factors and issues, including: Work-related stress and its effects on physical and psychological worker wellbeing Worker emotions Influence of work environment features on worker functioning Reward and motivation

6 Class Discussion Do you find yourself more interested in biology or psychology? Why? What are the benefits of integrating a biological and psychological perspective when examining human functioning within organizations? What types of applied psychology topics are likely to involve biological and psychological components?

7 Further Reading Landsbergis, P. A., Schnall, P. L., Belkić, K. L., Baker, D., Schwartz, J., & Pickering, T. G. (2001). Work stressors and cardiovascular disease. Work, 17(3), Muraven, M., Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Self-control as limited resource: regulatory depletion patterns. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(3), Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.

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