Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Subject Matter of Psychology

  • Ute Osterkamp
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_303

Introduction

The establishment of psychology as an empirical discipline was closely linked with “scientific management” approaches as they had evolved at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century. The leap forward in technological developments in industry stimulated manufacturers’ interest in achieving similar gains in manpower. The first efforts made in this direction were the time and motion studies of F.W. Taylor (1856–1915). By eliminating all unnecessary movements he determined the shortest possible time to perform a distinct task which was then set as a norm: those who fulfilled it, received full pay, while underachievers were paid less and overachievers more. To prevent the workers from developing opposition to such strategies – as, for instance, demanding agreements on restriction of output – a “socialengineering” was required, and psychologists seemed to be best qualified for this task. They had the additional asset of obscuring the exploitative character of such...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PsychologyFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany