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Where Are All the Women Scientists?

Girl learning science

For decades, historians have delved into historical records to dismantle the stereotype that only men have made significant contributions and advancements to science, technology, engineering and technology. Margaret Rossiter’s Women Scientists in America, published in 1982, was a landmark biography that focused on women who contributed to the growth of American science. While these facts have been published, they have not made their way into the classroom or mainstream culture. There have been numerous female astronomers, chemists, biologists, psychologists and researchers who were indispensable in their contributions toward STEM, but are their names known?

Network Research Highlight: Respect Leads to Voice

Woman speaking up in meeting

WSC Network Member Sharon K. Parker recently published a study that investigates some factors that influence why an employee may speak up or not. Parker and her collaborators looked at two factors that could influence voice, or change-oriented communication intended to advance an organization's interests. In particular, they studied the impact of received respect as a social factor that could encourage employees to heighten their voice at work

Mapping Signs of Trust in Robots

Doctor and robot interacting

A paper published on sensing human trust in machines explores the psychophysiological features that indicate how humans perceive intelligent system. A subsequent goal of the study was to build a trust sensor model to train machines to adjust their behavior according to the subject’s perception. The results of the study showed that the body tends to change in a specific pattern in response to increased trust in a machine in real-time. By using and improving these models in the future, it is possible that machines will be able to adjust their behaviors based on human psychophysiological response. This would increase the trust between humans and machines and allow for effortless interactions that increase the efficiency of work

Network Research Highlight: Motivation, Exhaustion, and Behavior

Checkup on a teddybear

In a recent paper, WSC Network Member, Mo Wang, along with a team of researchers led by Jaclyn Koopmann studied the relationship between what typically motivates us and our behavior at work. Specifically, using a sample of Chinese nurses, the research team explored the effects of promotion/prevention focuses, emotional exhaustion, and reappraisal on helping behaviors and voice. 

Robot-Assisted Surgeries: Technology Changing Team Dynamics

Surgical team

The introduction of new technology to the workplace can influence the way employees complete their tasks, including how they coordinate with one another. A case study observed four surgical procedures using the da Vinci surgical system (a robot designed to minimize the invasiveness of surgeries). By taking one of the leaders of the team and physically removing them from the work environment, and by introducing a technology that necessitates a new set of skills and behaviors from all remaining members, the use of effective communication and coordination becomes increasingly important for teams. The nature and pattern of these communications must also change.

Network Research Highlight: General or Specific Mental Abilities

Lightbulb with thought bubbles

WSC Advisory Council Member, Margaret Beier, recently published a commentary on the nature of mental ability. Research has supported a hierarchical structure of intelligence such that there is one general mental ability, that is related to more specific cognitive abilities. Historically, the prevailing wisdom has been that general mental ability is good enough, and capturing specific cognitive abilities does not add much information in predicting work outcomes we care about. However, for as long as this has been the dominant opinion, there has been dissent, arguing that specific abilities are valuable and should be considered. Beier and colleagues review and comment upon the findings of a set of articles that tackle this debate from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective.

Technology and Emotions

Robot head

As the role of technology in the workplace increases, we have to continue to examine what the role of humans is, and will be. One quality of humanity that sets us apart from technology (so far) is the ability to feel, express, and share in emotions. Three recent examples of advances in technology at work focus on the role of emotions at the human-technology interface.

Network Research Highlight: The Future of the Psychology of Working

Happy Archictect

Work Science Center advisory council member David Blustein recently published a paper detailing the Psychology of Working Framework (PWF) and its corresponding theory, Psychology of Working Theory (PWT). These intertwined concepts identify the fundamental needs that work fulfills for humans, such as economic survival, social connections, and self-determination (Blustein, Kenny, Di Fabio, & Guichard 2019). The authors suggest that with the rise of contract employees, the lingering effects of the worldwide great recession, and the exacerbation of inequality worldwide as contributors to the diminishing of decent work.

Minimum Wage 101

Close up of a dollar bill

The U.S. federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Recently, there has been a push for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 per hour by 2024. This post reviews the history of the minimum wage and the current movement called the Fight for Fifteen. We also briefly explore, potential psychological outcomes of an increased minimum wage.

Network Research Highlight: Selecting Fairly

Police officer with notes

A paper recently published by a team including WSC Advisory Council Member, Deborah Rupp, focuses on an increasingly popular tool that organizations are using to select individuals for hiring or promotion, assessment centers. Using data from 189 police officers who were participating in an assessment center for a promotion, Thornton and colleagues (2019) explored how the leniency and similar-to-me effects might appear in the real world.

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