Jim Rebar
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The History Corner: SIOP Time Capsule, Launch of the SIOP Virtual Museum, and Locke & Latham Interview

Jeff Cucina

Note.  The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. Customs and Border Protection or the U.S. Federal Government.  

My 2-year term as SIOP Historian has drawn to a close.  The role of Historian is now in the very capable hands of Nathan Carter whose debut History Corner column will appear in the next issue of TIP.  In my last installment of the History Corner, I announce the completion of two major History Committee initiatives: the closure of the SIOP Time Capsule and the launch of the SIOP Virtual Museum.  I also cover the SIOP 2016 Living History Series interview with Locke and Latham.

SIOP Time Capsule

 Last year, Division 14 (i.e., SIOP) turned 70 years old and held its 30th annual conference.  To commemorate these events, and to plan for SIOP’s 100th birthday, I initiated the SIOP Time Capsule (Below, 2015; Cucina, 2015).  The purpose of the capsule is to provide a snapshot of I-O psychology history in 2015 (and before) by preserving items for the next generation of SIOP members.  The capsule itself is a 12-inch airtight stainless steel cube (see Figure 1).  It was unveiled in dramatic fashion (to music from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey) at last year’s opening plenary session (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ext7e0GrmpU&t=79m5s).   

Figure 1: Photograph of the SIOP Time Capsule on display at the 2015 SIOP Conference

For the next 30 years, the SIOP Time Capsule will be stored at the Archives of the History of American Psychology, which is a part of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, OH.  Why is the capsule being stored there as opposed to being buried in the ground or placed into a building cornerstone?  After conducting some research on time capsules, I learned that they do not hold up very well when buried in the ground.  Some capsules are stored in walls or cornerstones of buildings, including the American Psychological Association’s capsule (DeAngelis, 1992).  However, SIOP does not own any physical buildings and university buildings might undergo renovation before 2045.  Given the Cummings Center’s  experience in holding historical artifacts (e.g., Milgram’s shock generator, Bandura’s Bobo doll), it seemed like the logical choice.  The Cummings Center will store the capsule until 2045 when it will be opened at the 60th SIOP conference in commemoration of SIOP’s 100th birthday.

So what is inside the SIOP Time Capsule?  Well, I want there to be an element of surprise when the capsule is opened.  Therefore, the full list of items is “top secret” for now.  However, I will mention a few of the items that are inside the capsule.  I have included recent copies of Personnel Psychology and the Journal of Applied Psychology, Muchinsky and Culberton’s (2016) I-O psychology textbook, Brannick, Levine, and Morgeson’s (2007) job analysis textbook, a copy of the Uniform Guidelines (will we still be using the same version in 2045?), and the last printed copy of TIP.  There are many more items inside as well.

I have a created an entry for the SIOP Time Capsule in the International Time Capsule Society’s registry of time capsules.  The capsule would not have been a success without the financial support provided by the Executive Board, the items donated by SIOP members, and the generous assistance provided by Dave Nershi and Jen Baker of the SIOP Administrative Office.  

SIOP Virtual Museum

 Many occupations and industries have their own museums.  Dentists have the National Museum of Dentistry (in Baltimore), firefighters have the Denver Firefighters Museum, pharmacists have the History of Pharmacy museum in Tucson, Border Patrol Agents have the National Border Patrol Museum.  Yet, there is no museum of I-O psychology.  Of course, we do have the Museum of Psychology in Akron, OH; however, that museum focuses on psychology in general rather than I-O in particular.  With this in mind, the SIOP History Committee has launched the SIOP Virtual History Museum (http://www.siop.org/museum/).  Special thanks go to James Rebar of the SIOP Administrative Office for his website programming work as well as History Committee members Michael Sheppeck and Luke Brooks-Seshlerwho helped me obtain the content for the museum.

The SIOP Virtual History Museum website is your starting point for all things related to I-O history.  It includes a Presidential Portrait Gallery with photographs of every SIOP past president and links to their biographical information.  We have added biographies for deceased past presidents who did not have an autobiography.  These past presidents include Marion Bills, George Bennett, Richard Campbell, Jack Dunlap, Leonard Ferguson, Edwin Henry, John Jenkins, Floyd Ruch, Erwin Taylor, and S. Rains Wallace (Johnson, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, 2016d, 2016e, 2016f, 2016g, 2016h, 2016i, 2016j).  More biographies will be posted soon.  You can also visit the SIOP and Division 14 wing of the museum to learn more about SIOP’s history.  Included are photographs of and links to snapshots of SIOP’s website over the years, the 1949 bylaws for Division 14, and a timeline of SIOP history.  The site also includes a library with history-related articles and columns that were published in TIP.  The early history wing includes information on the Gilbreths, Hugo Munsterberg, and other early figures.  You can listen to an interview of Jack Hunter and view Division 14 membership directories from the 1950s in the later history wing.  Also included in the museum are copies of the revised I-O family trees (Cucina & Jackson, 2016) and the SIOP Conference history posters.  Finally, the museum includes links to other resources for the history of psychology.  It is my hope that the museum will expand over the years.  As I-O psychology has joined the list of fastest growing occupations (Farnham, 2014).  Perhaps one day we will be a large enough field to have our own nonvirtual, bricks-and-mortar museum.

SIOP Living History Series

The fourth installment of the SIOP Living History Series was conducted at the 2016 SIOP conference in front of a packed audience.  During the series, the SIOP Historian interviews living historical figures about their lives and contributions to I-O psychology.  This year’s interviewees were Drs. Edwin A. Locke (Figure 2) and Gary P. Latham(Figure 3).  Because they have spent many years working together, Drs. Locke and Latham were interviewed together during this year’s session.  The session began with an overview of Locke’s and Latham’s early lives (e.g., where they grew up, where they went to school) and their entry into I-O psychology (e.g., what led them to become I-O psychologists, their graduate school careers).  Next they both spoke about their early jobs as practitioners; Locke worked at the American Institutes for Research and Latham worked at both the American Pulpwood Association and Weyerhaeuser Company (a large private-sector lumbar company).  After some time as practitioners, they both moved into faculty positions.  Locke has spent his academic career at the University of Maryland, College Park and Latham began his academic career at the University of Washington before moving to the University of Toronto.  Locke and Latham met in a 1974 APA symposium on workplace behavior modification chaired by Milton Blood and soon began a 40+ year collaboration. 


Figure 2: Portrait of Edwin A. Locke           Figure 3: Portrait of Gary P. Latham

The pair is especially recognized for their work establishing goal setting theory.  A recent survey ranked goal-setting theory as the most important of 73 management theories.  Their book on goal-setting theory (Locke & Latham, 1990) has been cited 7,940 times (according to GoogleScholar), and their American Psychologist (Locke & Latham, 2002) and Psychological Bulletin (Locke, Shaw, Saari, & Latham, 1981) articles on the topic have been cited 3,595 and 2,680 times, respectively.  They discussed their work on goal-setting theory extensively during the session.  This theory was developed inductively, which relates to a second area of contribution for Locke and Latham: research methodology.  The pair has written several articles about the inductive approach to theory building and research methodology (Locke, 2005, 2007; Locke & Latham, 2005, 2014).  More recently, Locke has addressed concerns that I-O psychologists are becoming too deductive in their approaches (Locke, Williams, & Masuda, 2015).  They also discussed their pioneering “crucial experiment” methodology whereby researchers with different theoretical orientations collaborate together to design and test competing hypotheses (Latham, Erez, & Locke, 1988).  In addition, Locke explained how Ayn Rand’s philosophy has influenced him.

The session closed with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.  SIOP recorded the session and a copy of the recording has been posted to SIOP’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpgmcZCuNPc. Due to a hard drive failure, the video for parts of the session (including the ending) were lost.  Recordings of previous interviews for the series (including interviews of David P. Campbell, Paul E. Thayer, and Frank L. Schmidt) are also available on the channel.  More information on Latham’s career can also be found in his SIOP past president autobiography: http://www.siop.org/presidents/glatham.pdf


I have really enjoyed my tenure as SIOP Historian and I hope that you will enjoy the SIOP Virtual Museum and the recording of Locke and Latham’s SIOP Living History Series interview.  I marked my calendar for the SIOP Time Capsule opening in April 2045; I hope you will too.


Below, S.  (2015, April 15).  Back to I-O’s Future: SIOP Prepares Time Capsule in Honor of Division 14 and Conference Anniversary.  Available at http://www.siop.org/article_view.aspx?article=1379

Brannick, M. T., Levine, E. L., & Morgeson, F. P.  (2007).  Job and work analysis: Methods, research, and applications for human resources management.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Cucina, J. M.  (2015).  Early pre-industrial/organizational psychology employment tests: Part II.  The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 52(4), 58-65.

Cucina, J. M., & Jackson, F.  (In press).  Update of Landy’s (1997) I-O psychology family trees.  The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 54(1).

DeAngelis, T.  (1992).  APA time capsule to be opened in 2092.  APA Monitor, 23(6), 10.

Farnham, A.  (2014, February 5).  20 fastest growing occupations.  ABC News.  Retrieved May 13, 2016 from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/americas-20-fastest-growing-jobs-surprise/story?id=22364716

Johnson, K.  (2016a).  A biography of Edwin R. Henry.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Henry.aspx.

Johnson, K.  (2016b).  A biography of Erwin K. Taylor.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Taylor.aspx

Johnson, K.  (2016c).  A biography of Floyd L. Ruch.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Ruch.aspx

Johnson, K.  (2016d).  A biography of George K. Bennett.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Bennett.aspx

Johnson, K.  (2016e).  A biography of Jack W. Dunlap.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Dunlap.aspx.

Johnson, K.  (2016f).  A biography of John G. Jenkins.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Jenkins.aspx.

Johnson, K.  (2016g).  A biography of Leonard W. Ferguson.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Ferguson.aspx

Johnson, K.  (2016h).  A biography of Marion A. Bills.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Bills.aspx.

Johnson, K.  (2016i).  A biography of Richard J. Campbell.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Campbell_R.aspx

Johnson, K.  (2016j).  A biography of S. Rains Wallace.  Available at http://www.siop.org/Presidents/Wallace.aspx

Latham, G. P., Erez, M., & Locke, E. A. (1988). Resolving scientific disputes by the joint design of crucial experiments by the antagonists: Application to the Erez–Latham dispute regarding participation in goal setting. Journal of Applied Psychology73(4), 753-772.

Locke, E. A.  (2005).  Theory building by induction. (Lifetime Achievement Award Address). Annual meeting of the Academy of Management..

Locke, E. A. (2007). The Case for Inductive Theory Building. Journal of Management33(6), 867-890.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting & task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American psychologist57(9), 705-717.

Locke, E.A., & Latham, G.P. (2005). Goal setting theory: Theory building by induction. In K. G. Smith & M. A. Hitt (Eds.), Great minds in management: The process of theory development. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. P. (2014) Theory development by induction: Goal setting theory, 1990-2013. Oxford Handbooks Online.

Locke, E. A., Shaw, K. N., Saari, L. M., & Latham, G. P. (1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969–1980. Psychological bulletin90(1), 125-152

Locke, E. A., Williams, K. J., & Masuda, A.  (2015).  The virtue of persistence.  The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 52(4), 104-106.

Muchinsky, P. M., & Culbertson, S. S.  (2016).  Psychology applied to work.  (11th ed.). Summerfield, SC: Hypergraphic Press.

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