Newswise — Industrial and organizational psychologists will be looking at some of the current issues and emerging trends in the workplace at the 20th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology April 15-17 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

The conference is expected to attract more than 3,000 of the world's top workplace scientists.

More than 800 symposia, practitioner forums, panel presentations, posters and other sessions will feature a wide range of workplace issues including the changing face of work; exit interviews and why people leave their jobs; the use of personality tests to predict worker behavior; current trends in occupational health psychology; alcohol and drug use in the workplace, and reference letters and what they really say about candidates.

Other sessions will highlight an inside look at how one company (Dell Inc.) develops its leaders; how Tyson Foods went from chicken to adding beef and pork; overcoming roadblocks to company mergers; dealing with conflict at work and understanding its impact upon employees, and strategies for the advancement of women in the workplace.

Some additional topics to be discussed:

· Thwarting a "cheating" culture. With most companies and organizations relying on personality and other forms of testing, there are many examples of cheating in these high-stakes testing situation. A forum will bring together top test makers to provide advice on how organizations can maintain test security.· Discrimination towards obese customers. This research shows heavy shoppers face more discrimination than shoppers of average weight.· Quality of relationships with liked and disliked co-workers. This study shows that it is the quality of relationships with close co-workers that overrides relationships with disagreeable workers.· The role of psychology in class action lawsuits. Many well-known companies have faced employment discrimination lawsuits in recent years. Four I-O psychologists who have been active experts in such cases, will present legal trends in these lawsuits.· Older workers and technology. Conventional wisdom says older workers are resistant to change and slow to pick up on technology. Not so, according to this study.· Leadership development in the U.S. Army. The Army is in the midst of radical transformation and its job defending the nation has become much more complex. A symposium will highlight research and projects that has the potential to shape the training of future of Army leaders.

· Internet job selection. With companies collecting personal data from more than 25 percent of the U.S. workforce, questions arise about the use and security of this information. Legal and security issues will be discussed by several experts.· Repairing trust. Trust is frequently violated and this research reveals the best way to make a sincere apology that will be accepted. Too often apologies are not apologies; they are excuses.· Workplace bias issues have usually focused on race, gender and physical ability but this symposium focuses on something different: disagreeable personalities, transgender employees and linguistic accent.

SIOP President Fritz Drasgow will open the three-day conference with the keynoteaddress, entitled "Computerized testing and assessment: boon or boondoggle?" Also, during the opening session, SIOP will present its annual recognition awards and Fellows, men and women who have made significant contributions to the field of IO psychology.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is an international group of 6,000 industrial-organizational psychologists whose members study and apply scientific principles concerning people in the workplace. For more information about SIOP, including Media Resources, which lists 1,400 experts in more than 100 topic areas, visit

Register for reporter access to contact details

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology