Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

Adequate lighting in industry is a paying proposition. It appears that most operations can be done with comfort and with maximum efficiency under approximately 25 foot-candles of light. Tasks requiring fine discrimination, such as certain inspection work, need relatively bright light. Indications are that it should be between 40 and 50 foot-candles.

With defective eyes, such as presbyopia, with poor legibility of print, and in other situations involving small brightness contrast between objects to be discriminated, brighter light is indicated. In the more severe of these situations, the intensity should probably be between 40 and 50 foot-candles. In others it can be somewhat less than 40 foot-candles.

In general we find that the critical level of illumination is slightly less than 5 foot-candles, and in most situations an adequate margin of safety, is achieved by about 20 foot-candles. For exacting visual tasks or for persons with defective eyes, however, 40 to 50 foot-candles are required.


56. Music in a Complex Industrial Job*

William McGehee and James E. Gardner

INDUSTRIAL music has been used widely in American industry. The exact extent of its use is not known but a recent report1 estimates that there are as many as 6,000 industrial installations in the United States. In spite of the wide use of industrial music there are few control studies of its effect on the workers and on the performance of their jobs. Too often the effect of music on production, absenteeism, turnover, accident rates, and workers' attitudes is "measured" in terms of the optimistic beliefs concerning its effectiveness held by those responsible for its installation and programming.

The majority of investigators agree that the increase in production attributed to music comes not from rhythmic pacing but from the salutary effects music has on workers' attitudes. For example, Smith writes, "Music can increase production only through stimulating changes in the attitudes or behavior of the employees. Improvements in production are by-products of these changes."2 It is implicit also in much writing on

____________________
*
From Personnel Psychology, Vol. 2, 1949, pp. 405-17.
1
Ethel M. Spears, Music in Industry, National Industrial Conference Board, Studies in Personnel Policy, No. 78, 1947.
2
Henry C. Smith, Music in Relation to Employee Attitudes, Piece-work Production, and Industrial Accidents, Applied Psychology Monographs, No. 14, 1947, p. 54.

-532-

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