Hugo Munsterberg

“Hugo Munsterberg”, (1863, Danzig, Prussia [now Gdansk, Poland]—died 1916, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.), German-American psychologist and philosopher who was interested in the applications of psychology to law, business, industry, medicine, teaching, and sociology.

Munsterberg took his Ph. D. in 1885 and his M.D. at the University of Heidelberg in 1887. After his appointment as an instructor at the University of Freiburg, where he established a psychological laboratory, he began publishing Beitrage zur experimentellen Psychologie (1889–92; “Contributions to Experimental Psychology”).

His work was criticized by German colleagues but won the approval of the American psychologist William James, who invited him to be a visiting professor at Harvard University (1892–95). Munsterberg returned to the United States permanently in 1897 to direct the Harvard psychological laboratory, and he became increasingly absorbed with the application of psychology to a number of different areas, including psychic research.

He is sometimes credited with being the founder of applied psychology. His works include Psychology and the Teacher (1909), Psychology and Industrial Efficiency (1913), and Psychology: General and Applied (1914).

The Americans

The Americans

19.99 $ (Printed)eBook: 4.99 $

"The Americans" by Hugo Munsterberg stands alongside Alexis de Tocqueville's American Democracy as one of the great works on the New World written by a scholar deeply familiar with the Old World. When originally published, it gave the German public a sense of American life, and was described as "a book which deals in a detailed way with the political, economic, intellectual, and social aspects of American culture." Munsterberg, a world-renowned psychologist at the turn of the twentieth century, noted that "its purpose is to interpret systematically the democratic ideals of America."

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