Münsterberg, Hugo, 1863-1916

Alternative names
Birth 1863-06-01
Death 1916-12-16
English, German

Biographical notes:

Psychologist Hugo Münsterberg studied at Leipzig under Wilhelm Wundt and received further training in medicine at Heidelberg and Freiburg. He met William James at a conference in 1891, and in 1892 James invited him to Harvard University, where Münsterberg lectured and chaired the department of psychology for three years. After a brief period in Germany, he returned to Harvard, which remained his chief institutional affiliation. Münsterberg is best known for his pioneering work in clincal, forensic, and industrial psychology; he was an admirer of Frederick Winslow Taylor and was particularly concerned with issues of workplace efficiency and vocational guidance. In addition to pyschology, Münsterberg was engaged in furthering German-American understanding: he remained deeply committed to his adopted country, but his critques of American culture and his support of German policies, especially during the First World War, garnered strong opposition, including accusations of espionage and death threats. Among his correspondents was the German-American poet and propagandist George Sylvester Viereck, who became known as a radically pro-German apologist. Although many colleagues distanced themselves from Münsterberg during the war, he remained at Harvard until his death, aged 53, at the lecture podium.

From the description of Hugo Münsterberg letters to George Sylvester Viereck, 1904-1916. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 748932463

German American psychologist, educator, and author.

From the description of Hugo Münsterberg manuscript page [manuscript], [1901] (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 608297673

Münsterberg (1863-1916) was a pioneer in experimental psychology. He taught at Harvard for many years, first as Professor of Experimental Psychology (1892-1897) and then as Professor of Psychology (1897-1916). He also directed the Psychological Laboratory (1905-1916). Munsterberg was born in Prussia in 1863. He received an honorary degree from Harvard in 1901.

From the description of Papers of Hugo Münsterberg, 1900-1928 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76972815


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  • German American literature
  • Psychology, Experimental
  • German Americans


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  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)