The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Münsterberg, Hugo

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MÜNSTERBERG, mün'ster-bĕrg, Hugo, German-American psychologist: b, Dantzic, Germany, 1 June 1863; d. Cambridge, Mass., 16 Dec. 1916. He was graduated at the Dantzic Gymnasium in 1882, and pursued post-graduate studies in physiology, philosophy, natural sciences and medicine until 1887. He received the degree of Ph. D. at Leipzig in 1885 and that of M.D. at Heidelberg in 1887. After this he was instructor and assistant professor of psychology in the University of Freiburg at Baden, Germany. In 1892 he came to America at the invitation of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. He was professor of experimental psychology and director of the Psychological Laboratory in Harvard from that time until his death. His scholarly work was partly psychological, partly philosophical. After 1900 he gave special attention to the new field of applied psychology, in particular to the application of psychology to education, medicine, law, commerce and industry. He was a member of the Psychological Association (president 1898), of the Philosophical Association (president 1908), the Washington Academy, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, etc. He was organizer and vice-president of the International Congress of Arts and Sciences at the Saint Louis World's Fair 1904, vice-president of the International Psychological Congress in Paris 1900, vice-president of the International Philosophical Congress at Heidelberg 1907, etc. In 1910-11 he was Harvard exchange professor at the University of Berlin and during that year founded the Amerika-Institut in Berlin. During the whole period of his American stay he worked for the improvement of the relations between the United States and Germany, writing in America for a better understanding of Germany and in Germany for a higher appreciation of America. The outspoken views of Professor Münsterberg on the issue of the War of 1914 raised storms of controversy about his head. He appeared as probably the most eminent supporter of German policies in America, and as such was most bitterly condemned by the Entente Allies and their friends, while to the pro-Germans he appeared almost an idol. While supporting German policies, Professor Münsterberg denounced many of the activities of the Teutonic hyphenates in this country. He condemned the forming of an alien party within the United States as “a crime against the spirit of true Americanism,” and said that its results would reach far beyond the time of the war. Professor Münsterberg's early writings in Germany were exclusively devoted to experimental psychology. During his sojourn in America he published the following works, some of which have been translated into many languages: ‘Psychology and Life’ (1899); ‘Grundzüge der Psychologie’ (1900); ‘American Traits’ (1902); ‘Die Amerikaner’ (1904; revised 1912); ‘Principles of Art Education’ (1905); ‘The Eternal Life’ (1905) ; ‘Science and Idealism’ (1906); ‘Philosophie der Werte’ (1907); ‘On the Witness Stand’ (1908); ‘Aus Deutsch-Amerika’ (1909); ‘The Eternal Values’ (1909); ‘Psychotherapy’ (1909); ‘Psychology and the Teacher’ (1910); ‘American Problems’ (1910); ‘Psychologie und Wirtschaftsleben’ (1912); ‘Vocation and Learning’ (1912); ‘Psychology and Industrial Efficiency’ (1913); ‘American Patriotism’ (1913); ‘Grundzüge der Psychotechnik’ (1914); ‘Psychology and Social Sanity’ (1914); ‘Psychology, General and Applied’ (1914); ‘The War and America’ (1914); ‘The Peace and America’ (1915); ‘The Photoplay, A Psychological Study’ (1916). He was also a large contributor of psychological and philosophical articles in the scientific magazines and of social, political and practical psychological articles in the popular periodicals.