The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions

By Margaret P. Munger | Go to book overview

22
HUGO MÜNSTERBERG

Hugo Münsterberg (1863–1916) created quite a sensation in Chicago at the World's
Columbian Exhibition of 1893 when he introduced the American public to the new sci-
ence of experimental psychology with a display of the shiny brass and polished mahogany
instruments used in Germany to measure the mind. Born to a wealthy family in Danzig,
Prussia (now Gdansk, Poland), Münsterberg studied at the University of Leipzig under Wil-
helm Wundt (p. 296) and received his Ph.D. in 1885. He earned a medical degree from the
University of Heidelberg in 1887 and began as a Privatdocent, or lecturer, at the Universi-
ty of Freiburg. In 1889, William James (p. 216) arranged to meet Münsterberg at the first In-
ternational Congress of Psychology in Paris upon reading his book, Voluntary Action, a
work James found brilliant but that Wundt thought ridiculous. James successfully recruited
Münsterberg to the faculty of Harvard University in 1892, but Münsterberg remained
equivocal about leaving Germany. He returned to the University of Freiburg in 1895, but
no academic jobs were forthcoming in Germany, so Münsterberg settled permanently at
Harvard in 1897. The application of psychology intrigued Münsterberg, and he wrote sev-
eral popular books detailing the practical nature of psychology, including On the Witness
Stand(1908); Psychology and the Teacher(1910); and The Photoplay(1916), a work on the
psychology of movies. An ardent and vocal German patriot, Münsterberg opposed the
United States' entrance into World War I, a stance that led to isolation from his Harvard
colleagues and vilification by the public.


PSYCHOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY

INTRODUCTION

I

Applied Psychology

OUR aim is to sketch the outlines of a new science which is to intermediate between the modern laboratory psychology and the problems of economics: the psychological experiment is systematically to be placed at the service of commerce and industry. So far we have only scattered beginnings of the new doctrine, only tentative efforts and disconnected attempts which have started, sometimes in economic, and sometimes in psychological, quarters. The time when an exact psychology of business life will be presented as a closed and perfected system lies very far distant. But the earlier the attention of wider circles is directed to its beginnings and to the importance and bearings of its tasks, the quicker and the more sound will be the development of this young science. What is most needed to-day at the beginning of the new movement are clear, concrete illustrations which demonstrate the possibilities of the new method. In the following pages, accordingly, it will be my aim to analyze the results of experiments which have actually been carried out, experiments belonging to many different spheres of economic life. But these detached experiments ought always at least to point to a connected whole; the single experiments will, therefore, always need a general discussion of the principles as a background. In the interest of such a wider perspective we may at first enter into some preparatory questions of theory. They may serve as an introduction which is to

From Hugo Münsterberg, “Applied Psychology,” “Means and Ends,” and “Vocation and Fitness.” In Psychology and Industrial
Efficiency (pp. 3–10, 17–36). New York: Houghton Mifflin 1913.

-288-

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The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part 1 - What is the Mind? 1
  • 1: Plato 2
  • 2: Hippocrates 4
  • 3: Aristotle 20
  • 4: Saint Augustine of Hippo 35
  • 5: Saint Thomas Aquinas 46
  • Part 2 - Mechanisms of Mind 67
  • 6: René Descartes 68
  • 7: John Locke 81
  • 8: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 96
  • 9: David Hume 113
  • 10: Immanuel Kant 127
  • Part 3 - Scientific Methods 141
  • 11: Gustav Theodor Fechner 142
  • 12: Hermann Von Helmholtz 154
  • 13: Hermann Ebbinghaus 168
  • 14: Ivan Pavlov 178
  • Part 4 - Emotion and Instinct in Animals and Humans 187
  • 15: Charles Darwin 188
  • 16: Margaret Floy Washburn 203
  • 17: William James 215
  • 18: Francis Galton 232
  • Part 5 - Human Development 249
  • 19: Milicent W. Shinn 250
  • 20: Sigmund Freud 258
  • 21: Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon 270
  • 22: Hugo Münsterberg 288
  • Part 6 - What is the Goal of Psychology? 295
  • 23: Wilhelm Wundt 296
  • 24: Max Wertheimer 308
  • 25: E. B. Titchener 324
  • Part 7 - Learning 331
  • 26: John B. Watson 332
  • 27: Edward C. Tolman 341
  • 28: D. O. Hebb 357
  • Part 8 - Cognition 367
  • 29: Jean Piaget 368
  • 30: L. S. Vygotski 387
  • 31: B. F. Skinner 399
  • 32: Noam Chomsky 408
  • 33: Sir Frederic C. Bartlett 430
  • 34: Ulric Neisser 447
  • Part 9 - Considerations of Context 467
  • 35: James J. Gibson 468
  • 36: James L. Mcclelland, David E. Rumelhart, and Geoffrey E. Hinton 478
  • 37: V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee 492
  • Bibliography of Readings 511
  • Bibliography of Biographical References 513
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