Münsterberg, Hugo

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Münsterberg, Hugo

(mŭn`stərbərg, mĭn`–), 1863–1916, American psychologist, b. Danzig, Ph.D. Univ. of Leipzig, 1885; M.D. Univ. of Heidelberg, 1887. At the instigation of William James he moved from Germany to Harvard to serve as professor of psychology (1892–1916), becoming director of the psychological laboratory in 1905. He pioneered in applied psychology and wrote many books on psychology and on American life and social problems.


See biography by M. A. A. Münsterberg (1922, repr. 1973).

Münsterberg, Hugo


Born July 1, 1863, in Danzig (now Gdańsk); died Dec. 16, 1916, in Cambridge, Mass. German psychologist and idealist philosopher; student of the German philosopher and psychologist W. Wundt.

Münsterberg received a professorship at the University of Freiburg in 1891. In 1892 he moved to the USA, where he became a professor at Harvard University. Under the influence of I. H. von Fichte and in the spirit of the Baden school of neo-Kantianism, Münsterberg developed a doctrine of values. In psychology, he was an advocate of a type of psychophysical parallelism. One of the founders of applied psychology, he wrote the first works on the determination of an individual’s suitability for a particular occupation.


Beiträge zur experimentallen Psychologie fascs. 1–4. Freiburg, 1889–92. Grundzüge der Psychologie, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1918.
Philosophie der Werte, 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1921.
In Russian translation:
Psikhologiia i uchitel, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1915.
Osnovy psikhotekhniki, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1924–25.
Psikhologiia i ekonomicheskaia zhizn’, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1924.


Wigmore, J. H. Münsterberg and the Psychology of Evidence. Illinois, 1909.
Münsterberg, M. H. Münsterberg: His Life and Work. New York-London, 1922.

Munsterberg, Hugo

(1916–  ) art historian; born in Berlin, Germany. He emigrated to the U.S.A. (1935) earned a Ph.D. at Harvard, and taught at the State University of New York: New Paltz (1958–78) and Bard College (1978–88). His many books on Japanese, Chinese, and Indian art range from landscape painting to ceramics, folk art, and modern art.