Hugo Münsterberg

Robert Sinnerbrink*

*Corresponding author for this work

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916) was a leading psychologist and philosopher who worked in Germany and the United States. He studied medicine and experimental psychology (with Wilhelm Wundt), and become Professor of Psychology at the University of Freiburg in 1892. His friendship with American psychologist and philosopher William James led to his appointment to the faculty at Harvard University in 1897. While in America, he became a famous academic, publishing numerous books on applied psychology, including The Principles of Art Education (1905), Psychology and Crime (1908), Psychotherapy (1909), Vocation and Learning (1912), Psychology and Industrial Effi ciency (1913), American Patriotism and other Social Studies (1913), Business Psychology (1915) and Psychology (1916). In his fi nal book, The Photoplay (1916), Münsterberg argued for the psychological and aesthetic distinctiveness of fi lm as a serious art form. Following the outbreak of the First World War and his increasing criticisms of American life, Münsterberg's work fell out of favour with the public. Despite almost a century of neglect, The Photoplay is generally recognized today as the first genuine work of film theory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFilm, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers
EditorsFelicity Colman
Place of PublicationDurham, UK
PublisherAcumen Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781844654406
ISBN (Print)9781844651849
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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