- Ludy T. Benjamin Jr.
Münsterberg, Hugo (01 June 1863–16 December 1916), psychologist, was born in Danzig, Germany, the son of Moritz Münsterberg, a lumber merchant, and Minna Anna Bernhardi, an artist and homemaker. After several years of private school he entered the Gymnasium in Danzig where he excelled, passing the state-sponsored examination on graduation in 1881, an accomplishment achieved by not even one in one hundred German students. Münsterberg entered the University of Leipzig in 1882 to study medicine, but he switched to psychology in the summer of 1883 after taking a course from Wilhelm Wundt, whose Leipzig laboratory, founded in 1879, is commonly associated with the beginnings of scientific psychology. Münsterberg worked in the experimental psychology of the laboratory, principally on questions of the will. He completed his Ph.D. with Wundt in 1885, writing as his dissertation a critical evaluation of contemporary theories of evolution. As a student, Münsterberg converted from Judaism to Lutheranism, a not uncommon act for German Jews who wanted to pursue an academic career. In 1887, after receiving an M.D. at the University of Heidelberg, with a research topic on the visual perception of space, he accepted a position at the University of Freiburg. There he married Selma Oppler in 1887; they had two children....