Hugo Münsterberg (born June 1, 1863 in Danzig, Germany, died December 16, 1916) was a German-born American academic psychologist.

William James invited him to join the philosophy department at Harvard University, where he became a leading founder of experimental psychology in the USA. He was a pioneer in industrial psychology, and held controversial views on the reliability of witness testimony. Late in his career, he became fascinated by the emerging film industry, travelling to California to observe film production. His 1916 book The Photoplay has been called the first major work of film theory.


  • 1889-1892. Beiträge zur experimentellen Psychologie. 4 vols.
  • 1899. Psychology and Life.
  • 1900. Grundzüge der Psychologie.
  • 1901. American Traits from the Point of View of a German.
  • 1904. Die Amerikaner. English translation, 1904.
  • 1906. Science and Idealism.
  • 1908. Philosophie der Werte.
  • 1908. Aus Deutsch-Amerika.
  • 1908. Psychology and Crime.
  • 1908. On the Witness Stand.[1]
  • 1916. The Photoplay.


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