The feministic enthusiasm turns passionately against those scandalous places of women's humiliation; and yet its chief influence on female education is the effort to give more freedom to the individual girl, and that means to remove her from the authority and discipline of the parental home, to open the door for her to the street, to leave her to her craving for amusement, to smooth the path which leads to ruin.
-from "Sex Education"
Whether or not you approve of the culture of mass psychology that resulted from the work of Hugo Münsterberg, his continuing impact on American society is inestimable. From the reliance on standardized testing in public schools to the corporate perspective on employees as "human resources," the practical applications of psychology to industry, medicine, education, the arts, criminal investigation, and the social order that he pioneered still exert a dramatic influence on how we, a century later, continue to think about the mind and how it shapes human behavior.
In this seminal 1914 book, Münsterberg explores the psychological implications of some of the most vexing social problems of his time... and discusses some of the scientifically defensible solutions as well. His approach to such topics as the sexual education of women and the dangers of dancing may strike us as quaint, but his outlook on the "social sins of advertising," "the mind of the juryman," and "the mind of the investor" still offer insightful kernals of truth.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Münsterberg's The Eternal Life, The War and America, American Traits, and Psychotherapy
OF INTEREST TO: students of pyschology, readers of social history
German-American psychologist and philosopher HUGO MÜNSTERBERG (1863-1916) was professor of psychology at Harvard University from 1892 until his death. He was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1898.