On the Witness Stand (1908) is considered the signal event in its found-ing. I wondered why a revolver should be pointed at me,'" and so forth. His most pronounced defect seemed to them his lack of initiative. Mental diseases are like caricatures of a person; in the caricature too every part of the face is the same as in the ordinary physiognomy, but the proportion is lost, as one special part, perhaps the nose or the teeth are grotesquely enlarged. The slightest fault in his real past takes, in this illusory [p. 149]affective state, new and gigantic dimensions; long-forgotten mistakes awake with unproportionate feelings of anguish. For those three thousand coherent addresses I had not once a single written or printed line or any notes whatever on the platform; and yet there has never been a moment when I have had to stop for a name or for the connection of the thought. Someone told me afterward who the man was; but I had not seen him at all and I don't recall seeing any other men even until after I had seen the revolver. At once the philologists came and made the most brilliant use of this psychological discovery. And only the other day I was consulted by a young woman who, up to her college days, had not discovered that other persons do not hear voices when they are alone; she had heard them since childhood days and had felt sure that it was everybody's experience. Even the self-accusations and the self-destructive despair of the melancholic find their counterpart in the realm of normal life; the pessimist is too often inclined to torture himself by opprobriums, to feel discouraged with himself, and to feel guilty without real guilt. Hugo Münsterberg. Münsterberg encountered immense turmoil with the outbreak of the First World War. Yes, we fill the blanks of our perceptions constantly with bits of reproduced memory material and take those reproductions for immediate impressions. Ausg. "She told her that if she would not be a witch, the devil would tear her to pieces and carry her away -- at which time she promised to serve the devil; that she was at the meeting of the witches at Salem Village: they got upon sticks: and went said journey," and so forth. Münsterberg took his Ph.D. in 1885 and his M.D. My letter somehow reached the papers and I became the target for editorial sharp-shooters everywhere. What is meant is only that all the motives are lacking which, in our social turmoil, may lead others to the intentional hiding of the truth. I am the last one to desire for the modern psychologist a special privilege to meddle with the daily affairs of practical life. Uniquely examines Münsterberg's thinking by adopting the layout of his seminal text, On the Witness Stand (1908) Assesses Münsterberg's legacy: what he got right, what he … The prestidigitateurs, [sic] the fakirs, the spiritualists could not play their tricks if they could not rely on associations and suggestions, and it would not be so difficult to read proofs if we did not usually see the letters which we expect. His whole life history and the expression of his face were in fullest accordance with the suspicion that his mind was in a state of dissociation when he began his confessions. The other case of direct perception is open to a similar objection. Hugo Münsterberg is widely regarded as the founder of the discipline of psychology and law, and the publication of his book . The officers who inspected the premises found the woman's hat at her Feet, but could discover no evidence whatsoever of & scuffle having taken place. I say that no field shows such a variety in normal limits as the memory, and this refers to its positive features as much as to its negative ones, as much to the remembering as to the forgetting. [sic] of the facts omitted; twelve omitted forty to fifty per cent., and thirteen still more than fifty per cent. I stood there, also, without prejudice against the defendant. Another student throws in, "I cannot stand that!" May it not be in a similar way that the effort for correct recollection under oath may prove powerless to a degree which public opinion underestimates? He wrote, “The lawyer and the judge and the juryman are sure that they do not need the experimental psychologist. Only a short time before a lady had come to me who showed quite similar blanks of memory for [p. 167] several days, filling the gap with imaginative ideas, and she too did not understand why her personality had been changed so suddenly. The observation itself may be defective and illusory; wrong associations [p. 57] may make it imperfect; judgments may misinterpret the experience; and suggestive influences may falsify the data of the senses. logical research (Münsterberg, 1908; others, such as Binet and Freud, made similar, albeit . But one pair, perhaps the third, is repeated as the seventh, and thus impresses itself by its frequency; another pair, perhaps the fifth, comes with impressive vividness, [p. 67] from the fact that instead of two digits, suddenly three are used. Our mind has to sift and sift. An emotional shock or a captivating impression may stir up long-forgotten memory ideas or push imaginative thoughts into the centre and build around them split-off pieces of a dissociated mind into a new personality which can be, perhaps, hardly discriminated from the previous self, but in which important emotions and memories may be distorted. A colleague once wanted me to hypnotise him because he had just, in his fortieth year, discovered that he had no power of optical remembering; he hoped to get it through hypnosis, and yet he had never missed it until he read of it in a psychological book. Münsterberg encountered immense turmoil with the outbreak of the First World War. Hugo Munsterberg's Psychology and Law: A Historical and Contemporary Assessment: Bornstein, Neuschatz: Amazon.com.au: Books The Professor had spoken about a book. A striking illustration is well known to those who have ever taken the trouble to approach the depressing literature of modern mysticism. The period of disintegration was suddenly again eliminated from the memory and the normal connections entered again into play. In 1908 he published On the Witness Stand, which was influential to the development of forensic psychology. The Professor steps between them and, as he grasps the man's arm, the revolver goes off. Yet what responsible physician would ignore the painstaking experiments of the physiological laboratory, determining exactly the quantitative results as to the nourishing value of eggs or milk or meat or bread? . To be sure, there were the sharp inquisitory questions of the police officers, and yet from a rather extended experience I could not imagine that without a sudden external shock or some overwhelming fascination such a conversion and such a disintegration could set in. Where the alienist has to speak, that is, where pathological amnesia destroys the memory of the witness, or where hallucinations of disease, or fixed ideas deprive the witness's remembrance of their value, there the psychologist is not needed. He alternated between gay and morose moods. Its seriousness and solemnity suggest that the conditions for complete truth are given if the witness is ready not to lie. They do not concern the physician either. Through all those weeks of his half-dazed condition, he had never made the least effort to weaken his so-called confessions or to protect himself in any way. She felt it as a spiritual "conversion" to health, and the complete change of her mental personality was indeed most surprising. Other sciences are less slow to learn. [p. 165] Suddenly he began to confess, and he was quite willing to repeat his confession again and again. [p. 161] We must not forget, moreover, that our knowledge of our own personality and its doing is also only a function of memory. There is no new principle involved, of course, when the ideas which stream into consciousness spring from one's own imagination instead of being produced by the outer impressions of our surroundings. We found that there were, above all, two distinct classes. Here we used simple pairs of coloured papers and printed figures, or colours and words, or words and figures, or colours and forms, and so on. "At about 6.30 I took her in the alley. She had been in a nervous and over-fatigued state when her own physician bent over her, and the sharp sunlight reflected from his eye-glasses struck her eyes. My memory serves me therefore rather generously. In the life of justice trains are wrecked and ships are colliding too often, simply because the law does not care to examine the mental colour blindness [p. 69] of the witness's memory. "In many cases where they yielded, it was not from unworthy fear or for self-preservation, but because their judgment was overthrown and their minds in complete subjection and prostration." To be sure, the core of our personality is not touched by such daily occurrences, and we can easily bridge over in our mind from the one state to the other. He also, in most cases, feels sure that he told the dream to the whole family the next morning exactly as it happened; only when it is possible to call the members of the family to a scientific witness stand, does it become evident that the essentials of the dream varied in all directions from the real later occurrence. Truly, as long as a demand for further psychological inquiry appeared to the masses simply as "another way of possibly cheating justice" and as a method tending "towards emasculating court procedure and discouraging and disgusting every faithful officer of the law," the newspapers were almost in duty bound to rush on in the tracks of popular prejudice. We do not care to remember exactly as we experienced the impressions; our perception is full of little blanks which our imaginative memory fills all the time with fitting associations, and when we remember a landscape, we want to have the picture rounded out and do not care whether the wave of the ocean had exactly this curve and whether the tree had just this number of branches. While I was with my family at the seashore my city house had been burglarised and I was called upon to give an account of my findings against the culprit whom they had caught with a part of the booty. 1 Selling the Psychological Detective Hugo Münsterberg’s Applied Psychology and The Achievements of Luther Trant, 1907–30 In his 1908 collection of essays, On the Witness Stand: Essays on Psychology and Crime,Hugo Münsterberg expounds upon one of the principles that … Every time it became richer in detail. 3 Münsterberg 1908; shortly after the publication of his book, he was mercilessly satirized by the celebrated evidence scholar John Wigmore, who put Münsterberg himself “on … The motionless brooding of the melancholic patient is easily recognised, and yet the pessimistic temperament of many a normal man or woman generates all the features which are so sadly developed [p. 153] in the melancholic attacks. But above all, the psychical state of the defendant himself during the trial is usually measured by the crudest standards of easy-going psychology which considers a mental life as typical and unaltered as long as the man is neither insane nor [p. 151] intoxicated. Ann Foster at Salem Village confessed in 1692 [p. 147] that the devil appeared to her in the shape of a bird at several times. In the same way I got a vivid image of the candle droppings on the floor, but as, at the moment of the perception, no interest was attached to the peculiar place where I saw them, [p. 42] I slowly substituted in my memory the second door for the attic, knowing surely from strewn papers and other disorder that they had ransacked both places. It was the case of a young woman who, from a most distressed, restless and suffering state, was suddenly completely changed to a state of joyful excitement and happy ecstasy. I had rushed in from the seashore as soon as the police notified me, in the fear that valuable contents of the house might have been destroyed or plundered. The court proceeds as if the physiological chemistry of blood examination had made wonderful progress, while experimental psychology, with its efforts to analyse the mental faculties, still stood where it stood two thousand years ago. Münsterberg encountered immense turmoil with the outbreak of the First World War. Hugo Munsterberg published a book entitled as “On the Witness Stand” in 1908 which stirred a lot of controversies. In tedious examinations the prisoners were urged to confess through many hours "till the accused were wearied out by being forced to stand so long or by want of sleep" and then gave assent to the accusation of having signed the devil's book. But he is expected to make up his mind as to whether the memory ideas of a witness are objective reproductions of earlier experience or are mixed up with associations and suggestions. But I have no knowledge of having made them, and I am innocent of that crime. Public opinion, and court and jury as its organs, are always inclined to claim that whole borderland field still for the normal life and to acknowledge the mental disturbance only when the disease region is entered. It seems desirable even that the writing of the protocol should still be done in a state of belief. In it, he explained that psychology was vital in the courtroom, how suggestion could create false memories and why eyewitness testimony was often unreliable (Tartakovsky, 2011). Münsterberg’s interest in the credibility of eyewitness testimony arose from being called on as a scientific expert in two murder cases. Of course, the experiment was made under most different conditions, with different pauses, different material, different length of the series, different influences, different distribution, different subjects, but after some years of work, facts showed themselves which can stand as facts. Professor Münsterberg "asked the class to describe the sound they would hear and to say from what source it came. The importance of what we call mortar luminance was realised by Fraser (1908). Yet I felt sure that he was innocent. He then shot a policeman, but was arrested, and in his room they found a jacket with my name written in it by the tailor. The average man knows anyhow very little of the working of his own mind and his particular variations escape his attention. The family had a great love of the arts and Münsterberg was encouraged to explore music, literature, and art. We know, above all, the inhibitory influences which result from excitements and emotions which may completely change the products of an otherwise faithful memory. We may move for a long while still in the realm of the normal. For this book report, I decided to read Hugo Münsterberg's On the Witness Stand. And this alteration may affect more and more the deeper layers of [p. 163] emotional thought and the whole man may be for a long time a new man before the outside becomes aware of it, or before he himself can explain the sudden changes in his attitudes and in his actions, in his judgments and his self-consciousness. If there had been anything of such optical captivation of attention, like the reflex of the eye-glass or the shining of the brass lamp, in the Chicago case, everything would have been completely clear to me; without such fascinating stimulus, I could not account sufficiently for the suddenness of the change in the defendant's personality. But this growing up of a new personality, with its own impulses and separated by its own memories from our regular life, may again increase just like those other variations of memory. The first starts up, exclaiming, "You have insulted me!" It seemed most natural that the President should beg the members to write down individually an exact report, inasmuch as he felt sure that the matter would come before the courts. But variations they are, nevertheless, and only the psychologist may be clearly aware of their tendencies. The second clenches his fist and cries, "If you say another word --" The first draws a revolver. It not only suppresses the intentional lie, but it focusses the attention on the details of the statement. There are many points, for instance, in which the results seem still contradictory. In short, there is no lack of social motives to make it conceivable from the start that an accused makes of his own accord a confession against himself which is not true. No doubt, the abnormal, hysterical, neurotic tendency fluctuated greatly in previous centuries in which the world was scientifically still unaware of its own nervousness and its own hysteria, and yet protected its social life instinctively against its dangers. The courts show in all other fields that the progress of science breaks new paths [p. 154] for them. My other two blunders clearly arose under the influence of suggestion. There are others with whom every tune can easily resound in recollection and who can hardly read a letter of a friend without hearing his voice in every word, while they are utterly unable to awake an optical [p. 62] image. He said that these people's lives could be improved by counseling and medication in many cases. I have before me still a collection of such specimens. They must only understand that the working of the mental mechanism in a personality depends on the constant coöperation of simple and elementary functions which the modern laboratory experiment can isolate and test. Münsterberg, HugoWORKS BY MüNSTERBERG SUPPLEMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916) made his greatest contribution by applying psychology to practical situations in education, medicine, law, and business. Let your friends describe how they have before their minds yesterday's dinner table and the conversation around it, and there will no be two whose memory shows the same scheme and method. It is the same way in which common-sense [p. 66] tells a man what kind of diet is most nourishing. Hugo Münsterberg : biography June 1, 1863 – December 19, 1916 Sources Contributions to psychology Comparisons to Wundt and James One major point of disagreement between Wundt and Münsterberg was their opposing views on how psychology should be practiced. The untrue confessions from hope or fear, through promises and threats, from cunning calculations and passive yielding thus shade off into others which are given with real conviction under the pressure of emotional excitement or under the spell of overpowering influences, Even the mere [p. 148] fatigue often brought to the Salem witches the loosening of the mental firmness and the intrusion of the suggestion of guilt. An idea is there distinctly coupled with the feeling of remembrance and recognition, and yet it is only an-associated sensation, resulting from fatigue or excitement, and without the slightest objective basis in the past. She wanted to run," -- and so on and so on. He asserts that his only recollection of the coroner's inquest is that of seeing a revolver pointed at him. Of course in a criminal procedure there cannot be any better evidence than a confession, provided that it is reliable and well proved. For the other type it would depend upon the [p. 56] congruity of an image with other previously accepted images; that is, on the absence of conflicts, when the experience judged about is imagined as part of a wide setting of past experiences. All were completely taken by surprise, and no one, with the exception of the President, had the slighest [sic] idea that every word and action had been rehearsed beforehand, or that photographs had been taken of the scene. I could not help becoming convinced that all the external signs spoke against the interpretation of the jury. Months have passed since the neck of the young man was broken and "thousands of persons crowded Michigan Street, jamming that thoroughfare from Clark Street to Dearborn Avenue, waiting for the undertaker's wagon to leave the jail yard." However, numerous other researchers were conducting and publishing research on psychole- Yet the theoretical question may perhaps demand no later than to-morrow a practical answer, when perhaps again a weak mind shall work itself into an untrue confession and the community again rely thereon satisfied, hypnotised by the spell of the dangerous belief that "murder will out." 138] Wherever experience seems unexplainable, the psychologist is expected at least to pigeon-hole and to label the occurrence and to give his official sanction that such strange things may sometimes happen. Wigmore, J H, "Professor Muensterberg and the Psychology of Testimony being a Report of the Case of Cokestone v Muensterberg" (1909) 3 Illinois LR 399 Wigmore, J H, Evidence in Trials at Common Law (rev by James H Chadbourn (1961- 1972) [cover title Wigmore on Evidence] For many years no murder case had so deeply excited the whole city. A concrete illustration may indicate the method of the experimenters. We should say to-day that a dissociation of her little mind had set in; the emotional shock brought it about that the normal personality went to pieces and that a split-off second personality began to form itself with its own connected life story built up from the absurd superstitions which had been suggested to her through the hypnotising examinations. It is in this way only that the oath by its religious [p. 48] background and by its connection with threatened punishment can work for truth. To prove, in answer to a direct question, that they had been there at night, I told that I had found drops of candle wax on the second floor. Justice would less often miscarry if all who are to weigh evidence were more conscious of the treachery of human memory. She could not remember that anything had happened which might have influenced her; but when the physician hypnotised her in the interest of her ailments, everything [p. 168] became clear. of the characteristic acts; fourteen had twenty to forty per cent. All that is still normal; there is no education and no art, no politics and no religion without suggestion, and yet suggestion is certainly to a high degree a suppression of objective memory. This experiment has been often repeated and the results make clear that this happens in a smaller and yet still surprising degree in the case of adults also. The testimonies show that the young man was everywhere regarded as a thoughtful, obliging fellow of exceptionally good disposition, but often exhibiting marked stupidity. 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