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Finland, Psychology in

  1. Pekka Niemi

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0358

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Niemi, P. 2010. Finland, Psychology in. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Turku, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Not surprisingly, the first Finnish psychologists were trained by Wilhelm Wundt in his Leipzig laboratory. Most promising among them was Hjalmar Neiglick, who prepared his doctoral thesis there and defended it at the University of Helsinki in 1887. Unfortunately, Neiglick's premature death two years afterward put a brake on the development of an independent discipline of psychology, which thereafter remained a subsidiary interest of professors of philosophy. One of them, Eino Kaila, finally emerged as a founding father in psychology as late as 1922, when as a newly appointed professor of philosophy, he established a psychological laboratory in Turku. Kaila was keen on following the up-to-date trends in psychology. Some years earlier, he had defended this thesis “Über die Motivation und die Entscheidung” (On Motivation and Decision Making”). He also published in one of the leading German journals, Psychologische Forschung, in the 1920s and by so doing set a standard for his successors. However, a long time elapsed before Kaila's work entered the scene, with the exception that applied psychology was started by Esther Hjelt, who became the head of the State Railways' Psychotechnical Laboratory founded in 1923.