Baldwin R. Hergenhahn

American psychologist, historian and professor emeritus

Baldwin Ross (Bud) Hergenhahn (July 21, 1934September 9, 2007) was an American psychologist, historian and Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology at Hamline University, known for his work on the history of psychology.



An introduction to theories of learning, (2005)


Baldwin R. Hergenhahn & M. H. Olson(2005). An introduction to theories of learning (7th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  • Primitive humans responded to all of their emotional experiences in terms of myths, and it is this tendency toward myth making that is registered in the collective unconscious and passed on to future generations. What we inherit, then, is the tendency to reexperience some manifestation of these primordial myths as we encounter events that have been associated with those myths for eons. Each archetype can be viewed as an inherited tendency to respond emotionally and mythologically to certain kinds of experience—for example, when a child, a mother, a lover, a nightmare, a death, a birth, an earthquake, or a stranger is encountered.
    • p. 75; as cited in Hergenhahn (2008)
  • It must be realized that departing from Freudian dogma at the time was no easy matter. In fact, those who did so were excommunicated just as if they had violated religious dogma. Horney was excommunicated because she dared to contradict the master.… Horney learned from observing her father as a child how devastating blind belief in religious dogma could be; perhaps that was one reason she decided not to let Freud go unchallenged.
    • p. 149; as cited in Hergenhahn (2008)
  • Insightful learning is usually regarded as having four characteristics: (1) the transition from presolution to solution is sudden and complete; (2) performance based on a solution gained by insight is usually smooth and free of errors; (3) a solution to a problem gained by insight is retained for a considerable length of time; (4) a principle gained by insight is easily applied to other problems.
    • p. 276: Summary of the conclusions that the Gestaltists reached about insightful learning; as cited in Hergenhahn (2008)
  • According to Wertheimer, reaching an understanding involves many aspects of learners, such as their emotions, attitudes, and perceptions, as well as their intellects. In gaining insight into the solution to a problem, a student need not—in fact, should not—be logical. Rather, the student should cognitively arrange and rearrange the components of the problem until a solution based on understanding is reached. Exactly how this process is done will vary from student to student.
    • p. 281; as cited in Hergenhahn (2008)
  • If one had to choose a theory of learning that is closest to Bandura’s, it would be Tolman’s theory. Although Tolman was a behaviorist, he used mentalistic concepts to explain behavioral phenomena … and Bandura does the same thing. Also, Tolman believed learning to be a constant process that does not require reinforcement, and Bandura believes the same thing. Both Tolman’s theory and Bandura’s theory are cognitive in nature, and neither are reinforcement theories. A final point of agreement between Tolman and Bandura concerns the concept of motivation. Although Tolman believed that learning was constant, he believed further that the information gained through learning was only acted on when there was reason for doing so, such as when a need arose. For example, one may know full well where a drinking fountain is but will act on that information only when one is thirsty. For Tolman, this distinction between learning and performance was extremely important, and it is also important in Bandura’s theory.
    • p. 341; as cited in Hergenhahn (2008)

An Introduction to the History of Psychology, 2008


Baldwin R. Hergenhahn, (2008). An Introduction to the History of Psychology; ; 2013 edition with ‎Tracy Henley.

  • In his approach to the history of psychology, E. G. Boring (1886–1968) stressed the importance of the Zeitgeist in determining whether, or to what extent, an idea or viewpoint will be accepted. Clearly, ideas do not occur in a vacuum. A new idea, to be accepted or even considered, must be compatible with existing ideas. In other words, a new idea will be tolerated only if it arises within an environment that can assimilate it.
    • p. 4
  • With the respectability of the senses and feelings established, textbooks written by the Scottish philosophers began to include such topics as perception, memory, imagination, association, attention, language, and thinking. Such a textbook was written by Dugald Stewart (1753–1828), titled Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1792), and was used at Yale University in 1824.
    • p. 335

Quotes about Baldwin R. Hergenhahn

  • Bud Hergenhahn was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1934. After attending Chicago public schools, he served for two years in the United States Army. In 1955, after working as a Forest Ranger at Mt. Saint Helens and serving in the Korean War, he enrolled at Western Washington University and graduated in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. He earned his Masters from The University of Arizona in 1965, and his Doctorate the very next year. Dr. Hergenhahn spent his thirty-year career at Hamline University in St. Paul Minnesota. His career was peppered with accomplishments and acknowledgements surrounding his cutting edge teaching techniques. He was chairman of the psychology department when he retired in 1996 to focus solely on his writing. His books include Theories of Learning, Theories of Personality, and A History of Psychology.
    • Obituary in Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), September 2007.