Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Hugo Münsterberg. His Life and Work
Münsterberg, Margaret
when a thing is “good enough” is useless on this work—must 
not overlook small differences. Requires discretion and alert¬ 
ness to distinguish factors entering into and causing defects. . . . 
Standard is rigid and precise and operator requires attitude of 
regular conformity more than personal decision. 
The inspection of blades: 
This work requires speed without a sense of haste. I mean, 
doing rapidly, regardless of the flight of time. To insure this 
self-reliance and sureness of decision are necessary. The eye 
test is supplemented by a tactual and cutting test. The tactual 
requires delicacy of touch. The action is a very light contact, 
scarcely heavy enough to be called pressure, combined with 
a gliding over the edge of a very small surface of the finger. 
Operators easily learn to distinguish extreme roughness by a 
granular feeling, but a small number distinguish between a slight 
roughness, wTiich gives a sticky, clinging sensation of cutting, 
in contrast to the quick cutting of the finest edges. In the 
one, there is a perceptible feeling of width, which is lacking 
on the sharpest blades. This same feeling of width is perceptible 
to persons of the finest sensibility in separating dullness from 
smoothness. . . . 
Intelligent and careful response of this kind furnished 
the psychologist with suggestive data and proved, more¬ 
over, that the offer of scientific help was enthusiastically 
received in the world of affairs. Of course it was not the 
professor’s intention to devise tests in his laboratory for 
a razor-blade inspector or a silversmith or an engineer 
or a salesman. The main issue was to determine a principle 
by which any candidate for any industrial job might be 
tested at any time. It was obvious that the possible 
locomotive engineer of a railroad company cannot be pro¬ 
vided with two trains about to collide for the sake of test¬ 
ing his promptness and presence of mind; a possible 
salesman cannot be provided with a horde of customers 
to test his patience. Therefore it was necessary to repro¬ 
duce the situation in which the candidate was to act or 


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