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Werner, Heinz


WERNER, HEINZ (1890–1964), psychologist. Born in Vienna, Werner served as professor of psychology at Hamburg University from 1926 and emigrated to the United States in 1933. After teaching briefly at Michigan, Harvard, and Brooklyn College, Werner assumed the Clark University professorship which he occupied for the rest of his career. His major interests centered on the expressive-symbolic and perceptual processes. He did work on child development, especially with regard to word comprehension. His best-known book is Comparative Psychology of Mental Development (1948, 1957), which is essentially a revision of his earlier Einfuehrung in die Entwicklungspsychologie (1926, 19332, 19533). In it he expressed the conviction that developmental psychology should not serve merely as a subject matter, but as a method of study. In 1957, Werner's department at Clark University was expanded into an Institute of Human Development, and Werner became a major proponent of the developmental viewpoint in the world of psychology. In 1960 there appeared Perspectives in Psychological Theory: Essays in Honor of Heinz Werner, edited by B. Kaplan and S. Wapner, which contains, inter alia, a list of some 150 articles and books by Werner. He coauthored Symbol Formation (1963), an organismic-developmental approach to language and the expression of thought. Upon his death, Clark University renamed its department the Heinz Werner Institute of Developmental Psychology.


H.A. Witkin, in: Child Development, 36 (1965), 307–28, incl. bibl.

[Aaron Lichtenstein]

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