Robert Sommer (psychiatrist)

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Robert Sommer (1864-1937)

Robert Sommer (December 19, 1864 – February 2, 1937) was a German psychiatrist and genealogist born in Grottkau. He is remembered for his work in experimental psychology.

He studied medicine and philosophy in Freiburg im Breisgau and Leipzig, relocating in 1885 to Berlin, where he composed a work on the philosophy of John Locke in relation to René Descartes. In 1887, he received his doctorate of philosophy, afterwards working as an assistant in the laboratory of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) at Leipzig. From 1889, he was an assistant at a psychiatric hospital in Rybnik, earning his habilitation at Würzburg in 1892.

In 1895, he became an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Giessen, where, during the following year, he established a "centre for psychiatry".[1] In 1904, he was a co-founder of the Gesellschaft für experimentelle Psychologie (Society for experimental Psychology).[2] Today, the "Robert Sommer Award" is given in recognition for achievement in schizophrenia research.[3]

Written works[edit]

  • Lockes Verhältnis zu Descartes (Locke's relationship to Descartes), (1888)
  • Grundzüge einer Geschichte der deutschen Psychologie und Aesthetik von Wolf - Baumgarten bis Kant - Schiller (History of German psychology and aesthetics of Wolff-Baumgarten to Kant-Schiller); (1890)
  • Diagnostik der Geisteskrankheiten (Diagnostics on mental illness), (1894)
  • Lehrbuch der psychopathologischen Untersuchungsmethoden (Textbook on research methods of psychopathology), 1899)
  • Kriminalpsychologie und strafrechtliche Psychopathologie (1904)
  • Familienforschung und Vererbungslehre (Family studies and genetics) (1907)
  • Goethe im Lichte der Vererbungslehre (1908)
  • Krieg und Seelenleben (War and spiritual life), (1916)
  • Über Familienähnlichkeit (On family resemblance), (1917)
  • Tierpsychologie (Animal psychology), (1925)


  1. ^ Uniklinikum Giessen Robert Sommer Award
  2. ^ Gestalt Psychology in German Culture, 1890-1967 By Mitchell G. Ash
  3. ^ Uniklinikum Giessen Robert Sommer Award