It was very interesting for me to read about the life and work of Anna Berliner. There are several reasons why I find her story extraordinary and inspiring. First, I am impressed by her persistence in learning and constant search of new opportunities to study. It should be taken into consideration that such needs and aspirations of women were still downplayed at the time, which must have made it quite challenging for her to pursue her goals. In spite of that, she continued working and learning wherever life took her. As one of the first women in psychology, she set an example that would encourage other women to fight for their dreams.
Her attitudes towards education and science have also inspired me. She continued working even in most difficult, changing circumstances; for example, when she had to leave Germany of when she was deported to the U.S. from Japan, the country she loved and admired. I was moved by the fact that she anonymously paid tuitions for the students who had financial difficulties. This also shows how highly she valued education; she believed that life is meaningless without it. I think this is a very strong message to humanity; not only in relation to scientific education and academic performance, but in terms of general self-improvement. Berliner said that “an unused life is an earlier death”, and I think that continuous learning and self-improvement are the values that she was trying to promote by this motto (Society for the Psychology of Women, n.d.). I think that because of her attitude to knowledge, she managed to encourage many other people, and women in particular, to pursue education and career in science.
Finally, the contributions she made to psychology and other related fields is truly valuable. I was especially impressed by the large number of disciplines she taught. It is quite a wide range of subjects, from experimental psychology and perception to statistics and projective testing. She was also one of the first scientists to emphasize the connections between the fields of psychology and optometry. For her research and contributions in the field of optometry, she received the Apollo Award from the American Optometric Association in 1971. In addition, she produced a number of influential studies in advertising and visual perceptions. The wide scope of the subjects she studied is impressive, and so was her ability to make connections between different fields of science and apply the principles of one subject in another.
I think it is a great misfortune that Anna Berliner’s work is not studied enough. I find it difficult to identify the factors that caused this, but it can be stated that there were many challenges in her life. Nevertheless, she managed to fulfil her educational potential and produce research that was groundbreaking for her time and that still provides psychologists with many valuable perspectives.
It was also interesting for me to learn that Berliner was so influenced by Wundt. The article was informative, but I agree with your point that there is no information about why her death is such a mystery. I can suggest that the lack of information is what makes it a mystery. I also agree that the readings about Gestalt psychology and Margaret Floy Washburn were very educational. I am curious to know what facts or information seemed most interesting to you.
Society for the Psychology of Women. (n.d.). Biography of Anna Berliner. Web.