Who were the first female psychology professors appointed in Germany?

Thanks to the internet, it is relatively easy to find out that Margarete von Wrangell and Mathilde Vaerting were the first female professors in Germany.1 In addition, internet sources agree that Beatrice Edgell was the first female psychology professor in the UK. But who were the first female psychology professors in Germany? At this point, things get much more unclear. A search revealed no useful hits on Google. ChatGPT hallucinated names, years and places.2 So, I decided to find the answer myself. I have contacted 44 German universities and have asked them who their first female psychology professor was.3

Below is a table that lists the professor’s name, the date of their appointment,4 the professorship, the university where they were appointed, the federal state where the university is located and the year when the university was founded.5 The table will be continuously updated as and when further details are shared with me.

Footnotes

  1. Both were appointed in 1923. Von Wrangell is usually considered the first female German professor, but it should be noted the she worked at what was then the Agricultural University of Hohenheim. The first professor at a German Volluniversität was Vaerting.↩︎

  2. ChatGPT came up with the following increasingly bizarre suggestions: Charlotte Bühler (year appointed according to ChatGPT: 1927, appointing university: Frankfurt), Charlotte Wolff (1941, Mainz), Magda B. Arnold (1955, Erlangen), Hannah Oelkers (1953, Hamburg), Charlotte Malachowski-Dekorvin (1928, Hamburg - note that Malachowski was Bühler’s birth name) and Klara von Hohnel-Hornik (1919, Vienna—which ChatGPT claimed was in Germany). At this point I gave up.↩︎

  3. Of course, there are more than 44 universities in Germany. I chose these 44 universities because they offer psychology as a subject, are public universities and because they were founded before 1980 (which I decided on as an arbitrary cut-off). The list will be restricted to female professors who were Lehrstuhlinhaberinnen or Ordinariae (comparable to full professors).↩︎

  4. If only the year of the appointment could be provided by the university, the date was arbitrarily set to 31 December.↩︎

  5. The year when the university was founded is based on data provided by Hochschulkompass.↩︎