Sven Froeberg, Ph.D.
|Columbia University, New York, NY
|University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
|Penn State College
|University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
|Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, MN, United States
Sven Froeberg (1880-1966) had received his graduate training at Columbia University under James McKeen Cattell, Robert S. Woodworth and Edward L. Thorndike taking his doctorate degree in 1908.30 He taught at Uppsala College (New Jersey) for seven years when he received the offer to come to Michigan as an instructor. Froeberg
remained at Michigan only two years during which time he taught the quiz sections for the introductory
courses, supervised some of the laboratory work and introduced work in the methods of mental and
social measurements. This latter course was the first offered by the sub-department that dealt with the
statistical procedures used to analyze psychological, educational, and social problems. Topics such as
variable measurement, measurement of changes, correlation, reliability, tabular, frequency and graphic
methods were covered. Froeberg left Ann Arbor in 1917 for Pennsylvania State College (1917-1918)
and later taught at the University of Utah (1920-1921) and Gustavus Adolphus (1921-1945).
Sven Froeberg was born on February 26, 1880 and attended undergraduate school at
Bethany College (Kansas) graduating in 1903. He received his graduate training at Columbia
University under James McKeen Cattell, Robert S. Woodsworth and Edward L. Thorndike,
completing his doctorate in 1908. He had been teaching at Upsala College in East Orange, New
Jersey when in 1915, he received the offer to come to Michigan as an instructor. Froeberg
remained at Michigan only two years. During this time, he instructed in the quiz sections of the
introductory courses, supervised laboratory work, and introduced a course in the methods of
mental and social measurement.
In this latter course, Froeberg covered such topics as variable measurement, measurement
of change, correlation, reliability, tabular, frequency, and graphic methods. He never felt it was a
very successful course. It did not attract many students which may have been due, he believed, to
the mathematics involved, the scarcity of material relevant to the subject, and the short time he
had to organize the work.
Froeberg was described by his colleagues as a pleasant but rather quiet and
unostentatious person who carried out his work effectively if not too dramatically. While at
Michigan he carried out two minor studies, one on the effect of varying the interval between
presentations in paired associate learning and the other on the motor effects of smoking.
Dr. Froeberg found Ann Arbor to be a pleasant place in which to work. He had come as
an instructor after holding a professorial rank at Upsala College and consequently found the
salary somewhat less than he could appreciate. So when an offer of an assistant professorship at
Pennsylvania State College was made to him, he accepted it and left Michigan.
Subsequent years found him holding positions at the University of Utah (1920-1921) and
Gustavus Adolphus in Minnesota where he remained for twenty-five years. After his retirement in
1945, Froeberg lived in Delano, Florida until his death on October 11, 1966.