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Physicians asked King Louis XVI to conduct an investigation, which he did, appointing a blueribbon commission presided over by Benjamin Franklin. The commission found no evidence that magnetic fluids existed in the body nor that magnetic forces resulted in any healing. No formal actions resulted from the report, and Mesmer and his followers continued their practice. Mesmerism arrived in the United States in the 1830s and spread, especially in the Northeast. In addition to providing medical healing, mesmerists reportedly cured depression and phobias and helped individuals with selfimprovement.
Fechner developed several psychophysical methods for determining difference thresholds and absolute thresholds (the minimal stimulus value that could be detected). These methods were part of the mainstay of the early psychological laboratories and are still used today in psychological research. Wilhelm Wundt as Founder Following graduation from medical school at the top of his class in 1855, Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) worked as a research assistant, first for Johannes Müller and then Hermann Helmholtz.
In addition to providing medical healing, mesmerists reportedly cured depression and phobias and helped individuals with selfimprovement. Mesmerism is considered to be a precursor of modern hypnotism, a legitimate, if not wholly understood, adjunct to medical and psychological practice. Historians believe that the benefits of mesmerism were the results of suggestions made during hypnotic states. The popularity of mesmerism continued into the early part of the 20th century. It is often regarded as the beginnings of psychotherapy in America (Cushman, 1995).