Helen Bradford Thompson was born on 6 November 1874 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated at the head of her high school class in 1893 and earned her BA at the University of Chicago 1897. Her interests were drawn to psychology by Chicago professors John Dewey and James B. Angell, and she received the PhD summa cum laude in psychology in 1900. She studied at Paris and Berlin in 1900–1901. From 1901 to 1905 she was professor of psychology at Mount Holyoke College, where she directed the psychological laboratory.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.