Skip to content Skip to navigation


Overview of School of Psychology,Nanjing Normal University


School of Psychology (SOP) at Nanjing Normal University (NNU) has a long history and is literally one of the birthplaces of Chinese psychology. At the beginning of the establishment of Sanjiang Normal Institute in 1902, it was stipulated that all disciplines should offer the course Education Psychology Synopsis, and Japanese Scholar Torao Suganuma was invited as Instructor in 1904. In 1920, National Nanjing Higher Normal School established the Department of Psychology, the first psychological department in China, and the psychological laboratory. This event has milestone significance in the development of Chinese psychology and is seen as one of the Top Ten Events affecting the development of Chinese psychology in the 20th century. In 1921, the first psychological association in China, that is, Chinese Psychology Association (CPA), and also the predecessor of Chinese Psychological Society, was founded here, which is another big event affecting the development of Chinese Psychology in the 20th century. Since then, School of Psychology has gone through Department of Psychology at National Southeast University, Department of Psychology at National Central University, Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Ginling University, Department of Psychology at Ginling Women’s University, Department of Psychology at Nanjing University, and Department of Education and School of Education Science at NNU.

Immersed in the cultural heritage of a century, NNU SOP has fostered a great number of masters and personnel of psychology, such as Shu Pan, the only academician for psychology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (a. k. a. Academia Sinica) and the founder of Chinese modern psychology; Heqin Chen, the pioneer of Chinese Child Psychology; Zhiwei Lu, the founder of Chinese modern psychology and the reviser of the Binet-Simon scale; Wei Ai, “the paragon of integrating theory with practice and promoting Chinese Educational Psychology in China”; Shicheng Liao, the pioneer of Chinese Psychological Testing; and Juefu Gao, the diligent, intent, persistent and self-effacing mastermind in the field of history of psychology. They advocated honesty and strove for realism. Under their instruction, the academic echelon passed the long-lasting tradition from generation to generation, and the discipline integration went on smoothly; under the nurture of their virtues, we have kept the NNU spirit of Diligence and Practice, to study the nature of things. In 1960, NNU set up the major of Psychology in Department of Education, along with Peking University, Beijing Normal University and East China Normal University, which became one of the four universities that had the major before the Cultural Revolution (1966). In 1978 and 1983, NNU had the authority of offering Master’s Degrees and Doctorates in General Psychology, respectively. In 1993 and 2003, NNU had the authority of offering Master’s Degrees and Doctorates in Developmental and Educational Psychology, respectively. In 1994, the Major of Psychology for undergraduates was resumed and renamed as Applied Psychology, which in 2002 had the authority of offering Master’s Degrees. In 2011, NNU had the authority of offering Doctorates in Psychology, the first-level discipline.

On September 28, 2012, SOP was officially established, which was comprised of one Department, three Institutes and one Center, namely, Department of Psychology, Institute of Basic Psychology, Institute of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Institute of Applied Psychology, and Center of Psychological Experiments. SOP has 45 faculty members, including 16 professors and 13 associate professors. Thirty -five of them have doctor’s degree. SOP has formed five groups in orientations of History and Theory of Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Educational Psychology, Psychological Counseling and Treatment and Psychological Evaluation, which have definite domestic influences, and rank among the top 10 in China in their comprehensive strength (from The Ministry of Education 2012 Discipline Evaluation). As the leading force of Foundations and Applications of Psychology in Jiangsu Province, SOP has a major impact on psychological circles at home and abroad.

SOP now has first-level key disciplines of Jiangsu, Postdoctoral Station of Psychology, the first-level discipline authorized to offer Doctorate Degree in Psychology, the first-level discipline authorized to offer Master’s Degree in Psychology, Doctorate Degree in Education (shared), Master’s Degree in Education (Psychological Health Education), Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology, Jiangsu Experiment Teaching Demonstration Center, Jiangsu Work Station for Graduates Majored in Humanities and Social Sciences (Nanjing Municipal People's Procuratorate) and Cooperative Innovation Center at university level (Elderly Mental Health Cooperative Innovation Center). Besides, SOP and School of Education Science have jointly built a base of career education and development of national college students and two Jiangsu cooperative innovation centers: Cooperative Innovation Center for Basic Education Talents-Training Modes and Cooperative Innovation Center for Constructing Practice System in Moral Goodness and Holistic Growth. Many of the faculty members at SOP are listed in talent programs at all levels, including one in National “New Century Million Talents project”, one in “MOE New Century Excellent Talents”, one awarded the State Council special allowance, three in Jiangsu “333 High-Caliber Talents Training Project” and four in NNU “100 Leading Youth Talents”. The discipline leaders, direction leaders and part of the academic backbones have had an important academic impact in domestic psychological circles, including one as Standing Director of the Chinese Psychological Society and the Director of Jiangsu Psychological Society, around 10 take important positions like Deputy Directors, Vice Presidents and Standing Directors etc. in national and provincial academic organizations. SOP has published 490 papers since 2011, including 48 articles in SCI, SSCI and EI journals, 246 articles in CSSCI journals, 178 articles in authoritative journals (38 in first-class authoritative journals), 25 monographs and 40 translations. SOP has obtained 66 research projects, including 10 national projects and 14 provincial and ministerial projects; received eight provincial and ministerial achievement awards (including three first prizes, one second prize, and four third prizes) and four bureau level achievement awards.

SOP adheres to NNU strategy of Welfare and Education, promoting educational reform and improving the quality of talent cultivation. During the "12th Five-Year" period, SOP had two National Excellent Resources Sharing Courses approved, one National “12th Five-Year” Planned Textbook, and one MOE Brand Course Taught in English for studying in China. The major of Applied Psychology was assessed as Jiangsu’s Brand Major and one of Jiangsu’s “12th Five-Year” Feature Specialties for Undergraduate Students. SOP obtained two National College Students' Practice and Innovation Projects and seven Jiangsu College Students' Practice and Innovation Projects; two baccalaureate dissertations were awarded as Jiangsu Outstanding Baccalaureate Dissertations. The employment rate of undergraduates stays 100% for years and 15 students went to the schools/departments of psychology at high-level universities for further study in USA, UK, etc.. SOP has been rewarded over 80 awards at or over provincial level in all kinds of activities like the Seventh “Challenge Cup” Business-Planning Competition, National English Competition for College Students, Contemporary Undergraduate Mathematical Contest in Modeling, National Speech Competition for College Students, Jiangsu Science Competition for Undergraduates In Liberal Arts, etc.. SOP has 130 papers published by postgraduates in domestic and abroad academic journals; three doctoral dissertations awarded as Jiangsu Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations, and two master-degree dissertations awarded as Jiangsu Outstanding Masters Dissertations. Moreover, SOP has 15 postgraduates selected in Jiangsu Postgraduate Innovation Plan; 14 postgraduates won National Postgraduate Scholarships, and three rewarded as Provincial “Three-Good” Postgraduates.

SOP always attaches great importance to international academic exchange and cooperation and adheres to international development strategy. During the "12th Five-Year" period, SOP has sent in total five teachers to oversea high-level universities for 1-year academic exchange, and over 20 teachers for important international conferences such as International Congress of Psychology, International Conference for Chinese Psychologists, Asia Pacific Network for Moral Education (APNME), etc.. SOP has invited Prof. Michael Tanenhaus, a Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and professor of Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at University of Rochester as NNU Chair Professor; Kenneth J. Gergen, the famous psychologist and founder of Social Constructionism, as NNU Hongguo Lecturing Professor, for joint scientific research. Besides, SOP co-organizes the Asia Education Leadership Course (AELC), together with Tohoku University, Korea University, Taiwan Normal University and National Chengchi University, and jointly educates master students in Applied Psychology with Pace University.

“Remember your original intention, so you’ll open up future; be expert in inheriting, so you’ll innovate better.” SOP is now standing in the new beginning, taking on a new look, thinking about new problems, and planning on new development. By taking the opportunities of National "Double First-Class" Construction and the “13th Five-Year” Plan, by leading collaborative innovation through reform of mechanism and system, and by impelling the overall promotion of its research capacity and practical ability through collaborative innovation and international cooperation, SOP is making important contributions towards exploration on human mind and settlement of major national issues and urgent social problems.