Psychological science at Nankai University was established mainly by the faculty of department of social psychology and included some faculty from sociology department, psychological health center and affiliated hospital. It has a parallel history with the foundation of Nankai University. The founder and first principle of Nankai University, Yan Xiu (1860~1929) and Zhang Boling (1876~1951), learn their educational psychology theories from John Dewey and Edward Lee Thorndike, whey Yan and Zhang went to America to find educational solution to modernize China in 1917 to 1918. Right after they came back from America, Nankai University was found in 1919. Other key leaders of Nankai University from 1920s to 1940s, such as Ling Bing (1891~1993) and Huang Yusheng (1898~1990), also received doctor and master degrees in Psychology in Clark University and Chicago University, respectively. In 1923, Nankai University found psychology department. The major courses in psychology departments consists of general psychology, social psychology, educational psychology, and other fundamental undergraduate courses. However, psychology department in Nankai did not gain substantial development due to financial and political considerations in the following decades.
The department of social psychology was founded in 2003, which formerly known as the first sociopsychology teaching and research group (1983) and the first sociopsychology laboratory (1987) in Chinese universities. Since 2000 and 2004, the university started to admit separately undergraduate students (BSc) and postgraduate students majoring in psychology (so called “academic Master degree”, MEdu). In 2009, the secondary degree discipline of sociopsychology under the primary doctoral specialties of sociology was authorized and granted. In 2011, the Master degree of applied psychology (so called “profession-oriented Master degree”, MAP) was authorized and granted.
MEdu has two specialties: applied psychology and fundamentals of psychology. Applied psychology includes social governance and organizational management psychology, health and clinical psychology, cognitive psychology and user experience, big data and cyberpsychology field of studies. The fundamentals of psychology include social psychology and cognitive psychology. MAP includes organizational psychology and human resources management, psychological health counseling and education. The secondary degree discipline doctoral orientation of sociopsychology has three fields of study: cultural and sociopsychology, health and clinical psychology, applied sociopsychology.
Psychological science at Nankai University is famous for its excellence in teaching and research in the field of social psychology. The first dean, Professor Guoan Yue, was the president of board of directors of China Association of Psychology, the president of China Association of Social Psychology, and the president of board of directors of Social Psychology section of China Association of Psychology. He was also granted the Life Achievement Award by China Association of Psychology. The current leading figure of psychological science at Nankai University is Professor Xinjian Wang, the president of China Association of Social Psychology and the president of board of directors of Social Psychology section of China Association of Psychology. He was granted Discipline Construction Achievement Award by China Association of Psychology.
Among the faculty, five were among the national excellent course team of Social Psychology; one was nominated for the national 100 excellent doctoral theses; two obtained Youth Scholar Award of Asian Association of Social Psychology; one is the secretary-in-general of China Association of Social Psychology; two were granted the Excellent Teachers by Baogang educational foundation and two were Fulbright Visiting Scholars. many others hold the positions as directors of various academic associations nationally and in Tianjin. The current faculty obtained their doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford, Ohio University, Peking University, the Psychology Institute of China Academy of Sciences, etc.
Psychological science at Nankai University adheres the university motto of “dedicated to public interests, acquisition of all-round capability” and the core value of “know China and serve for China”. It focuses on students’ knowledge innovation and practical abilities, and pays equal attention to globalization and localization. Our postgraduate students obtained their first degrees from Peking University, Zhejiang University, Jilin University and other double first-class universities, including international students from “one belt one road” countries. Some of our graduates already became elite and backbone in the field of psychology internationally and domestically; some work in finance and internet high-technology companies; and quite a few minorities originally from Xinjiang and Tibet areas went back hometown to serve for the west of China in various positions.
In response to the significant demand of our country, society and discipline, psychological science at Nankai University conducted solid scientific research and provided wide social service in the following fields: social psychological service system construction, psychological health literacy improvement, doctor-patient trust improvement, cultivation of innovation and entrepreneur attitude, social and psychological support for people with autism spectrum disorders. It has become the most representative place for sociopsychological research and important talent base for social psychology service with Chinese characteristics. Besides, its researches in computational sociopsychology, eye-tracking of behavior decision, psychological mechanism of language and perception have achieved surprisingly wonderful progress of internationally advanced level. Some of the results have wide national and international academic influences.