*National Overview – Nigeria, 2005

This article is adapted from    National Tour” prepared by E. Egwu, 2005 ,which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).


Psychology in Nigeria is a social and health science, concerned with the scientific study of normal and abnormal behavior of individuals in society, culturally and cross-culturally defined. The Nigerian Psychological Association started in 1984 as an umbrella body, which reconciled two previously existing psychology organizations in Nigeria, namely: the Nigerian Psychological Society and the Nigerian Association of Psychologists. Today the Nigerian Psychological Association is the only national association of Nigerian psychologists recognized and chartered by the federal government of Nigeria.


Psychology in Nigeria started as an academic discipline in 1964, when a psychology department was established at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Other departments were established soon after that, as follows: University of Lagos, 1966; University of Jos, 1976; University of Ibadan, 1978; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 1978; Ondo State University, 1982; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, 1982; Enugu State University, 1982; Benue State University, 1992; Imo State University, 1994.


Psychological research in Nigeria takes place primarily in the universities. Research is primarily applied, problem solving, and social policy oriented. For example, many Nigerian psychologists work in areas like productivity, motivation, job satisfaction, alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment. Others are interested in areas like cultural factors in mental illness, conflict resolution, stress management, leadership and developmental psychology.


Psychological training in Nigeria is provided at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels in universities. Some courses, however, are provided at Colleges of Education, and at Polytechnics. Sub-degree (Diploma) programs in psychology are also offered in some Nigerian universities. These usually cater to non-psychology professionals who require some familiarity with the discipline and young people preparing for university education.

There are standardized regulations for training psychologists in Nigeria, for example, psychological training in all Nigerian universities and psychology departments must satisfy the mandatory minimum academic standard requirements stipulated by the Nigerian Universities Commission.

Currently the Nigerian Psychological Association is developing a formal code of ethics to guide professional training and practice.


Nigerian Journal of Psychology, 1984- , irregular
Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology, 1987- , irregular
Nigerian Journal of Psychological Research, 1980- , irregular



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