Contributing to others

We all have the desire to be liked, respected, and valued. We all care how others evaluate us because we believe that by getting high evaluation from others, we can raise our self-esteem and feel good about ourselves. Yet, research (Crocker & Canevello, 2012) has shown that the goal to construct and maintain desired images of the self undermines happiness whereas the goal to contribute to others' well-being promotes relationships, and ultimately one's own happiness. Our lab conducts experiments and surveys to examine how we can contribute to others' happiness from a social psychological approach.

Finding commonalities amidst cultural differences

People's thinking, feelings, and behaviors differ according to culture. Although we find it important to examine these cultural differences, we are interested in how people share similarities despite large differences in their cultural backgrounds. For example, the Japanese "amae" does not have an equivalent word in other languages but my research suggests that the phenomenon does exist in other cultures as well and that it can equally promote relationships. Our research challenges stereotypical views associated with interdependence and independence and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the goals we pursue for the self in East Asian and North American cultures.


2021/06/04 The Twitter project I joined while I was a visiting scholar at Stanford got accepted in JPSP. Congrats to Tiffany!
2021/04/02 I received a new Kakenhi grant as well as an International Prize from the Japanese Psychological Association. I am so honored!  
2021/03/20 Five students will be graduating this year. Congratulations! 
2021/01/09 Happy new year! The final research presentation on 1/11 will be on Zoom. Please contact me if you wish to attend. 
2020/12/19 The research on dissent expression that I started in 2017 finally got published in JPR! You can download it for free here until 2021/2/7.
2020/10/25 The final research presentation of the graduating students will take place on January 11th (national holiday) from 13:30. I hope our alumni can make it too! 
2020/10/20  I had the honor to go to Niikawa in Toyama to give a talk on altruism. 
2020/09/21  Welcome back to school. Most courses will remain online but luckily, I will get to see my seminar students in persons from October. Students have come up with interesting ideas for their senior thesis. I am sure it will be another very busy but productive term.
2020/05/24  We welcomed 7 new students in the seminar. I hope we can all get together soon! 

Past News