1.Exploring the consequences of compassionate and self-image goals in Japan

In relationships, some people seek to project a desirable image of the self to others while others seek to promote others' well-bring. Crocker and Canevello (2008; 2012) called the former "self-image goals" and the latter "compassionate goals," and report how compassionate goals enhance relationships while self-image goals undermine them. Our research examines the consequences of these goals in the Japanese context.
  1.  Do compassionate goals enhance relationships and self-image goals undermine them in Japan as well?
  2. The Japanese value interpersonal harmony more than North Americans, but do they do so out of compassion or for the sake of promoting a good image of the self?
  3. The Japanese are often reluctant to express their opinion in public and to disagree with others, but does having compassionate goals encourage them to be more active in discussions?
  4. The Japanese often worry about intruding others' privacy and consequently hesitate to provide help to strangers. Does having compassionate goals encourage people to help strangers.

2.Exploring ways to learn and grow from failures

When people fail in a task they are invested, their self-esteem gets threatened. Consequently, people engage in various defensive reactions such as blaming others, dismissing the feedback, or diminishing further effort. However, failures are opportunities for learning and growth. Our research examines how people can learn and grow from their failures.

3.Identifying conditions under which amae enhances relationships

Amae is an indigenous Japanese concept that describes a situation in which a person engages in an inappropriate behavior/request with the expectation that the behavior will be accepted given the close relationship with the grantor. Although amae involves an inappropriate behavior and an imposition, amae can be a pleasant experience for those involved. Our research examines the conditions under which amae promotes relationships.

4.Promoting entrepreneurship in Japan

The number of startups in Japan is still very low compared to other industrialized societies such as the U.S. The Japanese are good at fitting in the existing frameworks but have difficulty creating a new one from scratch. We explore ways to increase startups in Japan.

5.Subjective time

A day consists of 24 hours and 1 hour consists of 60 minutes. Time goes by at the same speed for everyone, but our experience of it varies considerably—a two-hour movie may feel too short while a 15-minute interview may feel like an eternity. We often say that our work is "taking" time away from family and that we are "making" time for family. The various use of languages also reflect our conception of time. Our research examines how our perception of time influences our experience of it.