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. 

My first book! 

Letting Go of Self-Esteem: Creating Happiness through Psychology

May of us believe that increasing self-esteem leads to happiness. But is that really so? Shifting the focus away from the question "Am I worthy?" to "What can I contribute?" allows us to let go of our pursuit of self-esteem and can bring us happiness. (in Japanese)


 2020/02/04 I will be giving a talk at the Asian Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences (ACP) on March 27.  ACP 2020
2020/02/04   I will be presenting a poster at the Culture preconference of SPSP. 
2020/01/13 So glad to see many alumni join us for the end of the year research presentations. Thank you for providing comments and questions. Congratulations to the current fourth year students on finishing up your graduation theses! 
2020/01/01   Happy new year! My year's resolution is to write a review paper. With an increased administrative responsibility, the challenge is to use my time wisely.
2019/12/03 The talk at Chukyo University was a great opportunity to receive comments from experts in fields other than psychology. Thank you to all of you who attended! 
2019/11/22 On Dec 3, I will be giving a talk at Chukyo University in Nagoya. Please join me if you happen to be nearby. (The talk will be in Japanse) Poster
2019/11/9 I presented my research on the cultural difference in helping behavior at the Japanese Society for Social Psychology. Thank you to all of you who gave me excellent comments afterwards!

Past News