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.


2024/06/21 Dr. Miyagawa and I validated the Compassion Scale in Japan. Please check out the paper, which is now available online from Mindfulness. 
2024/06/17 I was fortunate to be interviewed by PHABRIQ MEDIA to share my views on helping others. The interview is in Japanese only.   Check out the interview
2024/04/14 We happily welcomed 8 new students to the lab. Let's make this another fruitful year! 
2024/02/02 Our paper "Compassionate goals are associated with a greater willingness to help through a nonzero-sum mindset" has been (finally!) published in Current Psychology! Read the paper
2024/01/20 The final presentations of the graduating students were very successful. Thank you to the alumni and prospective students who joined us. I am proud to see how much progress students have made, but also sad to see them leave....! 
2023/12/17 We will have our annual end-of-the year research presentations on Saturday January 20th in Sotobori building. All alumni are coordially invited to join us. If you haven't received my invitation e-mail, please send me a message so that I can update my contact list. This year, I am planning for some social gathering after the presentations. I hope to see many of you there! 
2023/12/11 Our paper that examined cultural invariance of nonzero-sum time perception scale will be published in AJSP. Congrats to Mr. Syamil Yakin who helped me with this research for several years now. This is his first first-authored paper. Read the paper
2023/12/09 I am happy to welcome 8 new students to the seminar, starting spring 2024. I hope they will be as powerful as the current students! Welcome! 
2023/10/07 We will have our Open Seminars on Oct 9th and 16th. Please join us if you are interested!
2023/09/23 So glad I had the opportunity to present my research on wanting and needing help at the conference for the Group Dynamics Association at Kochi. I got to really appreciate the face-to-face interactions. 
2023/09/07  I was happy to present my poster on nonzero-sum time perception and helping at the Conference for the Japanese Association of Social Psychology. Thank you to all those who came and ask questions! 
2023/08/31  We went to a seminar summer camp at Kawaguchi-ko! 
2023/07/20  The AASP Summer School was a great success (again)! It was so rewarding for me to interact with talented young scholars from various Asian countries. Christienne, Khoi, Hanxue, Suryo, I wish you all the best with your future research! 
2023/06/28  I will be soon presenting my research at the Asian Association for Social Psychology. How I wish I could be in Hong Kong to meet my research colleagues!
2023/04/17 I am happy to welcome 10 new third-year students to the Self and Culture Seminar. There are now 24 members in total, including those who are studying abroad. I am happy to work with you all! 

Past News