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Welcome to our Social Psychology Lab

Research Topics@b@Research Projects@b@About Nagoya

RESEARCH TOPICS

In general terms, the members of our lab conduct research in a field known as social cognition. Social cognition is a subfield of social psychology, which is concerned mainly with how people make sense of their social worlds - consisting of other people around them as well as the groups and communities to which they belong. We explore the cognitive processes that people go through in order to achieve social understanding, such as categorization, memory, inference, and decision-making. These cognitive processes often entail unwanted biases and errors. Likewise, people are capable of intuitively telling what is right and what is wrong, but this sense of morality or fairness at times can contradict the logic behind justice or law. We believe that empirical investigations of these tendencies in social cognition can lead people to gbetterh ways of thinking, and eventually, to building a society that may uphold social justice and human values.
Specific issues on which we are currently focused are as follows.

Social Groups

Human beings donft live alone. Every one of us belongs to some, typically many, social groups, organizations, and networks. These groups often provide bases for our social identities. It is also true that when we see others, we divide them into groups in order to make sense of this diverse and complex social world. Unfortunately, such divisions tend to entail the distinction between gush and gthem,h resulting in stereotypes and prejudices as well as certain types of unfair treatment of others, such as favoritism. These can be major sources of intergroup conflict. Our lab is examining cognitive and affective processes associated with various social groups based on gender, ethnicity, occupation, and some socially constructed categorizations, from a diversity of theoretical perspectives.

Morality and Justice

How can we know intuitively what is right and what is wrong, without any deep thinking? Why do we feel like punishing someone who violates a norm? And still, how can judicial decisions at times go at odds with our common sense of right and wrong? Also, what role does culture play when we find discrepancies between groups with respect to their moral values? We are investigating lay understandings of notions such as responsibility, intention, rights, and ethical/moral correctness.

Shared Cognition, Communication, and Culture

Social cognition is not necessarily confined to information processing that takes place inside of an individual person. Rather, it is often achieved through an active psychological construction shared with other people. In our approach to this issue of collectively shared cognition, our lab pays special attention to domains of culture, communication, and language. Culture can be characterized as the ultimate form of shared cognition on a large scale over a long period of time. In addition, communication plays a key role in the process of transmitting and reproducing shared cognitive representations. Another fascinating research topic that is closely related to communication studies pertains to the role of language. Language not only reflects but also may direct our thinking. Our lab is engaging in a number of research projects based on these diverse but mutually related research interests, such as the communication of social identity and stereotypes, cultural foundations of moral judgments, and the relationship between language and blame across different cultures. Many of these are collaborative works with our international colleagues, representing several overseas nations.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

AS THE PROJECT LEADER

    E2015-2018 Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    The Process of Generation, Sharing, and Emergence of Moral Judgments: An Investigation of the Dynamic Relationship between Individuals and Culture.

    E2015-2017 Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation Research Grant.
    Consequences of Consumersf Values and Identities: Toward the Understanding of Psychological Bases and Roles of Communication

    E2011-2015 Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas: Law and Human Sciences

    E2011-2014 Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    Determinants and Consequences of Punitive Motives: A Psychology and Law Approach

    E2011-2014 Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    Communication as a Tool for Promoting Interpersonal Relationships: A Linguistic-Psychological Model and Its Practical Applications

    E2010-2012 The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Joint Research Projects/Seminars (Japan-Australia).
    A psychological study on the dynamics of culture as a basis of prejudices. (Project collaborators: Yoshihisa Kashima and Nick Haslam, University of Melbourne)

    E2008 - 20011 Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    A Social Psychological Study of the Mutual Relationship between Cognition and Verbal Communication

    E2007 - 2010 Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    The Effect of Cognitive and Motivational Factors on Legal Processes: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations

AS A COLLABORATIVE RESEARCHER

    E2004 - 2008 Australia Research Council Grant
      Cultural Dynamics of Narratives
    @(Project Leader: Yoshihisa Kashima, University of Melbourne)

    E2005 - 2008 JSPS-France Joint Project (CHORUS) Cross-Cultural Studies on the Human Resolution of Contradiction
    (Project Leaders: Hiroshi Yama, Kobe College, & Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst, Institut des Sciences Cognitives)

WELCOME TO THE HEART OF JAPAN - NAGOYA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDKdFd6Obsg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrLKM53g5BQ

The greater Nagoya area (aka the gMidlandh) is the third largest metropolitan area of Japan, and is literally located right in the middle of the nation. Tokyo is to the East and less than a 2-hour ride on the Super Express (gBulleth) Train, whereas Osaka is within an hour Westbound, with the ancient capital of Kyoto en route. Situated conveniently both for business and cultural activities, Nagoya is currently recognized as one of the most vibrant areas in this nation.

Traditionally, this region has been one of the top industrial areas, housing major plants of big manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Honda, Shin Nippon Steel, not to mention Toyota, whose headquarters are in an adjacent city of Toyota. Because of these international business enterprises, Nagoya presents a prototype of cosmopolitanism in todayfs Japan. On the other hand, thanks to its historical background, the city still preserves traditional faces of Japanese culture. The mixture of the old and new exemplifies the characteristic of the entire nation, and it is indeed an ideal field for researchers of people and society.

Another enjoyment of living in this region is the combination of natural beauty and urbane entertainments. In approximately 3 hours of driving North you will reach the entrance of the Japan Alps, which was the site of the 1988 Nagano Winter Olympics. Within an hour or so of driving South, you will find an array of gorgeous beaches awaiting. A whole variety of outdoor sports is available. The abundance in natural resources is of course good for cuisines as well. Other large cities envy our local catch of seafood from the nearby Ise Bay, while the rich farm land in our backyard provides abundant fresh fruit and vegetables at reasonable cost.

Sports spectators should note that our home team in professional baseball, the Chunichi Dragons, won the national champions in the 2007 Japan Series. In the J-1 football league is the Nagoya Grampus Eight (named after the famous Golden Dolphins on the rooftop of the Nagoya Castle and the number from the city emblem). Among its former players are Keisuke Honda (2004 - 2007, now AC Millan) and the Serbian legend, Dragan gPiksih Stoykovic (1994 - 2001) who also coached the team (2008 - 2013).

The Chubu International Airport, located within 1 hour of train connections from the University, serves as a major Asian hub for international flights. The airport structure is popular among the local people as a kind of amusement park, with lots of entertainment, shops, fine restaurants, and even an open-air public bathhouse inside of the complex! Come visit us and experience these unique combinations of the new and old, the city and country, and innovative ideas and respect for conventions.

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