- Research Subject
Socio-ecological approach to cultural and social psychologica processes (relational mobility)/Cross-cultural variations in intra- and inter-group processes
- Research Fields
- Social Psychology, Cultural Psychology, Socio-Ecological Psychology
- Faculty - Division / Research Group / Laboratory
- Division of Human Sciences / Research Group of Behavioral Science / Laboratory of Behavioral Science
- Graduate School - Division / Department / Laboratory
- Division of Human Sciences / Department of Behavioral Science / Laboratory of Behavioral Science
- School - Course / Laboratory
- Division of Humanities and Human Sciences / Course of Human Sciences / Laboratory of Behavioral Science
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How do the characteristics of a society affect the minds of the people who reside there? To address this question, I adopt a theoretical approach called a “socio-ecological perspective.” It views people’s psychological tendencies and behavioral patterns as “adaptive tools” to the social environment consisting of complex patterns of behaviors and relationships between many individuals. I often conduct cross-cultural studies, including surveys and experiments in multiple countries, to test our hypotheses.
The specific socio-ecological variable we are currently focused on is “relational mobility.” In societies and social environments with higher relational mobility, such as in North America, big cities, and the internet, people can select interpersonal relationships and group memberships based on their personal preferences. On the other hand, in societies with relatively lower relational mobility, such as East Asia and small traditional societies, it is difficult for people to change interpersonal relationships and group memberships once they are formed. What kind of psychological tendencies and behavioral patterns make individuals better off in a society with the given level of relational mobility? This perspective is useful in providing parsimonious explanations of various psychological and behavioral differences that have been found in traditional cross-cultural research. It is also useful in forecasting novel differences that have not been found to date.
You are welcome to join us on this adventure to uncover still-unknown relationships between our minds and society!