Education and Experience

Yu Niiya received her BA from International Christian University in 1998, her MA from the University of Tokyo in 2001, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2006. She subsequently worked for a year as a research scholar at the Institute for Social Research, before joining GIS in 2008 as an assistant professor. She has been a PI (principal investigator) and collaborator on many Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) projects for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. She was an associate editor for the Asian Journal of Social Psychology and the Japanese Journal of Social Psychology, and is currently an associate editor of the Japanese Journal of Psychology and the Japanese Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Research Interests

Professor Niiya interests lie in the exploration of whether a compassionate mindset can encourage people to overcome their hesitation to take risks. For example, she is currently investigating how having compassionate goals (i.e., the goals to support others) and self-image goals (i.e., the goals to project a desirable image of the self, such as appearing helpful) predict the extent to which people express dissent toward the group they belong to, or the extent to which they will offer help to a stranger. She is also interested in how perceiving time as a zero-sum or nonzero-sum resource relates to psychological well-being and relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, she has worked on what enables people to learn from failure, the positive relational consequences of adult’s amae, and many cross-cultural studies on various topics. She has recently published a book Letting Go of Self-Esteem: Creating Happiness Through Psychology (2017).

Teaching courses
Research output

・Niiya, Y. & Suyama, M. (2023). Time for you and for me: compassionate goals predict greater psychological well-being via the perception of time as nonzero-sum resources. Journal of Social Psychology.

・Niiya, Y., Handron, C., & Markus, H. R. (2022). Will this help be helpful? Giving aid to strangers in the U.S. and Japan. Frontiers in Psychology.

・Niiya, Y. (2021). The cultural psychology of helping. Journal of Psychological Review, 63, 329-345.

・Niiya, Y., Jiang, T., Yakin S. (2021). Compassionate goals predict greater and clearer dissent expression to ingroups through collectively oriented motives in Japan and the U.S. Journal of Research in Personality, 90. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2020.104057