Self and Culture

Get a deeper understanding of yourself

What is happiness and how can we achieve it? Who benefits from helping--the helper or the recipient of help? What factors encourage people to comply with the restrictions under the current pandemic? In this seminar, students co-create a class in which they learn about the self and culture by reading and discussing current research on selected topics in social and cultural psychology. Students learn how the self works differ by culture, but also learn to think beyond the simplistic idea of the collectivistic East versus the individualistic West. By conducting experimental or survey research on a topic of their choice, students learn how to identify important problems, propose solutions, obtain data to check the validity of their propositions, and communicate their findings with others.

Seminar activities

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Students’ Theses

- Does self-compassion increase compassion toward others?
- What kind of feedback motivates people to overcome challenges?
- Do mastery goals increase learning from failure more than performance goals?
- Does self-enhancement increase well-being among the Japanese too?
- What kind of self-disclosure promotes interpersonal relationships?
- Is there a gender difference in how acceptable amae is?
- Does holding a hot pack influence one's evaluation of a person as warm and kind?
- The influence of thank you messages and thank you gifts on prosocial behavior
- Does relatedness increase happiness more so than competence in Japan?
- Is time an individual property? Concept of zero-sum time perspective and its relation with self-image goals