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Hidefumi HITOKOTO, Associate Professor

Cross-cultural psychology, Culture and well-being, Culture and self

The function of our mind is not only sustained by our internal physical mechanisms but also
imbued by the societal makeup in which it operates in the real world. For example, one may
end up having a punctual mind if he/she commutes to work using a train that arrives exactly
on time. Then, questions can follow as; How come this particular society became punctual in
the first place? In such a society, how would people imply “being late”? Exactly what has
changed, in which part of our mind, when we become adapted to live in such a society? Last
but not least, other than this shared sense of time, how many, and what kinds of societal
differences out there that deeply governs the functions of our mind?

Cross-cultural psychology, which I specialize in, compares quintessential cultural differences
that govern our mind, endeavors to reveal our inevitable diversity in our mind and behavior as a human being. My professional interest lies in cross-cultural comparisons of self and emotions, using surveys and experiments with above perspective.

My personal reason to have chosen this specialty stems from my early-age cross-cultural
experiences. It made me realize that when cultures differ, the way people think, feel, and
behave begins to show remarkable differences that go way beyond what language can convey. I would like to invite students to study cross-cultural psychology that can only be learned
under the world that gets smaller than ever, is needed by the people across the world, and can inquire into the very basic ways in which human is social.