Research Center for Group Dynamics


Shinobu Kitayama

Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Robert B Zajonc Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychology, LSA

Shinobu Kitayama
5265 ISR
426 Thompson Street
Phone: 734-647-3616

Throughout my career as a psychologist, I have investigated the role of culture in modifying, shaping, and even sometimes forming a variety of psychological processes including cognition, emotion, and motivation. In this work, the independence/interdependence theory of culture and self has been instrumental both as a heuristic device for generating new hypotheses and as an overarching theoretical frame within which to integrate diverse empirical findings. In more recent work, I have tried to expand this work by 1) looking specifically at origins of cultural variations, 2) expanding data base to non-student adult populations, and 3) beginning to explore underlying brain processes. I am hopeful that by pursuing these avenues of research, it will be possible to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of how culture and the human mind influence each other, and how culture influences the mind in such a way that culture becomes an integral element of the mind itself. I believe that this work has the potential of overcoming the traditional dichotomy between culture and nature a dichotomy that has plagued the field of social and behavioral sciences for a long time.