Activity

Report on a Presentation at the 12th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology
"Differences Between the U.S. and Japan in Impressions Toward Shyness: Factors Affecting Good or Bad Judgment"

From August 26 to 28, 2017, we participated in the 12th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology held in Auckland, New Zealand.

It was my first time landing in Oceania. As the time difference is only three hours between New Zealand and Japan, I did not feel much jet lag. However, as New Zealand is in the southern sphere, the season was opposite to that in Japan. It was a fresh experience for me to head for the airport, taking out a jacket in August.
I had to take a taxi from my hotel to the conference venue as it was a bit far. But one conference participant taught me about a useful application called Uber. It is a system that allows you to tell your location to a taxi driver through GPS and the taxi will come to pick you up in several minutes. In Japan, Uber is not often used as there are tight restrictions. In other countries, however, such a practical system can be used, making me feel that hurdles to travelling abroad are gradually getting lower.

Our research group gave an oral presentation on "Differences Between the U.S. and Japan in Impressions Toward Shyness: Factors Affecting Good or Bad Judgment" from 14:40 to 15:40 on the 26th.
The presentation was about differences that people in the U.S. and Japan have regarding shyness. We conducted a large-scale online survey and investigated whether people of these two countries have positive or negative impressions of shyness. In previous studies, particularly in the U.S., shyness was regarded as something negative that needs improvement. However, in Japan, we assumed that being shy may not be so bad and conducted a survey based on that assumption. We made this assumption because shy people tend not to speak out in public, and in some situations, can be considered to be humble or cute. We also identified factors that link to right-and-wrong judgment (judging whether shyness is something good or bad) through multivariate analysis.
As a main result, we observed a tendency opposite to our prediction. In other words, people in the U.S. had more positive impressions toward shyness than people in Japan. It is difficult to interpret this result because previously, one study suggested that people in Japan have positive impressions toward shy people.
Many audience members showed interest in our presentation and we could not answer all questions they posed within our presentation time. After the presentation session, we continued our discussion with some researchers outside the venue, making me recognize that the result was really unexpected for people and had a great impact on them.
Some examples of questions they raised included the important points that perceptions toward shyness could be different among different generations and evaluation could be different in different situations. Furthermore, it was mentioned that we should add theoretical explanations as to why U.S. people recognize shyness more positively than Japanese people do. As such, we could go back to the basics for interpreting our research results and give a very significant presentation.

New Zealand is a multi-racial state and I interacted with many Asian immigrants in towns. It seemed that many taxi drivers and service staff in restaurants were from India, Korea and China. Since traveling abroad allows me to gain multi-cultural experience, which is hard to do in Japan, I hope that I can do it regularly.
 
Differences Between the U.S. and Japan in Impressions Toward Shyness: Factors Affecting Good or Bad Judgment
(Takafumi Sawaumi, Tsutomu (Fujii) Inagaki, Atsushi Aikawa)

(Takafumi Sawaumi, CRET Researcher)

Takafumi Sawaumi

CRET Researcher / Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Sociology, Ryutu Keizai University

Hobbies: I try to get some physical activity by playing tennis or doing yoga on a regular basis. I am also busy learning foreign languages, while overseas travel is one of my pleasures in life.

Research topic: I specialize in cross-cultural research on interpersonal communication and personality.

dissertation

Reasearch label
2015-03-02

Exploring the potentials of language learning with a MOOC

Kanji Akahori

Yayoi Anzai

Areas of Reasearch in CRET

This laboratory conducts research on test evaluation and analysis. We also perform joint research and exchange programs with overseas testing research institutes.







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for the laboratory

This laboratory conducts research and development into testing approaches that measure communication skills, teamwork skills, and social skills, etc.

Dr. Atsushi Aikawa

Professor,
Faculty of Human Sciences,
University of Tsukuba
Ph.D. in Psychology

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for the laboratory

This laboratory conducts research on the foundation of computer-based testing, and basic research on media and recognition, as well as applied and practical research
that utilize such knowledge.

Dr. Kanji Akahori

Professor Emeritus of
Tokyo Institute of
Technology

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for the laboratory