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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

“Social Psychology”
--Exposing human behavior--

Megumi Shimoyama
3rd year student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The approachable Professor Takemura

"Who trust people more, Japanese or Americans?" You may think that most people would, at first, say the Japanese, who place importance on harmony. But results of a survey showed the answer is Americans. Americans, more than Japanese, tended to agree that "most people are basically honest", and "most people can be trusted". So why is that the case?

This phenomenon can be represented by the saying "safe Japan, trusting America". America is a highly mobile society. Accordingly, building trusting relationships with various people is effective in expanding business opportunities. On the other hand, Japan is a society which places importance on the inner circle. In this type of society, you only need to build a steady relationship with certain people and there is little need to trust those outside the group.

In this way, social psychology attempts to understand the make up of human perceptions, recognition, judgment, decision making and behavior in social conditions such as politics, economics, management and everyday life. Here, the fact that psychology can be applied in many social circumstances becomes clear.

Professor Takemura, who takes this lesson, hails from Kyoto and speaks in the Kansai dialect. The professor's delivery is powerful and full of enthusiasm, making it attractive to the students. Student discussions also take place in the lessons. Students make groups with two or three nearby students, and produce everyday examples of theories explained by the professor. It takes a while to get used to, but many different views are aired and it becomes very lively. Social psychology skills are not only learnt, but also skills in discussion, expressing your opinions to others, and speaking in front of others. These skills, useful in school life and after entering the workforce, are gained naturally.

Surprise short tests and reports are also assigned at times, but through the deep content, new discoveries and feeling myself grow, I look forward to this class every week. This is a valuable course I highly recommend to those who have yet to take it.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)