Keiko Ishii

Associate Professor

Department of Cognitive and Psychological Sciences

Graduate School of Informatics , Nagoya University

E-mail: ishiik [at]

Research Interests

- Culture and cognition: Whether and to what extent does information processing in emotional utterances depend on communication practices? We have found that Japanese and Filipinos, who are familiar with high-context communication practices, were more likely to pay attention to contextual information (e.g., vocal tone), whereas Americans, who are familiar with low-context communication practices, were more likely to pay attention to verbal meaning (Ishii & Kitayama, 2002; Ishii, Reyes, & Kitayama, 2003; Kitayama & Ishii, 2002). In addition, we have recently found that this attentinal bias in Japan was also shown in older people (Ishii & Kitayama, 2007). I am now working with Dick Nisbett to examine cognitive styles in young and older Americans.

- Voluntary settlement and frontier spirit: What is a basement of independent self? We have assumed that economically motivated voluntary settlement encourages a collective belief in independence. In order to examine the hypothesis, we focused on Hokkaido, which was settled by peasants and ex-samurais during the first half of the 20th century. Consistent with the hypothesis, Americans and Hokkaido-born Japanese in Hokkaido gave more weight to dispositional inferences than situational inferences, whereas such tendency was weaker in non Hokkaido-born Japanese in Hokkaido and Kyoto, which replicated previous findings in cross-cultural studies on causal attribution (Kitayama, Ishii, Imada, Takemura, & Ramaswamy, 2006).

- Cultural and individual differences in trust and reciprocity: In real time public goods game, people can update what extent they provide for public goods in real time. Contribution to public goods always decreases in course of rounds in the game. Nevertheless, we found that in a particular condition in which people can know about the amount of the lowest contribution to public goods in the group and can increase only their contribution, contribution to public goods increases in both Americans and Japanese. Overall, Japanese were more likely to contribute than Americans because in the condition they could control the extent to which they exposed themselves to being free ridden so that Japanese, who are generally more cautious than Americans, were likely to perceive the condition to be secure. However, the degree of increase of contoribution in course of the rounds in Americans was larger than in Japanese, and among Japanese the degree in high trusters was larger than in low trusters, reflecting differences in reciprocal behaviors between Americans (high trusters) and Japanese (low trusters). (Ishii & Kurzban, 2008).


Journal articles

Ishii, K. (in press). When people avoid a product chosen by others: The effects of the need for uniqueness and the presence of others. Japanese Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Ishii, K., Komiya, A., & Oishi, S. (accepted). Residential mobility fosters sensitivity to the disappearance of happiness. International Journal of Psychology.

Mori, Y., & Ishii, K. (in press). The effect of auditory imagery for speech in reading in Japanese. Current Psychology. [Abstract]

Ohtsubo, Y., Masuda, T., Matsunaga, M., Noguchi, Y., Yamasue, H., & Ishii, K. (in press). Is collectivistic forgiveness different from individualistic forgiveness? Dispositional correlates of trait forgivingness in Canada and Japan. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science.

Eisen, C., & Ishii, K. (2019). Cultural variation in reactions to a group member’s vicarious choice and the role of rejection avoidance. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1311.

Ishii, K. (2019). Cultural influences in somatosensory amplification and their association with negative affective states. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 106-112.

Ishii, K., & Eisen, C. (2018). Cultural similarities and differences in social discounting: The mediating role of harmony-seeking. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1426.

Ishii, K., Matsunaga, M., Noguchi, Y., Yamasue, H. Ochi, M., & Ohtsubo, Y. (2018). A polymorphism of serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) influences delay discounting of gain and loss. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 193-199.

Li, L. M. W., Masuda, T., Hamamura, T., & Ishii, K. (2018). Culture and decision making: Influence of analytic versus holistic thinking style on resource allocation in a fort game. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 49, 1066-1080. [Abstract]

Matsunaga, M., Masuda, T., Ishii, K., Ohtsubo, Y., Noguchi, Y., Ochi, M., & Yamasue, H. (2018). Culture and cannabinoid receptor gene polymorphism interact to influence the perception of happiness. PLoS ONE, 13, e0209552.

Bjornsdottir, R. T., Tskhay, K. O., Ishii, K., & Rule, N. O. (2017). Cultural differences in processing a person as a whole: Evidence from emotion recognition. Culture and Brain, 5, 105-124. [Abstract]

Eisen, C., Ishii, K., & Inoue, D. (2017). Independence and number of choices moderate the choice effect in implicit object preferences. Cognitive Studies, 24, 270-283.

Ishii, K., Eisen, C., & Hitokoto, H. (2017). The effects of social status and culture on delay discounting. Japanese Psychological Research, 59, 230-237. [Abstract]

Ishii, K., Mojaverian, T., Masuno, K., & Kim, H. S. (2017). Cultural differences in motivation for seeking social support and the emotional consequences of receiving support: The role of influence and adjustment Goals. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48, 1442-1456.

Ishii, K., Rule, N. O., & Toriyama, R. (2017). Context sensitivity in Canadian and Japanese children’s judgments of emotion. Current Psychology, 36, 577-584.

Masuda, T., Ishii, K., Miwa, K., Rashid, M., Lee, H., & Mahdi, R. (2017). One concept or two? Linguistic influences on the similarity judgment of objects between English and Japanese speakers. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1637.

Matsunaga, M., Ishii, K., Ohtsubo, Y., Noguchi, Y., Ochi, M., & Yamasue, H. (2017). Association between salivary serotonin and the social sharing of happiness. PLoS ONE, 12, e0180391.

Matsunaga, M., Kawamichi, H., Umemura, T., Hori, R., Shibata, E., Kobayashi, F., Suzuki, K., Ishii, K., Ohtsubo, Y., Noguchi, Y., Ochi, M., Yamasue, H., & Ohira, H. (2017). Neural and genetic correlates of susceptibility to others' happiness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 718.

Oishi, S., Yagi, A., Komiya, A., Kohlbacher, F., Kusumi, T., & Ishii, K. (2017). Does a major earthquake change job preferences and human values? European Journal of Personality, 31, 258-265. [Abstract]

Eisen, C., Ishii, K., Miyamoto, Y., Ma, X., & Hitokoto, H. (2016). To accept one’s fate or be its master: Culture, control, and workplace choice. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 936.

Eom, K., Kim, H. S., Sherman, D. K., & Ishii, K. (2016). Cultural variability in the link between environmental concern and support for environmental action. Psychological Science, 27, 1331-1339.

Ishii, K., Gang, L., & Takahashi, T. (2016). Cross-cultural comparisons of delay discounting of gain and loss. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 37, 427-432.

Ishii, K., & Uchida, Y. (2016). Japanese youth marginalization decreases interdependent orientation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47, 376-384.

LeClair, J., Sasaki, J. Y., Ishii, K., Shinada, M., & Kim. H. S. (2016). Gene-culture interaction: Influence of culture and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism on loneliness. Culture and Brain, 4, 21-37.

Masuda, T., Ishii, K., & Kimura, J. (2016). When does the culturally dominant mode of attention appear or disappear? Comparing patterns of eye movement during the visual flicker task between European Canadians and Japanese. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47, 997-1014. [Abstract]

Tybur, J. M., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., Barclay, P., Barlowe, F. K., De Barra, M., Becker, D. V., Borovoi, L., Choi, I., Choik, J. A., Consedine, N. S., Conway, A., Conway, J. R., Conway, P., Cubela Adoric, V., Demirci, E., Fernandez, A. M., Ferreira, D. C. S., Ishii, K., Jakšić, I., Ji, T., van Leeuwen, F., Lewis, D. M. G., Li, N. P., McIntyre, J. C., Mukherjeez, S., Park, J. H., Pawlowski, B., Petersen, M. B., Pizarro, D., Prodromitis, G., Prokop, P., Rantala, M. J., Reynolds, L. M., Sandin, B., Sevi, B., de Smet, D., Srinivasan, N., Tewari, S., Wilson, C., Yong, J. C., & Žeželj, I. (2016). Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, 12408-12413.

Ishii, K. (2015). Subjective socioeconomic status and cigarette smoking interact to delay discounting. SpringerPlus, 4, 560.

Oishi, S., Kimura, R., Hayashi, H., Tatsuki, S., Tamura, K., Ishii, K., & Tucker, J. (2015). Psychological adaptation to the Great Hanshin-Awazi Earthquake of 1995: 16 years later victims still report lower levels of subjective well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 55, 84-90. [Abstract]

Ishii, K. (2014). Consequences of voluntary settlement: Normative beliefs related to independence in Hokkaido. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 14, 159-169.

Ishii, K., Kim, H. S., Sasaki, J. Y., Shinada, M., & Kusumi, I. (2014). Culture modulates sensitivity to the disappearance of facial expressions associated with serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR). Culture and Brain, 2, 72-88.

Ishii, K., Kitayama, S., & Uchida, Y. (2014). Voluntary settlement and its consequences on predictors of happiness: The influence of initial cultural context. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1311.

Ishii, K., Miyamoto, Y., Rule, N. O., & Toriyama, R. (2014). Physical objects as vehicles of cultural transmission: Maintaining harmony and uniqueness through colored geometric patterns. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 175-188.

Nand, K., Masuda, T., Senzaki, S., & Ishii, K. (2014). Examining cultural drifts in artworks through development and history: Cultural comparisons between Japanese and Western landscape paintings and drawings. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1041.

Senzaki, S., Masuda, T., & Ishii, K. (2014). When is perception top-down and when is it not? Culture, narrative, and attention. Cognitive Science, 38, 1493-1506.

Ishii, K. (2013). Culture and the mode of thought: A review. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 16, 123-132.

Miyamoto, Y., Knoepfler, C. A., Ishii, K., & Ji, L. (2013). Cultural variation in the focus on goals versus processes of actions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 707-719.

Quintelier, K. J. P., Ishii, K., Weeden, J., Kurzban, R., & Braeckman, J. (2013). Individual differences in reproductive strategy are related to views about recreational drug use in Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan. Human Nature, 24, 196-217. [Abstract]

Ishii, K. (2012). Gene-culture interaction: Recent findings and the implications. The Japanese Journal of Research on Emotions, 20, 19-23. (in Japanese)

Ishii, K., Sugimoto, F., & Katayama, J. (2012). High self-esteem increases spontaneous attention to positive information: An event-related brain potential study. Psychologia, 55, 269-279.

Masuda, T., Wang, H., Ishii, K., & Ito, K. (2012). Do surrounding figures’ emotions affect judgment of the target figure’s emotion? Comparing the eye-movement patterns of European Canadians, Asian Canadians, Asian international students, and Japanese. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6, 72.

Gray, H. M., Ishii, K., & Ambady, N. (2011). Misery loves company: When sadness increases the desire for social connectedness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1438-1448.

Ishii, K. (2011). Changes in background impair fluency-triggered positive affect: A cross-cultural test using a mere-exposure paradigm. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112, 393-400.

Ishii, K. (2011). Mere exposure to faces increases attention to vocal affect: A cross-cultural investigation. Cognitive Studies: Bulletin of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society, 18, 453-461.

Ishii, K., & Kitayama, S. (2011). Outgroup homogeneity effect in perception: An exploration with Ebbinghaus illusion. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 14, 159-163.

Ishii, K., Miyamoto, Y., Mayama, K., & Niedenthal, P. M. (2011). When your smile fades away: Cultural differences in sensitivity to the disappearance of smiles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 516-522.

Rule, N. O., Ishii, K., & Ambady, N. (2011). Cross-cultural impressions of leaders' faces: Accuracy and consensus. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 833-841.

Rule, N. O., Ishii, K., Ambady, N., Rosen, K. S., & Hallett, K. C. (2011). Found in translation: Cross-cultural consensus in the accurate categorization of male sexual orientation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1499-1507.

Ishii, K., Kobayashi, Y., & Kitayama, S. (2010). Interdependence modulates the brain response to word-voice incongruity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 307-317.

Ishii, K., Tsukasaki, T., & Kitayama, S. (2009). Culture and visual perception: Does perceptual inference depend on culture? Japanese Psychological Research, 51, 103-109.

Oishi, S., Ishii, K., & Lun, J. (2009). Residential mobility and conditionality of group identification. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 913-919. [Abstract]

Rigdon, M. L., Ishii, K., Watabe, M., & Kitayama, S. (2009). Minimal social cues in the dictator game. Journal of Economic Psychology, 30, 358-367.

Ishii, K., & Kurzban, R. (2008). Public goods games in Japan: Cultural and individual differences in reciprocity. Human Nature, 19, 138-156.

Ishii, K. (2007). Do differences in general trust explain cultural differences in dispositionism? Japanese Psychological Research, 49, 282-287.

Ishii, K., & Kitayama, S. (2007). Holistic attention to context in Japan: A test with non-student adults. Japanese Journal of Social Psychology, 23, 181-186.

Kitayama, S., Ishii, K., Imada, T., Takemura, K., & Ramaswamy, J. (2006). Voluntary settlement and the spirit of independence: Evidence from Japan's "Northern frontier". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 369-384.

Ishii, K. (2005). Does mere exposure enhance positive evaluation, independent of stimulus recognition?: A replication study in Japan and the US. Japanese Psychological Research, 47, 280-285.

Ishii, K., & Kitayama, S. (2004). Correspondence between communicative practices and information processing systems: A review for experimental evidence on cultural perspective. Japanese Journal of Social Psychology, 19, 241-254. (in Japanese)

Tsukasaki, T., & Ishii, K. (2004). Linguistic-cultural relativity on cognition: Rethinking the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Japanese Psychogical Review, 47, 173-186. (in Japanese)

Ishii, K., Reyes, J. A., & Kitayama, S. (2003). Spontaneous attention to word content versus emotional tone: Differences among three cultures. Psychological Science,14, 39-46.

Ishii, K., & Kitayama, S. (2002). Processing of emotional utterances: Is vocal tone really more significant than verbal content in Japanese? Cognitive Studies, 9, 67-76.

Kitayama, S., & Ishii, K. (2002). Word and voice: Spontaneous attention to emotional utterances in two languages. Cognition & Emotion, 16, 29-59.

Book chapters

Eisen, C., Ishii, K., & Hitokoto, H. (2018). Socioeconomic status, reactions to choice deprivation in group contexts, and the role of perceived restrictions on personal freedom. In M. Karasawa, M. Yuki, K. Ishii, Y. Uchida, K. Sato, & W. Friedlmeier (Eds.), Venture into Cross-Cultural Psychology: Proceedings from the 23rd Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (

Ishii, K., & Eisen, C. (2016). Measuring and Understanding Emotions in East Asia. In H. Meiselman (Ed.), Emotion Measurement (Pp. 629-644). Woodhead Publishing.

Ishii, K. (2013). The meaning of happiness in Japan and the United States. In K. R. Scherer, J. R. J. Fontaine, & C. Soriano (Eds.), Components of emotional meaning: A sourcebook (Pp. 473-476). Oxford University Press.

Ishii, K., & Kitayama, S. (2000). Spontaneous attention to emotional speech in Japan and the United States. In G. Hatano., N. Okada., & H. Tanabe (Eds.), Affective Minds (Pp. 243-248). Oxford: Elsevier Science.