Toshio Yamagishi received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Hitotsubashi University in sociology, and his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Washington in 1981. Soon after, he started his teaching career at Hokkaido University, then moved to the University of Washington in 1985, and back in Japan at Hokkaido University in 1988. During the quarter of a century following his return to Hokkaido University, he received the Center of Excellence Grant twice, in 2002 and 2007, and established the Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences in 2007 and became Inaugural Director. After retirement in 2012 from Hokkaido University, he moved to the Brain Science Institute at Tamagawa University, then to the Center for Research in Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and finally to the current position at Hitotsubashi ICS. After returning to Hokkaido University, he spent a few months at a time at various places and capacities including Fellow at Zentrum fuer Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen (1990), Rio Tinto/La Trobe University Distinguished Visiting Fellow (1999), Fulbright Fellow (2000), Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Advances Study, La Trobe University (2001), Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (2002), and Distinguished Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of Mind, University of California Santa Barbara. He received the national honor of Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004 and Person of Cultural Merits in 2013.
Selected Papers and Publications
T. Yamagishi & K. Sato (1986). Motivational bases of the public goods problem. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50)
T. Yamagishi (1986). The provision of a sanctioning system as a public good. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51)
T. Yamagishi & M. Yamagishi (1994). Trust and commitment in the United States and Japan. (Motivation and Emotion 18, 199)
T. Yamagishi, K. Cook & M. Watabe (1998). Uncertainty, trust and commitment formation in the United States and Japan. American Journal of Sociology 104)
T. Yamagishi, H. Hashimoto & J Schug (2008). Preference vs. strategies as explanations for culture-specific behavior. (Psychological Science 19)
T. Yamagishi, et al. (2009). The private rejection of unfair offers and emotional commitment. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 106)
T. Yamagishi (2010). Micro-macro dynamics of the cultural construction of reality. Advances in Culture and Psychology 1.
T. Yamagishi, et al. (2012). Rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game is no evidence of strong reciprocity. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 109)
T. Yamagishi, et al. (2013). Is behavioral pro-sociality game-specific? Pro-social preference and expectations of pro-sociality. (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120)
M. Radform, S. Ohnuma & T. Yamagishi (eds.), Cultural and ecological foundations of the mind (Hokkaido University Press, 2007)
M. Schaller, A. Norenzayan, S. Heine, T. Yamagishi & T. Kameda (eds.), Evolution, culture, and human mind (Psychology Press, 2009)
T. Yamagishi, Trust: Evolutionary game of mind and society, English Edition. (Springer, 2011)
P. A. M. van Lange, B. Rockenbach & T. Yamagishi (eds.), Reward and punishment in social dilemmas. (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Current Research and Activities
Professor Yamagishi's research interests focus on the dynamic interplay between the human psychology and the macro social structure. The research topics he is working on include trust, cooperation, altruism, reciprocity, and related issues. He is currently conducting a large scale study funded by a grant from JSPS of economic games in which about 500 participants repeatedly play, over three years, various forms of economic games and fill out a battery of a large number of personality and attitudinal scales.