Shinobu Kitayama said he learned quite a bit and liked what he was hearing from the other presenters. He said last year he was on sabbatical from teaching. His teaching sabbatical continues this year. He said he has not experienced Zoom lecturing but had given talks on Zoom, which he found challenging, e.g., speaking to a computer. While he is not speaking to teaching online, he said that he is running lab experiments online with his graduate students. Shinobu said he is looking at culture as a proximate mechanism which translates to psychological processes and behaviors that feed back into culture. Probably culture activates cognitive representation like goals and values. He talked about procedural priming of goals and values, of how people in Culture B can be like people in Culture A if you activate or prime goals or values of the other culture. In his spare time, Shinobu said he looked at subliminal priming of goals successfully. Can Americans act like Japanese? He said yes, in the same respects.

Shinobu looked at vocal tone, negative versus positive, on how much people are attuned to vocal context (longer reaction time if it is negative: saying “wonderful” with different tones of voice affects meaning). He found that Americans are good at screening out vocal tone. But if one has to make a judgment about vocal tone while ignoring meaning, then Americans are thrown off; Americans cannot ignore the meaning. For Americans, the word counts more than the tone of the voice. Voice is more salient for people in Japan, the Philippines, and China. He shared his screen of a task assigned to subjects. There would be a flash lit word on one of the four corners of the screen – left or right side – flashing randomly in different places on the screen 80 times. The flash-lit words were neutral like “unity” or non-neutral. These are Zoom-based experiments. For example, Trump supporters seem frustrated because they have an emphasis on freedom, which is primed in them. They may experience frustration for this reason (high school educated probably and may have horrible work situation) during COVID. COVID restrictions may be primed by freedom goals (versus relational goals). The study looked at things like political party affiliation, self-esteem, sense of control, and meaning of life. This is not a course, but it is a way to cope with the current situation, to shed light on the current situation in the US.