Division of Educational Psychology

Course Description

Graduate Programs

This division offers four areas of study: Psychology of Learning and Instructional Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Educational Cognitive Sciences, and Educational Information Sciences. In the first area, we examine how knowledge is gained and used at schools and kindergartens. In Developmental Psychology, we focus on children’s emotional and cognitive development. Educational Cognitive Sciences deals with people’s cognitive activities outside school. In Educational Information Sciences, we explore how to measure and analyze human behavior by using statistics. We aim to foster researchers who share these broad perspectives and specialized techniques.

Undergraduate Programs

Educational psychology focuses on the areas of development, learning, cognition, personality, clinical practice, social behavior, assessment, measurement and disorder. The lectures and seminars are designed to cover these areas.

Other than those mentioned above, we offer “Experiments in Educational Psychology,” which every student is required to take. In this seminar, students learn various methods for conducting research in educational psychology, such as experiments, tests, observation, interviews and data analysis. For this purpose, visits to correctional, welfare and medical facilities are also organized. After completing these basic studies, students choose their specialized fields according to their interests, and pursue specific research.

In addition to these lectures and seminars, the students receive guidance for their graduation theses during their fourth year. They are free to choose their own themes. In writing theses, students are encouraged to collect and analyze data through experiments, observations, tests and other techniques, as empirical evidence is emphasized in research on educational psychology. (Titles of recent theses can be found in the following pages.)

Since 2004, the graduate school has been divided into the divisions of Educational Psychology and Clinical Psychology, allowing students to delve further into specialized fields. Lectures for the undergraduate school’s educational psychology course are taught by the faculty members of both divisions of the graduate school.


Takeshi OKADA

Professor (Educational Cognitive Sciences)

I am interested in the process of how ideas are born and developed. Focusing on the creative activities of artists, I aim to answer such questions as: “How do artists create?” and “How are original ideas born?” To do so, I use a multi-method approach — first, creating a hypothesis on cognitive activities in creative processes based on fieldwork, and then verifying the hypothesis through psychological experiments.

Toshihiko ENDO

Professor (Developmental Psychology)

I am concerned about the factors that influence the attachment relationships formed between children and their caregivers in early life, and investigate how individual differences of the quality of early attachment affect children’s later socio-emotional development. I also study how a variety of emotions emerge and develop in early childhood and what impacts they have on children’s physical and psychological functioning from evolutionary and cultural perspectives.


Professor (Psychology of Learning and Instruction)
Affiliated with the Division of Curriculum Development

I am interested in the processes by which children understand mathematical and (natural and social) scientific concepts, and also in planning lessons that encourage those processes. I use an educational psychology approach to conduct research in collaboration with elementary and high school teachers, by using individual experiments, interviews, written questionnaires, and analysis of remarks made by students during lessons and of worksheets.

Etsuko HARYU

Professor (Developmental Psychology)

A child who seems truly powerless when born will eventually learn how to speak, behave compassionately, and cope with new problems. I hope to find out how this seemingly natural change occurs. I am particularly interested in how children acquire languages and how their view of the world is structured as they acquire languages.

Kensuke OKADA

Associate Professor (Psychological Statistics)

My research interest is in statistical modeling of psychological, educational, and behavioral data for better understanding of human behavior. To this end, my lab members and I are conducting research on application and theory of Bayesian statistics. I believe this is an exciting area of research with deep scientific questions and with a wide variety of potential applications.