Project Introduction

Social survey related Project

Cross-National Comparative Survey on National Character

Project Summary

This is a project based on the Cross-National Comparative Survey on National Character conducted by the Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) from the 1970s. The project aims to publish and disseminate the results of research methods for international comparison using the following two approaches: (1) Promoting joint and public use of survey results and data and (2) Researching methods for acquiring and sharing international comparative survey data and finding methods of data analysis for international comparability across different cultures and languages.

Project Research and Development Content

Since the 2000s, we have focused on cultural diversity in the Asia–Pacific region, and acquired data by surveying many countries and cities. By studying the similarities and differences between people in geographically and culturally close countries, we can perform a comparative analysis and find values that are common across cultures and vary based on cultural differences.
Further, we are preparing metadata and publishing tabulated data for the joint use of archival data, thus contributing to the dissemination of data science.

Q. Now, if you could be born again, would you like to be a boy or a girl?

1. Boy 2. Girl 3. Other 4. D.K. (Don’t Know)

Project Background

This study is related to the Japanese National Character Survey (see separate item). From around 1971, this survey was expanded to include a comparative study of people of Japanese nationality or ethnicity living outside Japan and people from other countries to provide an in-depth analysis of the Japanese national character (see figure). For example, at the time of its development, the survey did not only simply compare Japanese and American people but also surveyed Japanese Hawaiians and Japanese Americans living in the United States, aiming for a detailed examination of differences in values. Later on, around 1990, comparative surveys of seven countries were conducted. These included European countries as well as the United States. The focus in recent years has been Asia with the Pacific Rim Value Survey and the Asia–Pacific Value Survey conducted in the 2000s and 2010s. This Center has inherited the activities of these projects.

Figure. Schematic diagram with a link comparison framing a survey of Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans living in Hawaii or in the mainland United States.

Anticipated Outcomes and Goals

  • Publishing detailed tabulations of the collected awareness surveys on the Internet nd providing foundational information that contributes to the development of international understanding by preparing data for joint use.
  • Promoting analysis that will contribute to the advancement of peace in world politics and economics by developing analysis that focuses on specific factors (e.g., the state of trust among the peoples of different countries).
  • Developing a paradigm known as “Cultural Manifold Analysis” (CULMAN), which introduces a hierarchical structure for comparison links in space, time, and survey items, with the aim of pursuing the possibilities of international comparability across different cultures and languages, rather than simply making a size comparison of tabulations, thereby creating an in-depth, advanced methodology for international comparative surveys.
For details on this project, please check the Cross-National Comparative Survey on National Character website.