Professor SATO Yoshimichi

Affiliations :

Game theory as a key to solving the mysteries of society

Why do people trust others despite the risk of being betrayed? Why do freshmen in a university club inevitably get divided into leaders and followers? Why do government policies fail?
Since society is our natural habitat, we ignore many social phenomena as self-evident. But society is full of mysteries if you look at it from another angle. I seek such mysteries out and battle them until they are unraveled. But those are formidable opponents that require an adequate weapon. For me, such weapon is game theory. Game theory explains what social consequences can be expected when a group of people interact and influence one another. Even though it consists of individuals, society is not just a gathering of separate entities. A influences B, while B influences C. With game theory as my weapon, I unravel these sophisticated networks of influence and solve the puzzles offered by society.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Behavioral Science (General Lecture): Introduction to Micro-macro Problems, Introduction to Game Theory; Behavioral Science (Special Lecture): Sociology of Disparity, Inequality, and Risk; Behavioral Science (Seminar): Self-organization of Social Order and Agent-based Models, Analysis of Self-organization and Agent-based Models
    Personal History
    1992 Completed the doctoral program (without a doctoral degree) at the Graduate School of Sociology, University of Tokyo

    1988 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Yokohama City University
    1992 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    1992 Guest Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
    2001 Guest Researcher, Department of Sociology, Cornell University
    Current position

    International activities:
    Visiting Professor, University of Indonesia
    Visiting Professor, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
    Executive member of the International Sociological Association
    Chair of the Section on Rationality and Society, American Sociological Association
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    Social Stratification Theory; Studies on Trust; Social Capital Studies; Theory of Social Change; Rational Choice Theory (including Game Theory and Agent-based Model)
    Research Subject
    Social change (1982-present);
    Mechanisms of trust (1992-present);
    Social class and inequality (1985-present)
    Social class; social inequality; trust; social capital; social change; rational choice theory
    The Japan Sociological Society; Japanese Association for Mathematical Sociology; Tohoku Sociological Society; The Behaviormetric Society of Japan; American Sociological Association; International Sociological Association
    Database of Researchers Information
  • Books
    Intentional Social Change: A Rational Choice Theory, Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2006
    Japan's New Inequality: Intersection of Employment Reforms and Welfare Arrangements, Trans Pacific Press, 2011(with Imai Jun)
    Social Exclusion: Perspectives from France and Japan, Trans Pacific Press, 2012(with Marc Humbert)
    『ワードマップ ゲーム理論――人間と社会の複雑な関係を解く』、新曜社、2008
    『現代の階層社会1 格差と多様性』、東京大学出版会; 第一版、2011
    Academic Papers
    「社会的不平等の数理モデルに向けて: ミクロ・マクロ・リンクを意識した数理モデルの重要性」、『理論と方法』31 巻2 号、数理社会学会、2016、277-290
    "Inequality in Educational Returns in Japan," in Education, Occupation and Social Origin: A Comparative Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities, 2016, 94-113(with Arita Shin)
    "Institutions and Actors in the Creation of Social Inequality: A Rational Choice Approach to Social Inequality," in Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation during Economic and Demographic Stagnation, Routledge, 2016, 29-36
    "How to Get a Longer Job? Roles of Human and Social Capital in the Japanese Labor Market," in International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 24(1), 2015, 20-29 (with Kobayashi Jun and Kagawa Mei)
    2015 13th Japan NPO Research Association Award for Excellence, 2015.
    2008 Book Award for Scholarly Excellence, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
    2005 The Third US-Japan Joint Conference on Mathematical Sociology
    1991 1st Annual Fukutake Tadashi Prize
    「宮城でも広がるハロウィーン熱」、「Nスタ みやぎ」、TBC