David Matsumoto, PhD
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last updated on Mar 21st, 2022


David Matsumoto is an internationally acclaimed author and psychologist. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1981 with High Honors in Psychology and Japanese. He subsequently earned his M.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1986) in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently Professor of Psychology and Director of the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University, where he has been since 1989. He has studied culture, emotion, social interaction and communication for 20 years, and has approximately 400 works in these areas. His books include well-known titles such as Culture and Psychology: People Around the World (Wadsworth; translated into Dutch and Japanese), The Intercultural Adjustment Potential of Japanese (日本人の国際適応力) (本の友社), The Handbook of Culture and Psychology (Oxford University Press; translated into Russian), and The New Japan (Intercultural Press; translated into Chinese). He is the recipient of many awards and honors in the field of psychology, including being named a G. Stanley Hall lecturer by the American Psychological Association. He is the series editor for Oxford University Press� series on Culture, Cognition, and Behavior. He is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and is on the editorial boards of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Asian Psychologist, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Motivation and Emotion, Cognition and Emotion, and Human Communication.


Matsumoto is also a judo coach and official. He holds a 6th degree black belt in judo, a Class A Coaching Certificate from the US Judo Federation, Teaching Certificates in seven katas of judo, and a Class A International Referee License from the International Judo Federation. He is the head instructor of the East Bay Judo Institute, located in El Cerrito, California. He received the U.S. Olympic Committee�s Developmental Coach of the Year Award in Judo in 1999, the U.S. Judo Federation�s Senior and Junior Female Coach of the Year Award in 2001, the U.S. Judo Federation�s Senior Female Coach of the Year Award in 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Olympic Committee�s Coach of the Year Award in 2003, and an acclamation from the City and County of Honolulu, HI in 1977. Under his leadership as the Director of Development for USA Judo from 1996-2000, the U.S. claimed its first gold medal in 12 years at the 1999 World Judo Championships, and qualified a full team of athletes (14 categories) to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, one of only four countries in the world to achieve that feat. In the third year of his directorship (1999) American judo athletes stood on the medal podium at international competition a total of 124 times, an unprecedented accomplishment. His personal students have distinguished themselves by obtaining medals in national and international competition over 200 times in the past 18 years under his tutelage, including a silver medal at the 2000 World Junior Judo Championships by his daughter, Sayaka. He is the author of The History and Philosophy of Kodokan Judo (本の友社), Judo: A Sport and a Way of Life (International Judo Federation), and Judo in the US: A Century of Dedication (US Judo Federation and North Atlantic Books).


  Curriculum Vitae available

At San Francisco State University, Matsumoto is

  • Professor in the Department of Psychology

  • Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology

  • Director of the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory (CERL) in the Department of Psychology at San Francisco State University. The CERL is one of the largest and most productive research laboratories in the university, producing much of the cutting-edge research in the area of culture and emotion. For more information about the CERL, please visit http://bss.sfsu.edu/cerl/.

Matsumoto also serves as the

  • North American Regional Representative of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (www.iaccp.org)

  • Faculty Advisor for the American Psychological Association Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (www.apa.org)

  • Series Editor, Culture and Cognition, Oxford University Press (www.oup-usa.org)

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (www.sagepub.com)

In the judo world Matsumoto holds these positions:

  • Head Instructor, East Bay Judo Institute (www.ebji.org)

  • Chairman, Development Committee, United States Judo Federation (www.usjf.com)

  • Official Researcher, International Judo Federation (www.ijf.org)

  • International Advisor, Kyobun College (Tokyo School of Judo Therapy) (www.kyobun.ac.jp)

Biography of David Matsumoto by Lilian Mitchell

Dr. David Matsumoto, psychologist, founder of the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory (CERL) and professor at San Francisco State University, is best known for his contributions to cross-cultural research (�Founder,� 2003).

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 2, 1959, Matsumoto grew up intending to be a physician, not a psychologist (personal communication, October 16, 2003). Fortunately for the field of psychology, his internship at the University of Michigan Medical Center during his first two years of college at the University spurred him to reevaluate his career goals. Working in the emergency room, Matsumoto noticed that patients� pain often stemmed from psychological factors, and because of this, medical doctors were fully not equipped to deal with patients� needs. Matsumoto�s peer, a psychology major, suggested that Matsumoto enroll in some psychology courses. Although he was ambivalent about his opinion of psychology, he decided to major in psychology because of his success in his classes.

Matsumoto later received his Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California (UC) at Berkeley (�Founder,� 2003). Although Matsumoto�s background in psychology was rooted in clinical research, he realized at UC Berkeley that he preferred studying social psychology (personal communication, October 16, 2003). Even though Matsumoto has no formal graduate training in social psychology, he has been pursuing it ever since. Matsumoto now considers his clinical training useful for its research procedure benefits, and does not regret leaving the field.

Matsumoto has explored culture, interaction and emotion in numerous publications. One of his most recent books is The Handbook of Culture and Psychology. In The New Japan: Debunking Seven Cultural Stereotypes, he analyzes Japanese culture and clarifies misconceptions about it (Harris, 2003). The myths that he dispels concern collectivism, consciousness of others, perceptions of self, emotionality, �the salaryman,� education, lifetime employment and marriage. Matsumoto�s studies have indicated that today�s Japanese youth discards the traditional attitudes of previous generations that have brought economic success to Japan (DeAdwyler 2002). 

Matsumoto, who is fluent in Japanese and English, has received numerous teaching and research awards, including the Outstanding Teaching Award from UC Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa�s Excellence in Teaching Award, the NASA Group Achievement Award and was named the American Psychological Association�s (APA) 1997 G. Stanley Hall Distinguished Lecturer (�Founder,� 2003). 

Matsumoto contributes his expertise to countless psychological organizations. He serves, among many other positions, as the faculty advisor of the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, the Associate Editor of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and the Consulting Editor of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology (Matsumoto, 2003). Even though Matsumoto has secured his own prominent positions in the field of psychology, he remains in awe of role models such as Paul Ekman, his graduate school supervisor and a former recipient of the APA Distinguished Scientific Award in Psychology (personal communication, October 16, 2003). 

In addition to conducting research, teaching, writing and serving on boards of various organizations, Matsumoto devotes his free time to Judo, practicing six days each week (personal communication, October 16, 2003). As well as having a black belt of his own, he serves as Director of Development for the United States Judo Federation, and has recently written Judo: A Sport and Way of Life. He previously served as the Executive Secretary and Director of the United States Judo Federation and was a member of the National Coaching Staff of USA (�Founder,� 2003). 

               Matsumoto does not favor any past study above another because they each have their own individual stories (personal communication, October 16, 2003).  He states that as he continues to study, his interests shift, allowing him to broaden his exploration of psychology.


Burress, C. (2002, August 4). Japan isn't what it used to be, says S.F. professor. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 26, 2003, from the World Wide Web: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=2&did=000000145882621&SrchMode=1&sid=8&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1067210314&clientId=19338

DeAdwyler, T. (2002, August 15). SFSU professor puts to rest cultural stereotypes of Japan; New book reveals a different country emerging as it changes.  SFSU Office of Public Affairs. Retrieved October 26, 2003, from the World Wide Web: http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/prsrelea/fy02/009.htm

Founder: David Matsumoto, Ph.D. Retrieved September 22, 2003, from the World Wide Web:http://bss.sfsu.edu/cerl/dmabout.htm


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last updated on Mar 21st, 2022