The Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences (CERSS), established in April, 2007 under the Creative Research Institution (CRIS), is tasked with strategic studies at Hokkaido University, and is the only specialized agency in Japan to facilitate leading-edge research activities in the social sciences. Currently the Laboratory of Social Psychology at the Department of Behavioral Science, Faculty of Letters is the core member and coordinates with other faculties such as the Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Faculty of Education, Graduate School of Education, and School of Education. CERSS plays a strategic role in research and educational activities and conducts advanced social science experiments.
CRESS’s main goals are: 1) to promote the social sciences as an experimental science through the development and diffusion of techniques for experimental studies in social science, 2) to offer a common field where human science and social science can cooperate with each other through the full-scale introduction of experimental work in the social sciences, 3) to carry out international experiments by way of bases throughout the world that establishes an international research network for experimental studies in the human and social sciences, 4) to implement research activities that connect the human sciences and social sciences and to educate young researchers on how to develop skills to announce their research results globally.
Based on these policies, CRESS, as a core member of the “Experimental Social Sciences: Toward Experimentally-Based New Social Sciences for the 21st Century” program hosted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and as a member of the “Web for the Integrated Studies of the Human Mind (WISH)” also hosted by MEXT, has undergone cutting edge research, trained young researchers, and undertaken educational campaigns. CRESS also built a collaborative study and education network with the Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences at the University of Tokyo, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University, and Tamagawa University Brain Science Institute. Also, CERSS has created a cooperative framework including people-to-people exchanges with major research centers, such as the UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution, and the Culture and Cognitive Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University. CERSS also has a relationship with the Committee and Subcommittee on Psychology/Education, Science Council of Japan. CERSS plays a core role in connecting advanced studies in a variety of related fields, for example, psychology, brain science, primatology, evolutionary biology, ethology, economics, political science, and law.