Shoko Watanabe

Profile picture for Shoko Watanabe

Contact Information

603 E. Daniel Street
Room 305, M/C 716
Champaign, IL 61820

Office Hours

By Appointment
Subject Pool Coordinator


Shoko Watanabe is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Shoko studied theology as an undergraduate at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is also a certified math teacher with an M.S. in Educational Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Shoko’s work with Sean Laurent addresses when and why people promote forgiveness, and the nature of moral hypocrisy and the conditions under which hypocrites are forgiven or punished. She is also interested in the formation of trust and friendships in groups and teams. 

Research Interests

  • Moral Psychology
  • Religious Cognition
  • Forgiveness
  • Moral Hypocrisy
  • Group Trust
  • Theory of Mind

Research Description

My current research focuses on religious cognition and social function of religion. I also study third-party forgiveness and punishment, perceptions of hypocrisy, and in-group trust and cooperation. I explore these topics in laboratory experiments and naturalistic field groups using social cognitive and behavioral economics approaches. Applying my theological-historical background to psychological study of religious concepts, I aim to better understand and facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions of human behavior and spirituality. 

Courses Taught

PSYC 100 Introductory Psychology (Fall 2018)

PSYC 332 Social Methods Lab (Spring 2017, 2018)

PSYC 333 Social Psychology in Society Lab (Fall 2016) 

Recent Publications


Watanabe, S., & Laurent, S. M. (2019). Feeling bad and doing good: Forgivability through the lens of uninvolved third parties. Social Psychology.