Researcher, Author, Speaker

Tania Singer

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer is a social neuroscientist and psychologist and world expert on empathy and compassion. She has a passion for creating bridges between fields that typically never interact such as linking neuroscience with economics, science with arts or science with spirituality.

 

“A lack of compassion is arguably the cause of humankind’s biggest failures.”

Learning from contemplative traditions from the East, she has initiated and headed one of the largest meditation-based secular mental training studies on compassion, the ReSource project. Linking such findings to the field of economics, she developed a “caring economics” approach, developing new models of economy based on care and social cohesion.

Throughout her life she has explored how inner change can bring about societal change putting science in the service of societal transformation.

Building bridges between fields

Fields of Expertise

In her scientific exploration, Tania has always been passionate about creating bridges between fields that typically rarely interact, such as linking social psychology with neuroscience, neuroscience with economics, science with arts, or science with contemplative wisdom traditions from the East.

For more social competencies, resilience and less stress in everyday school life

The EduSocial Project

The Edu:Social School Project of the Social Neuroscience Lab of the Max Planck Society investigates the influence of online socio-emotional training programs in the context of schools. Building on previous projects such as the CovSocial project, which showed that 10 weeks of online training in mindfulness exercises or in new socio-emotional exercises with partners, the so-called dyads, could strengthen socio-emotional skills such as empathy, (self-)compassion as well as resilience and mental health, we now want to bring these scientifically proven training programs into the school context.

In the first phase of our study, we are now primarily looking for teachers from Berlin who would like to participate in our training program from October 2024. Here we will focus on the socio-emotional dyad programs, in which teachers will practice 15-minute dyads daily over 10 weeks via an app to train their social skills and resilience with each other.

In the second phase, planned for 2025, we will involve teachers from all over Germany.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting and innovative project, you can also attend our digital information events with our team for more information. Dates and further details can be found on our website.

For participation, please register on our Edu:Social School Website

The ReConnect! Courses are based on Prof. Dr. Tania Singer’s 25+ years of psychological and social neuroscience research on the effects of different types of mental trainings on brain, mind and behavior. The goal now is, to translate this research into practice and allow society to profit from these precious science-based mental training programs and the associated benefits of boosting empathy, (self)compassion, tolerance towards others, mental health and resilience while reducing stress and loneliness and improving social cohesion and connections.

ReConnect with yourself, the other and society at large

These courses are called ReConnect! as the goal is to reconnect participants with themselves, others and society at large.

As Tania is multi-lingual, she gives ReConnect! Masterclasses and ReConnect! Journeys in different languages such as French, German or English.

The ReConnect! formats are adapted for the use in different domains of society: education, healthcare, business or for society at large. Therefore ReConnect! courses have different specification such as ReConnect! in Society, ReConnect! in Healthcare, ReConnect! in Education or ReConnect! in Leadership.

Furthermore, there are different ReConnect! formats with different intensities and topics: ReConnect! Matserclasses and ReConnect! Journeys.

You can find more information about ReConnect! courses here

3.5 days intensive meditation retreats in silence

ReConnect! Masterclasses

The ReConnect! Masterclasses start with a very intensive 3.5 days meditation retreat in silence in a beautiful retreat center in nature. A large ReConnect! teacher team lead by Tania Singer guide a group of about 60-70 participants through deep inner processes, supported by scientific talks, instructions into many different meditations, different types of partner-based Dyads, sharing circles and group dialogues.

After this retreat, participants engage in 8 weeks of daily dyadic practice with a partner in their everyday lifes. This daily practice is supported by weekly 1.5 hours online coaching sessions lead by Tania Singer and her expert Dyad-teacher team.

The ReConnect! Masterclasses consist of a good balance between teaching theoretical knowledge in psycho-biology and direct practice with everyday applications.

You can find more information about past ReConnect! Masterclasses here.

Introduction into the ReConnect Dyadpractice

ReConnect! Journeys

The ReConnect! Journeys start with a 1.5 day long live event in a beautiful location in the center of Berlin. This event is lead by Tania Singer and her ReConnect team and includes a large group of 120 participants, who are introduced during these days in the Dyadwork.

After this kick-off event in person, participants continue their journey with daily Dyads over 8 week, accompagnied by 1.5 hour online coaching sessions in smaller groups lead by expert ReConnect Dyad teachers.

Journeys come in different colors covering different themes with specific types of Dyads such as the Empathy-Dyad, the Perspective-Dyad or the Shame-Dyad. Each of these Dyads cultivate specific capacities. Depending on whether the focus of a Journey is the cultivation of compassion, perspective taking or self-compassion, the specific 8-week Journey will teach participants a specific Dyad practice and will be therefore called Compassion Journey or Perspective Journey etc.

You find more information about ReConnect! Journeys here and below about the next German Compassion Journey in Berlin (in German language):

28th and 29th of March 2025 in Berlin Live + 8 Week Online Dyad Journey

Next ReConnect! Compassion Journey

The next ReConnect! Compassion Journey start with a 1.5 day long live-event in the beautiful villa Elisabeth in the center of Berlin. The Journey starts at 2.30pm on the 28th of March and ends at 6pm the 29th of March 2025. Tania Singer together with her large ReConnect! team will support this Journey again with many scientific talks and will also offer later an online session allowing for more in-depth questions about science and practice behind the Dyads.

After the life-event in Berlin with the large group of more than 120 participants, the Journey continues in smaller groups for 8-weeks of daily Dyad practice with partners, supported by weekly online coaching sessions lead by expert ReConnect! Dyad teachers. In the flyer you find more information about the exact dates of the sessions and the respective teacher biographies.

Please click here for more information in the flyer: Flyer- ReConnect-Compassion-Journey_2025

Registration for the ReConnect! Compassion Journey are done by the Entrepreuneur foundation who is again partnering with us for the Compassion Journey: here.

Concentrating on Kindness, January 2015 @Science Magazine

About Tania

Tania has a rich, colourful and international biography characterised by many moves within Germany and Europe. Below are some keywords of her most important academic positions.

A more personal biography as well as her full academic CV can be found here.

 

  • Studies of Psychology and Media Counselling at the University of Marburg and Technical University of Berlin.
  • PhD in Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin.
  • Postdoctoral years at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging & Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College, London.
  • Assistant and full Professorships in Social Neuroscience & Inaugural Chair in Neuroeconomics & Co-Director of the Laboratory for Social and Neural System Research at the University of Zürich.
  • Directorship, Department of Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig.
  • Scientific Head, Social Neuroscience Lab, Max Planck Society, Berlin.

Tania is now head of the Social Neuroscience Lab of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. She investigates Human Social Behaviour as well as social emotions such as empathy and compassion and their trainability.

 

She is founder and Principal Investigator of the ReSource project a large-scale longitudinal study with more than 300 participants and 90 different measures on the effects of meditation-based mental training on brain plasticity, mental and physical health, and pro-social behaviour. The ReSource project has taken more than 10 years to be developed and conducted, generating more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers to date (see here for the ReSource webpage).

 

She further holds a cooperation with the macroeconomist Prof. Dennis Snower on the topic of Caring Economics. Together they explore how biology and psychology can inform new economic models and decision-making.

 

Currently, Tania is heading the CovSocial Project, a study that investigates on the changes of vulnerability, social cohesion and resilience during the SARS-COV-19 pandemic in Berlin. In its second phase, the study investigates the differential efficiency of two 10-week online mental training programs, a mindfulness and a socio-emotional partner-based dyadic program, on mental health, stress and loneliness reduction as well as boosting resilience and social skills.

 

Tania has further published her findings in more than 150 high-impact peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and has given several hundred keynote lectures on the stages of many prestigious institutions such as the World Economic Forum, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, ETH and at many global companies.

 

Throughout her career, Tania has further engaged in art and science cooperation. Among others, she cooperates with the artist Olafur Eliasson, and together with him she has produced a movie and a freely downloadable eBook on compassion.

 

In the context of her longtime board membership of the Mind and Life Institute, she helped organise together with Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard two large-scale conferences with the Dalai Lama, in 2010 in Zürich and in 2016 in Brussels. These conferences were published in two books, “Caring Economics” and “Power and Care”.

 

To help transfer her scientific knowledge and science-based mental training programs into society, Tania is also giving workshops and ReConnect! Masterclasses and ReConnect! Journeys for different domains such as health-care, education or business and leadership. These Masterclasses include 3.5 days intensive retreats as well as 8-week daily partner-based dyadic practice in your everyday life supported by weekly online coaching sessions with professional teachers.

Latest News & Upcoming Events

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  • Teachers for Edu:Social School Project

    June 07, 2024 – For our new Edu:Social School project we are looking for interested school teachers, who want to participate in our study and get an online dyad training for free. Detailed information can be found according to the link below. (German only)

  • Together against loneliness

    May 14, 2024 – This press release by the Max Planck Society summarizes the results of the partner-based mental online training (dyad) carried out in the successful CovSocial project. It further reports on the future deployment of similar programs in broader areas of society, such as educational and helath care systems.

Recent Talks & Podcasts

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  • re:publica 24

    May 27, 2024 – At re:publica 24 Stage 1 Tania Singer talks about the effects of mental dyad training and why it is important to transfer it to different sectors of society. (German only)

  • The Mindfulness Podcast

    December 12, 2023 – In this podcast Tania Singer and David Black talk about the CovSocial project and specifically explore results comparing mindfulness training against a dyad interventions regarding thought and affect patterns.

Latest Scientific Publications

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  • Godara, M. & Singer T.

    10-Week Trajectories of Candidate Psychological Processes Differentially Predict Mental Health Gains from Online Dyadic Versus Mindfulness Interventions: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 13(11), 3295. (2024)

  • Matthaeus, H., Godara, M., Silveira, S., Hecht, M., Voelkle, M., & Singer, T.

    Reducing Loneliness through the Power of Practicing Together: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Online Dyadic Socio-Emotional vs. Mindfulness-Based Training. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(5), 570. (2024)

  • Godara, M. & Singer, T.

    Resilient Stress Reactivity Profiles Predict Mental Health Gains from Online Contemplative Training: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 14(5), 493. (2024)