Personal tools
>> News  

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences - Building

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

IfW Gebäude



Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)

The Institute for New Economic Thinking was created to broaden and accelerate the development of new economic thinking that can lead to solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century.

Document Actions


Tania Singers ReSource Project on TV

Revolution der Selbstlosen © Thierry de LestradeA new documentary from Sylvie Gilman and Thierry de Lestrade "Die Revolution der Selbstlosen" will be shown on ARTE, 26th February 2016, 21:45 and 04th March 2016, 09:55.

Tania Singer and her ReSource Project on mental training are featured.

More Information on Facebook.  



Cooperation, Motivation and Social Balance


February 2016 - This paper examines the reflexive interplay between individual decisions and social forces to analyze the evolution of cooperation in the presence of “multi-directedness,” whereby people’s preferences depend on their psychological motives. People have access to multiple, discrete motives. Different motives may be activated by different social settings. Interindividual differences in dispositional types affect the responsiveness of people’s motives to their social settings. The evolution of these dispositional types is driven by changes in the frequencies of social settings. In this context, economic policies can influence economic decisions not merely by modifying incentives operating through given preferences, but also by influencing people’s motives (thereby changing their preferences) and by changing the distribution of dispositional types in the population (thereby changing their motivational responsiveness to social settings).

The Paper "Cooperation, Motivation and Social Balance" from Steven J. Bosworth, Tania Singer and Dennis J. Snower is downloadable as IZA Discussion Paper No.9703.   


Video: Why the GES is Different



What makes the Global Economic Symposium so special? And what can economics contribute to solve our global problems?

More Information and Video




Video: Values to Guide Economies



The motto of the Global Economic Symposium 2015 was “Values to Guide Economies.” We have spoken with two GES guests, who have clear ideas on how to establish new values in the world economy.

More Information and Video



Tania Singer is one of the 50 most influential women in the economy



In December 2015, the “manager magazin” has selected Prof. Dr Tania Singer to be one of the 50 most influential women in the economy.

More information (in German) can be found here.




World Economic Forum 2015:

Tania Singer talks about the Neuroscience of Compassion


Tania Singer argues that training our brains help make the world a better place. According to Prof. Singer the brain’s plasticity can be trained which makes us less selfish and more compassionate. In this video for the World Economic Forum, Singer shows how our decision making is driven by a set of psychological motivations - from power to fear - that can be altered to help us make better decisions for society and for our health. This is at the core of our new model of “caring economics” that works towards sustainability and global cooperation.



World Economic Forum 2015:

Tania Singer speaks about "Deconstructing the Brain"

Tania Davos.jpg


Tania Singer, Bob Knight (Director, Knight Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, University of California at Berkeley), David Helpern (Chief Executive Officer, The Behavioural Insights Team) and Mariette DiChristina (Editor-in-chief, Scientific American), dig deep into the brain to explain behaviour and decision making in this podcast. The podcast can be found here.




World Economic Forum 2015:

Tania Singer at Session on Health and Wellbeing

WEF_DiscussionAt the Annual Meeting 2015 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 24, 2015, Tania Singer (Director of the Department of Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany), Robert J. Shiller (Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, USA), Matthieu Ricard (President and Co-Founder, Karuna-Shechen, France) and Gianpiero Petriglieri (Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD, France), discuss during the session on Health and Wellbeing the links between neuroscience and compassion. More information can be found here.



Tania Singer shares Her Insights on Compassion

at the World Economic Forum 2015

world_economic_forumTania Singer shares her insights from research on training adults to be more compassionate. First evidence points to the finding that the human brain can indeed be trained like a muscle to be more receptive for compassion and according behavior. This suggests that such training can change selfish preferences into the more altruistic and prosocial ones that are needed to subserve global cooperation. More details can be found here.


Building a caring Economy


TaniaSinger2Tania Singer describes in an article that more compassion can transform the global economy.

Tania Singer is Director of the Department of Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.





IdeasLab at the World Economic Forum 2014

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

The WEF Annual Meeting took place in Davos, Switzerland from the 22-25 January 2014.

Tania Singer

The Role of Human Nature in Economics

Dennis Snower

Caring Economics



Mind and Life Europe Symposium for Contemplative Studies

Mind and Life Institute
The first Mind and Life Europe Symposium for Contemplative Studies took place from 10 - 13 October 2013 in Berlin.



Redefine Success


Dennis Snower - Global Economic SymposiumAre humans individualistic, selfish profit optimizers? Or are they also motivated by motivations such as compassion and care?

Prof. Dennis J. Snower argues that conventional economic analysis focuses excessively on selfish, materialistic behavior and thus creates the misleading impression that wellbeing always rests on the satisfaction of material desires. But large bodies of evidence indicate that, for those who are already materially secure, material gains do not give long lasting pleasure. Instead we should give attention to the accumulation of internal prosperity that flows from giving and connecting with others, since these have a profound and long-lasting influence on our wellbeing.

Prof. Snower summarized this concept in his opening address for the Global Economic Symposium 2013 that can be downloaded here.


Global Economic Symposium

Global Economic SymposiumThe Global Economic Symposium took place from October 1st to 2nd 2013 in Kiel, Germany! The overarching theme was "Redefining Success". Approximately 600 leading decision makers from politics, business, finance, academia, and civil society participated.


Multimedia eBook
Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science


Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science

Questions about the difference between empathy and compassion, or about whether compassion can be learned, are now answered by a newly published eBook. Edited by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, the book also explains how mental training transforms the human brain, and that compassion can reduce pain. The book thus provides not only a unique overview of current research into empathy and compassion, but also offers an exciting way of approaching the topic for interested readers—including useful advice for everyday life.


The eBook can be downloaded free of charge at:


The ReSource Project

The ReSource ProjectThe ReSource Project of Tania Singer is a unique, large-scale study on Eastern and Western methods of mental training. Over a period of eleven months, participants practice a wide range of mental exercises that are desigEuropean Research Councilned to enhance attentional control, body- and self-awareness, healthy emotion regulation, self-care, compassion, empathy, and perspective taking.
Overall the aim of the training is to improve mental health and social skills. It may reduce stress, improve mental clarity, increase life satisfaction, and lead to a better understanding of other’s views, values and actions.

More information can be found here: