University of Toronto Mississauga psychology professor Tina Malti has been awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for 2023 to 2027 at Leipzig University.
The €5 million research award will allow Malti to develop and lead a multidisciplinary research team to uncover the roots of child empathy and positive development.
Malti has been at U of T Mississauga since 2017. She is the director of the Laboratory for Social-Emotional Development and Intervention, and the founding director of the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy. Her previous research has focused on the psychological effects of war and violence on children and the social-emotional development and mental health of children.
With her new research funding, Malti wants to identify the root causes of empathy in children, as well as methods to encourage healthy and positive development in children.
“The potential for empathy with others is infinite, even in young children, and we are able to overcome trauma even very severe trauma,” Malti says. “We can become even stronger and even more caring as a result, which sounds paradoxical. But that is very much what also our data shows.”
Malti hopes to work collaboratively between U of T Mississauga and Leipzig to develop research-based knowledge to share with institutions, organizations, and the general public.