Psychology professor talks about talking to yourse...

Psychology professor talks about talking to yourself on ‘MTSU On the Record’

The guest on a recent “MTSU On the Record” says you’re not necessarily mentally ill if you talk to yourself, either alone or in public.

Dr. Tom Brinthaupt, MTSU psychology professor

Dr. Tom Brinthaupt

Host Gina Logue’s interview with MTSU Department of Psychology professor Tom Brinthaupt first aired March 27 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at You can listen to their conversation above.

Brinthaupt maintains that there are situations in which self-talk can be beneficial, including trying to remember something or to make a decision, expressing emotions, finding a solution to a problem or facing a new challenge.

“The same areas of the brain light up when we talk internally as when we talk externally,” Brinthaupt said. “There’s speech recognition and speech production functions in both of those. It’s very similar to normal conversation, but it’s internalized.”

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web Children as young as 2 to 3 years old talk to themselves, to stuffed animals and toys, or to other imaginary playmates as part of normal human development, the professor noted.

Brinthaupt and his students are currently conducting a study on dissociative experiences and self-talk. In psychology, dissociation is a condition that can range from merely ignoring one’s surroundings, such as during daydreaming, to more extreme cases such as dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.