MTSU psychology professor examines ‘self-tal...

MTSU psychology professor examines ‘self-talk’ at state conference

Child using “talking tubes” telephone toy and MTSU psychology professor Tom Brinthaupt, plus WMOT Roots Radio logo, to illustrate “MTSU On the Record” program on self-talk

Talking to oneself might not necessarily be indicative of a problem, and researchers are delving into why people do it.

Dr. Tom Brinthaupt, an MTSU Department of Psychology professor who studies self-talk, will deliver the keynote address at the Middle Tennessee Psychological Association’s spring 2018 meeting at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 21, in the College of Education Building.

Dr. Tom Brinthaupt, MTSU psychology professor

Dr. Tom Brinthaupt

Brinthaupt’s topic is “Why Do People Differ in How Often They Talk to Themselves?” He will summarize historical and contemporary definitions of self-talk as well as his own research program. Audience members will have the opportunity to talk to themselves during the presentation.

The Self-Talk Scale, a standardized measure of how often individuals talk to themselves, also will be a feature of Brinthaupt’s discussion. He maintains that two different hypotheses have emerged from use of the Self-Talk Scale.

The “social isolation” theory posits that individuals who spend more time alone or who have more socially isolating experiences will talk to themselves more. The “cognitive disruption” theory posits that individuals who experience disordered thinking will engage in more self-talk.

Psychology department logoBoth undergraduate and graduate students will present their own research to colleagues from other colleges and universities during the academic conference, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Friday, April 13 is the deadline to submit papers and to register for the conference. The registration fee is $5 for students and community members and $15 for faculty and other professionals.

You can register here. Research papers can be submitted here.

For more information, contact psychology professor William Langston at 615-898-5489 or

You also can listen to Brinthaupt’s recent discussion about his “self-talk” research on the “MTSU On the Record” public affairs radio program below.

— Gina K. Logue (