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Professor talks psychology on Internet radio show
[March 30, 2009]

Professor talks psychology on Internet radio show

(The Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mar. 30--MENOMONIE -- Psychology is part of our daily lives, says a UW-Stout assistant professor who is using the Internet to educate the average person about its significance.

About a year ago, Christopher Moyer started podcasts of interesting psychology trivia and subjects at his Web site, www.

"Psychology is the science attempting to understand behavior and mental processes. The science of psychology helps us understand why we do things," Moyer said.

"If you think about a human being going through life, psychology has something to say about all the things we do right down to the most basic things," he added, noting this includes when we get hungry and tired and how we respond.

PsychRadio was started with a $3,200 grant from the Association for Psychological Science.

With that money Moyer purchased a studio-quality microphone and uses software to edit his podcasts, which he records at home.

Moyer, 38, has taught at UW-Stout for about two years and has had an interest in radio since he was an undergraduate student in psychology at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.

When he went to the University of Illinois to work on his graduate degree in psychology counseling, he heard a public radio program by Bill Hammack called "Engineering and Life," on which Hammack talked about engineering.

"It was not dull," Moyer said. "It was interesting talking about the technological marvels we have." Moyer then decided that psychology also could be an interesting radio topic.

Some issues he has discussed on PsychRadio include chili peppers and why some people are willing to eat such painful food, procrastination and how to change it, learned helplessness and dreams.

He puts new topics on the Web site regularly. Most of the podcasts run about three minutes. They also are available online in written form.

"Sometimes I pick a topic because it is something I've taught my students about and they've found interesting," Moyer said. "Others come from reading psychological journals or some interesting research that occurs to me I could turn into a radio feature." Some topics he plans to address in the future include lunacy and if there is any scientific fact to the full moon affecting people, supertasters or those with very sensitive taste buds, preventing suicide and what signs to look for, and more on dreams.

"I like to take things we take for granted and examine them and not take them for granted," he said. "Sometimes we find out what we don't know is more interesting than what we do." Josh Ebert, 24, a UW-Stout junior psychology major from Tomah, enjoys Moyer's programs.

"There is a misconception about what psychology is," he said, noting most people think of Sigmund Freud and picture people on couches and talking about their feelings.

"While that is part of psychology, it is not even close to the whole picture. PsychRadio is an interesting way to show other areas, uses and interests in psychology, while at the same time it can answer the questions that arise from natural curiosity." Powers can be reached at 715-235-9018 or

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