Texas Tech Psychology Experts Begin Educational Podcasts on Human Condition

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As Web 2.0 expands reach and shortens distances, Texas Tech psycology experts have begun plying their trade to the world of podcasting.

The Department of Psychology has initiated a new educational podcast series, covering a broad range of topics in psychology which include eating disorders, persuasion, life stress, giftedness, consumer product usability and suicide.

The Web site was created by Texas Tech psychology professor Frank Durso. He initiated and directed this project, along with the assistance of doctoral students Paul Derby and R.B. Watts. Most of these topics will include a Texas Tech faculty member, along with a prominent national expert on the selected topic.

"Psychology has a lot to offer," Durso said. "But it is often difficult to get the information to the people who need it most. So I wanted to give psychology away, and I knew iTunes and podcasts were a way to customize information to suit a particular audience. I hoped we would reach a number of students interested in psychology. I never imagined we’d be hearing from listeners in Japan or that we’d become the most popular psychology podcast on iTunes."

Since the psychology department began putting up the podcasts on iTunes this fall, it has received thousands of hits from all over the world, said David Rudd, chairman of the Department of Psychology. Texas Tech’s psychology podcasts are one of three university-based ones featured in the higher education section. Princeton and Harvard’s also appear.

"Dr. Durso developed this idea of more community awareness in order to make people more aware of what we’re doing," Rudd said. "That’s how it got started. It’s a great tool for outreach. But people use them for all sorts of purposes. I’ve gotten emails from one person in Japan, and they’re using them for translating from English to Japanese. The students there love to use them because they’re interesting."

Rudd said these podcasts are available for use by the media. To access, enter iTunes, click the education bar, then higher education bar and look in the featured sections, look under Psychology Department at itunes.ttu.edu, or visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/psy/psy.php?page=podcast.html

CONTACT: Frank Durso, psychology professor, Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3711 ext. 230, or frank.durso@ttu.edu; David Rudd, chairman, Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-0818, or david.rudd@ttu.edu.