17-38 Segment 1: The Voices in Our Heads

VPR 17-38A FB


Dr. Charles Fernhough author of The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves says that hearing voices is part of the human experience, and needs to be understood better. One thing Dr. Fernhough is trying to do is educate the public about the difference between thoughts and talking to yourself. There is also no real right way to talk to yourself, and some people do it more often than others. Dr. Ethan Kross, a professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, is studying how people talk themselves through problems, which he calls self-talk.

A study showed that people who use their name while talking themselves through a problem have a higher rate of success. Although third person self-talk is proven to be more effective, you might get some strange looks if you talk out loud in the third person.


  • Dr. Charles Fernyhough, author of The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves
  • Dr. Ethan Kross, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan

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Coming Up On Viewpoints Show 17-38



The Voices in Our Heads

Everyone needs a little self-talk from now and then, so we talk to experts about those voices in our head. We dive into the science behind them and how those voices can be used in a productive manner to help us accomplish our goals.

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16-51 Segment 2: Using The Voices in Your Head

Side view of a tensed young man looking at self in mirror in the bathroom


Hearing voices in your head comes with an unfortunate stereotype that you must be mentally ill. However, experts tell us the “voices in your head” can be used to talk to, and about, yourself in a healthy, productive way. In fact, most people hear voices in their head and already use inner speech on a daily basis. We discuss tips and techniques to use “self-talk” as a way to get yourself through tough decisions and lower stress.

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