t's not just computer science students who are listening to podcasts these days. The Psych Files, a podcast hosted by a psychology professor and aimed at college students majoring in any of the social sciences is taking off with little to no publicity from its host. When first released over a year and a half ago the podcast had only about 50 subscribers. Today the podcast has shot to the top 5 spot on the iTunes list of Higher Education podcasts and it boasts over 4,500 downloads on average per episode. And the numbers are growing fast.

The host - Dr. Michael Britt, a former full time Assistant Professor of Psychology at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York - expects that the numbers will jump rapidly as the Fall 2008 college semester begins. "College instructors are finding more and more quality online content for their classes and The Psych Files is unique in that it is aimed at students majoring in the 'soft sciences' - not just the 'techies' and computer science majors who are typical consumers of podcasts," Britt says. And his podcasts are not for those with short-attention spans. While many podcasts aim at the 1 to 5 minute mark, Britt's episodes typically last 20-30 minutes. "I try to show listeners how even complex theories can be readily understood and how these ideas can have an impact on their daily lives."

Recent episodes have focused on how Olympic silver medalists are actually the least happy athletes on the medal stand, how the so-called Mozart Effect amounts to nothing but hype, and because Britt is an actor as well, what psychology has to do with what he just did - go The Full Monty onstage. The diverse and unexpected set of topics, as well as his relaxed and "NPR-like" voice are fast making The Psych Files one of the most popular podcasts among college students.

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The Psych Files can be found in iTunes and online at The Psych Files podcast website: