Are media warnings about the adverse health effects of modern life self-fulfilling? An experimental study on idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF).
Published in: J Psychosom Res 2013; 74 (3): 206-212
Aim of study (acc. to author)
No exposure details are available.
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
- before exposure
- after exposure
Main outcome of study (acc. to author)
Watching the film about the adverse health
effects of WiFi
increased the worries about electromagnetic fields
compared to the group having watched the control film. This effect was stronger in people with higher state anxiety
82 of the 147 participants reported symptoms
which they attributed to the sham exposure
. Participants who watched the WiFi
-film reported more and stronger symptoms
after the sham exposure
than those who watched the control-film, especially participants with higher state anxiety
. Attributions of symptoms
to the WiFi sham exposure
were strongest in people who watched the WiFi
-film and who also had higher levels of state anxiety
, with high levels of somatization and more concerns about electromagnetic fields
The likelihood of people from the experimental group who attributed their symptoms
to the sham exposure
increased believing themselves to be electrosensitive
compared to people having watched the control film.
The study demonstrated that media
reports about the possible adverse health
effects of modern technologies could elevate levels of concern among the public and increase the likelihood of reported symptoms
following sham exposure
Study funded by
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Research Foundation)
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD; German Academic Exchange Service), Germany
Comments on this article
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