People who feel connected to nature are more prone to “electrosensitivity”

Radiation from mobile phone lead to brain damage.By Christian Jarrett

In the TV series Better Call Saul, Saul’s brother Chuck believes that electromagnetic signals from mobile phones and other devices make him seriously ill. He lives as a recluse and uses a foil blanket to protect himself. By some estimates, millions of people – around 5 per cent of the population – believe that they too suffer from “electrosensitivity” or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”. Though they may not suffer as much as Chuck, these individuals claim that wi-fi and other signals make them ill, triggering headaches and other symptoms.

The medical consensus based on double-blind trials (in which neither researcher nor test subject knows when a test device is real or pretend) is that while the experience of electrosensitivity-related symptoms may be real, they are not caused by electromagnetic fields. More likely is that the symptoms arise from a “nocebo effect” – a strong belief that the fields are harmful.

A new study in the Journal of Health Psychology sheds new light on electrosensitivity by suggesting that it is people who feel especially connected to nature – normally considered a positive trait – who may be particularly likely to suffer from electrosensitivity, probably because their love of nature is accompanied by a heightened negative attitude to anything they consider artificial.

Zsuzsanna Dömötör and her colleagues surveyed 510 people online, 74 of whom described themselves as electrosensitive. The electrosensitive participants tended to score higher than the others on modern health worries in general (related to things like pollution and tainted food), on sensitivity to bodily symptoms, and nature relatedness (measured by agreement with items like “I always think about how my actions affect the environment” and “My ideal vacation spot would be a remote, wilderness area”). What’s more, nature connectedness interacted with the other variables: people prone to modern health worries were especially likely to complain of electrosensitivity if they also felt a connection with nature.

Nature relatedness is connected with modern health worries and electromagnetic hypersensitivity

Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest

9 thoughts on “People who feel connected to nature are more prone to “electrosensitivity””

  1. I think you should interview Dr. Gro Brundtland. Who is she? She is the former World Health General Director and former Prime Minister of Norway. What did she say in a 2015 interview which you can find on you tube –
    1) she gets headaches when she holds a cell phone to her head
    2) “There is unfortunately no doubt in the research on this. There are definitely negative aspects to radiation that affects humans.”
    3) “Well I guess we have to have hope. That this doesn’t turn out too seriously… Well this technology has had such an enormous breakthrough in society everywhere it is almost unthinkable that one could stop it for health reasons.”

    Do not minimize what this technology is doing to people by repeating this nonsense of “nocebebo effect”.

  2. – nor maximise it – if there is an “it” which I doubt, with anecdotes of dubious validity.

  3. The British Psychological Society does a great disservice to psychology by referencing poorly conducted industry-funded studies like the Eltiti provocation study. Dr William Rea at the Environmental Health Clinic in Dallas TX has established an appropriate science-based protocol for testing for EHS….the UK study did not even screen the patients to verify if there were EHS or had some other medical condition. The study did not include results of those who were too sick to continue the “experiment,” as reported by one of the participants who later developed cancer. The protocol itself was not valid because it does not recognize the way that the human energy field reacts and recovers from provocation. Psychologists could do a great service to the planet by questioning the psychology of those who are supporting the wireless industry’s use of tobacco science, and perpetuating the profound suffering and the environmental damage that is unfolding.

  4. Ludicrous article.

    It always amazes me that many psychologists routinely dismiss the thousands of scientific studies showing harmful biological effects from electromagnetic fields and radiation – including electrosensitivity, which is increasingly being recognised as a bona fide physiological condition, both by scientific and medical experts, but also by the Law (see the recent electrosensitivity legal victories in France and Spain).

    We know that cell phones can cause cancer and DNA damage, most recently from the partial results of the $25m National Toxicology Program study.

    We know that the radiofrequency radiation from cell phones, cell towers, wi-fi, smart meters, wearables, and so on is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2B Carcinogen, on the basis of an increased risk of developing gliomas (see IARC Monograph 102).

    We know that 225 international experts on the biological effects of this radiation have warned the UN, all UN member states, and the World Health Organisation of what they describe as an “emerging public health crisis related to cell phones, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in neighborhoods” (see the International EMF Scientist Appeal).

    You have to question why psychologists try to deflect attention from this public health crisis, now that we are all immersed in harmful electrosmog for every second of our lives, by trying to convince anyone who will listen that the symptoms of electrosensitivity are real, and yet they are somehow unrelated to this electrosmog, and instead result from an irrational fear, or some longing for a less technological era.

    Could it possibly be that we electrosensitive individuals, many of us actually involved in developing the very technologies that we are now supposedly afraid of, represent the most inconvenient and terrifying truth of all – namely that the unchecked proliferation of harmful wireless technologies represents a clear and present danger?

    No wonder so much firepower is directed our way by those who serve the Industry and the various vested interests, whose very survival is predicated on the biggest and most destructive lie ever told – that wireless technology is somehow safe…

  5. I’m a nature buff who has no “electrosensitivity” that I am aware of.
    There is no more to say here as Patricia Burke summed it up quite succinctly.

    1. Consider this:

      This is one reasonable dubunking of the ridiculous “nocebo” hypothese. One should also remember that
      even had the results been as Doctor Rubens described it most certainly does not invalidate the assertion that
      these mostly microwave-based technologies cause harm. Hay fever is often flaring up after exposure , many illnesses are like this – and this study in no way addresses this. Also it is the case that ants and bees and many animals and plants and bacteria are badly affected by artificial microwaves – presumably they don’t have psychological reasons for doing so.
      The case for the “nocebo” hypothesis is pure wishful thinking – it is pure speculation, or rather propaganda.
      It is concerning that some psychologists wish to be so weak-minded as they are in this article

      Without the nocebo “explanation” being well-founded of course these correlations – of being more nature-minded or whatever- are of course just correlations: like the correlation of those afllicted by fever often being more thirsty than the average human being- . .this does not mean their thirst is part of the pyschological aberration of fever unless fever is a pyshological aberration – which it isn’t.
      There is a pyschological dimension to this : which is that the lie that has been propagated that these new technologies are safe, and are known to be safe, – has now attained the status of a collective delusion , which is a very, very dangerous situation.

Comments are closed.