Sometimes we are so convinced of our opinions that nothing is able to make us change them. We tend to make any information fit our own schemes and interpret it to conform to our own world view, completely disregarding what the information was really meant to convey.I talked to my colleague the other day about the impact mobile phone radiation has on our health. According to him, mobile phones cause extreme damage to the brain. He prefers not to bring his phone to work at all. It made me wonder what are the results of studies dealing with this issue. The most extensive study observed 12 thousand people from 13 different countries and the data was then processed by scientists from 7 institutions under the World Health Organization. The scientists attempted to find a link between using mobile phones and brain tumors. The results show that mobile phone radiation has no effect on brain tumor development. Previous research states the same. Even biologists claim that the radiation levels are too weak to cause any harm to the brain.
The power of beliefDo you think that these studies will be able to change the opinion of those who fear the negative impact of modern technology on our health? Probably not, from what I could see. I sent the study to my colleague, who replied immediately with: “My opinion doesn’t change.” He refused to even read a study that didn’t conform to his own beliefs. In some cases we care more about our own interpretation of certain facts than about the facts themselves. I studied the topic further in order to understand my colleague’s opinion:
- Radiation is invisible, we can’t touch it, and that is why it scares us.
- Scientists discovered that the word radiation itself is often associated with scary things, such as the atomic bombings of Hirosima and Nagsaki or the Chernobyl disaster, cancer and genetic mutations, all of them things that frighten us.
- Mobile phone radiation is a popular topic with the media. The media often like to present speculation rather than any actual proof.
- The research conducted on animals suggests that radiation can weaken the walls of brain vessels and increase the susceptibility for illness. However, these findings have never been confirmed in relation to people. The authors of the research admit that the human body may be able to cope with this without any problems.