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Can expectations produce symptoms from infrasound associated with wind turbines?

A Brief Peer Review of “Can Expectations Produce Symptoms From Infrasound Associated With Wind Turbines?” by
Fiona Crichton, George Dodd, Gian Schmid, Greg Gamble & Keith J. Petrie, Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, March 2013 [download [1]]

The only information relating to the wind turbine infrasound simulation is that it was conducted at 40dB at 5Hz, test conditions which are essentially a complete non-event and which might just as well have been classed as “Sham”. So it is hardly surprising that of all the separate Group tests of Table 1, six out of the eight separate Symptom Scores are almost identical (average ~6.3). If they had differed in any way, the procedure would have been immediately suspect. In particular the LE group that had been pre-programmed to believe that there would be no effect would certainly be expected to respond to a complete non-event with “no effect”!

Of the remaining two tests conducted with Sham and Simulated Infrasound on the HE group that had been pre-programmed to respond, the two separate results would also be expected to be essentially identical to each other, since there was in practice no real difference between these two test conditions.

So the only outcome of this experiment is that people who are pre-programmed to expect adverse effects may become apprehensive and more searching when they are led to believe that they are being immediately subject to adverse effects.

Often when it subsequently transpires that there is nothing to be afraid of, the response is one of immediate relief. So why does this not happen to the neighbours of wind-turbines.

23rd March 2013

Dr M.A. Swinbanks, MA, PhD (Cambridge UK)
(Retd.) Consultant to UK Aero Engine, Industrial & Marine Industries
Low-Frequency Noise & Vibration Research for UK & US Navies

MAS Research Ltd
Mathematical & Scientific Research
Tel: 011-44-1-223-512250
Company No. 1586916, 1981
8 Pentlands Court
Cambridge CB4 1JN, UK

Download original document: ‘A Brief Peer Review of “Can Expectations Produce Symptoms From Infrasound Associated With Wind Turbines?” [2]

[Click here for more critiques of the “nocebo hypothesis”. [3]]