Results from a study published by University of California Berkeley in The Journal of Psychology found that amateur radio operators are 45% more likely than the general public to believe fake news articles or material with misleading or outright wrong claims. Researchers weren’t specifically studying amateur radio operators, but discovered the correlation by accident. The report noted:
“We tested over 15,000 adult subjects and recorded profiles of each person… the common attributes like age, race, ethnicity, etc. and also their likes, dislikes, hobbies, diets, habits, etc. We discovered a strong and unexpected correlation with those claiming to be amateur or “ham” radio operators after running all of the data through an analysis using a recently developed Reverse Polish Bayesian algorithm. The unexpected data correlation continues to have the research team puzzled and further study is warranted.”
There is currently no proven explanation for the correlation, however one plausible hypothesis has emerged, that exposure to high levels of radio frequency energy combined with very fatty diets and long periods of television viewing, with political and news programming exposure, causing the frontal cortex of the brain to rapidly atrophy. Researchers are struggling to reproduce the characteristics as lab mice either die or become very disinterested when exposed to the combination of factors, especially when frequencies in the 3.5 Mhz range are used in experiments.
This article originally appeared in Radio Artisan.