90% of smartphone users suffer from this syndrome
Dr Robert Rosenberger, philosopher and assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, said the phenomenon was caused by “learned bodily habits.”
Research, published in the Computers in Human Behaviour journal, suggests that by person leaving a phone in their pocket it becomes “part of their body” in the same way that wearing glasses can, as it is easy to forget they are there.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “One recent study of undergraduates reports that 90% of them say that they’ve experienced these phantom vibrations.”
“We are more inclined to be jumpy and feel something in our pocket as a phantom vibration,” he adds.