World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Article Id: WHEBN0006585664
Reproduction Date:

Title: Phantom Vibration Syndrome  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mobile music, Mobile donating, Mobile application management, Mobile phone charm, Multimedia Messaging Service
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Phantom vibration syndrome or phantom ringing is the sensation and false belief that one can feel one's mobile phone vibrating or hear it ringing, when in fact the telephone is not doing so.

Other terms for this concept include ringxiety (a portmanteau of ring and anxiety), hypovibrochondria (a mix of hypochondria and vibro) and fauxcellarm (a play on "false alarm").[1]

Phantom ringing may be experienced while taking a shower, watching television, or using a noisy device. Humans are particularly sensitive to auditory tones between 1,000 and 6,000 hertz,[1] and basic mobile phone ringers often fall within this range. This frequency range can generally be more difficult to locate spatially, thus allowing for potential confusion when heard from a distance. False vibrations are less well understood however, and could have psychological or neurological sources. Researcher Michelle Drouin found that almost 9 of 10 undergraduates at her college experienced phantom vibrations.[2]


In the comic strip "Dilbert", cartoonist Scott Adams referenced such a sensation in 1996 as "phantom-pager syndrome."[3]

The earliest published use of the term "phantom vibration syndrome" dates back to 2003 in an article entitled "Phantom Vibration Syndrome" published in the New Pittsburgh Courier, written under a pen name of columnist Robert D. Jones. In the conclusion of the article, Jones wrote, "...should we be concerned about what our mind or body may be trying to tell us by the aggravating imaginary emanations from belts, pockets and even purses? Whether PVS is the result of physical nerve damage, a mental health issue, or both, this growing phenomenon seems to indicate that we may have crossed a line in this 'always on' society."

Nearly a decade later, the term had made its way to Australia as Macquarie Dictionary’s 2012's "Word of the Year".[4]


The phantom phone, or phantom ring psychologically, could be compared to something such as the "naked" feeling experienced when not wearing a pair of prescription glasses or other item.[5]

Some doorbells or telephone ring sounds are modeled after pleasant sounds from nature. This backfires when such devices are used in rural areas containing the original sounds—the owner is faced with the constant task of determining if it is the device or the actual sound.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Goodman, Brenda (4 May 2006). "I Hear Ringing and There's No One There. I Wonder Why.". The New York Times. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Larry Rosen, Ph.D (May 7, 2013). "Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome". Psychology Today. Retrieved Sep 10, 2014. ...According to Dr. Michelle Drouin... 89% of the undergraduates in her study had experienced these phantom vibrations... 
  3. ^ Adams, Scott (September 16, 1996). "Dilbert". Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Aidan (February 7, 2013). "Phantom vibration syndrome: Word of the Year". Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cell-Phone Junkies Feel Phantom Ring Vibrations". Fox News. 12 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Jacobson, Dan (June 15, 2001). "The Risks Digest Volume 21: Issue 49". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 

Further reading

  • Haupt, Angela (June 12, 2007). "Good vibrations? Bad? None at all?".  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.