(Excerpt from Daily Mail, December 31, 2015)
Dr. Robert Rosenberger, who studies the impact technology is having on our behaviour at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said detecting a vibrating phone has become a habit.
He argued users are so worried about missing a call or message they have become highly attuned to detecting the sensations that indicate they have one incoming.
But this has also led to similar sensations such as the movement of clothing or simply a spasm of a muscle to be interpreted as vibrations from a phone.
"Think about wearing a pair of glasses, he explained.
If you're accustomed to your glasses and they almost become a part of you, you can forget that you're even wearing them sometimes. The phone in your pocket is like this.
Through bodily habit, your phone actually becomes a part of you and you become trained to perceive the phone's vibrations as an incoming call or text.
So, due to these kinds of habits, it becomes really easy to misperceive other similar sensations."