YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=FDmucVCh9X4
Previous: How Close Are We to the Perfect Deepfake?
Next: The Viruses That Shaped Humanity

Categories

Statistics

View count:5,910
Likes:561
Dislikes:36
Comments:99
Duration:03:51
Uploaded:2020-01-14
Last sync:2020-01-14 17:30
Start learning a new language today with Babbel! Sign up for a three-month subscription and get three additional months for free! https://go.babbel.com/6m3-youtube-scishow-jan-2020/default

Have you ever thought you felt your phone vibrate, only to pull it out of your pocket and find that you have no new notifications? If so, you've experienced 'phantom vibration syndrome.' But what causes these mystery sensations, and are they cause for alarm?

Hosted by: Olivia Gordon

SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It's called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at http://www.scishowtangents.org
----------
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow
----------
Huge thanks go to the following Patreon supporters for helping us keep SciShow free for everyone forever:

Kevin Carpentier, Eric Jensen, Matt Curls, Sam Buck, Christopher R Boucher, Avi Yashchin, Adam Brainard, Greg, Alex Hackman, Sam Lutfi, D.A. Noe, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters
----------
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow
Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow
----------
Sources:
Signal Detection Theory Book (2002)
https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sQ1nDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=signal+detection+theory+definition&ots=83s_PfVcnB&sig=3p6XasiYEZLA_OkWuO65IhZWuVc#v=onepage&q=signal%20detection%20theory%20definition&f=false

Phantom phone vibration in BMJ (2010)
https://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6914.long

Phantom phone buzzing in PLOS (2013)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065152

Stress and burnout (2014)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310551/

High Ringxiety: attachment anxiety predicts experiences of phantom cell phone ringing (2016)
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/140350/cyber.2015.0406.pdf;jsessionid=B2E0CA1829BF58B78C09E37895C2EF86?sequence=1

Phantom buzz in Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine (2018)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6149296/#ref5

Anxiety, depression and phantom vibration in India (2019)
https://media.proquest.com/media/hms/PFT/1/vXqqA?_s=AmFmzJ6XdOfUh%2FQ%2BX8K1ciHbS8g%3D
Thanks to Babbel for sponsoring this episode.

Click the link in the description to start learning a new language today with Babbel. If you sign up for a three month subscription, you’ll get an additional three months for free. ♪♪♪.

How many times has this happened to you? Your phone buzzes, so you grab it and unlock the screen… but there’s no notification in sight. You’ve experienced a phantom phone vibration, or what some experts call phantom vibration syndrome.

The good news is, it’s super common, and not harmful on its own. But how often you experience these phantom buzzes may hold clues about your mental health in general. Results differ from study to study, but researchers are pretty sure phantom vibrations affect a lot of people.

Phantom ringing is also a thing, but not all studies look at both at the same time, so we’re going to focus on the buzzing. In one of the earliest studies of the subject in 2010, they found that around 68% of participants experienced some kind of phantom buzz. This was before most people carried smartphones in their pocket, so the researchers studied medical staff who always carried phones or pagers on vibrate mode.

In the years since then, researchers have found some factors that make you more or less likely to feel the vibrations in the first place — like a younger age, keeping your phone on vibrate, and keeping it in a breast pocket. But these mystery vibrations themselves don’t seem to be doing any harm. They’re more of a quirk of our normal senses.

Phantom phone vibes are likely a false alarm in something called our signal detection system. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Our brains receive some kind of vague stimulus, like a light touch or dull noise, and make a decision about what it means.

In the case of a phantom phone vibration, our brain has interpreted some other stimulus as a notification. That stimulus could be a familiar noise or a commonplace muscle twitch that kinda sorta maybe feels or sounds like a vibration. Plus, we expect to get notifications.

And that makes our brains more likely to interpret other stimuli, or even a lack thereof, as a phone vibration. Getting false alarms from our signal detection system isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But researchers have wondered if conditions like anxiety or depression might predispose us to experience false vibes more often.

One 2013 study followed 74 medical interns over the course of a year long internship, and measured how often they felt phantom buzzes as well as any symptoms of anxiety and depression. The researchers expected the interns would feel more phantom vibrations as their stress and anxiety increased, but in the end, phantom vibes happened totally independent of the participants’ anxiety. On the other hand, a different study in 2014 looked specifically at tech employees and found that phantom vibes were associated with job stress and burnout.

So there’s no clear answer yet. But if you notice yourself checking on a blank screen more often, ask yourself if you’ve been feeling stressed lately. If you want to get more out of your phone than checking a blank screen, you might enjoy learning a new language with Babbel.

Learning a new language requires a lot of time and commitment, making it tough to jump into conversations right away. Babbel aims to help you use a new language in real-life situations after only five hours of practice. Its lessons will teach you vocabulary and grammar skills that you can use in practical situations -- like asking for directions or ordering at a restaurant.

And these courses are designed by experts to take into account your native language -- the one you’ll be learning in. They offer 14 languages to choose from -- including French, German and Brazilian Portugese. Babbel is offering SciShow viewers an additional three months for free if you sign up for a three month subscription today.

We’ll include a link in the video description so you can check out Babbel for yourself. ♪♪♪.