Insecurity in interpersonal relationships, manifested as attachment anxiety, increases the likelihood of having phantom cell phone experiences, researchers said.

Daniel Kruger and Jaikob Djerf from the University of Michigan in US evaluated and compared the frequency of phantom ringing and notifications among individuals characterised as having either attachment anxiety (worries about being abandoned or their feelings not being reciprocated) or attachment avoidance (keeping distance from partners).

They report that individuals who scored higher in attachment anxiety - indicating that they may seek more reassurance of their partners' interest - were more likely to experience phantom ringing and notifications.

"There is a growing awareness that ringxiety may result in both immediate and longer term negative health effects, including headache, stress, and sleep disturbances," said Brenda K Wiederhold, from the Interactive Media Institute, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute in Belgium.

The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.

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