Researchers Explain What Biting Your Nails Says About Your Personality

In this article, we will talk about nail biting from a health perspective. Here we will, briefly discuss the study and its implications for the nail-biters among us.


Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) are described as “repetitive, injurious, and non-functional habits that cause significant distress or impairment, including hair-pulling, skin-picking, and nail-biting.”

The research team sought to compare the tendency to engage in BFRB using two models: emotional regulation (ER) and frustrated action (FA).

The emotional Regulation model implies that BFRBs are triggered by negative emotions and alleviation of unpleasant effect. The Frustration Action model posits that BFRBs are triggered by and alleviate impatience, boredom, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

Researchers do hypothesize that individuals who engage in BFRBs are more prone to actions under the Frustration Action model, as “they demonstrate maladaptive planning styles characterized by high standards and unwillingness to relax,” two inherent traits in perfectionists.


After observing a ‘BFRB group’ and a control group which was consisted of 24 and 23 participants, respectively, researchers concluded the correctness of their hypothesis. The study’s results three observations:

  1. The BFRB group reported a considerably higher urge to engage in BFRBs than the control group across conditions.
  2. BFRB participants reported a considerably higher urge to engage in the boredom/frustration and stress environment than in the relaxed environment.
  3. Most tellingly, the BFRB group “presented significantly higher scores on maladaptive planning style, and maladaptive planning style was significantly correlated with difficulties in ER.”


Those lead writer of the study, Dr. Kieron O’Connor, expressed “We think that people for these tedium practices might be perfectionists, significance that they are unabated to unwind and with performing errands toward an ordinary pace. They would Hence inclined should frustration, impatience, Furthermore disappointment when they don’t range their objectives. “.

Done different words, nail-gnawing might have less of a correspondence for nerves Furthermore uneasiness over for disappointment. This observation, alongside those study’s exhibited linkage for nail-gnawing Furthermore other perfectionistic qualities – impatience, boredom, Also disappointment – gives further confirmation of the perfect that hairsplitting might prompt the gesture of nail-gnawing.











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