This is an article that addresses a habit as evidence of a personality trait. I find this very interesting, but maybe not too scientific. First, the study was very small and I am not sure that it would hold up under the scrutiny of other scientists. After reading the article, you may agree with me or you may feel that this author is on to something.
I do recommend reading to the end and be sure to watch the video at the end.
Ask anyone what nail-biting is likely an indicator of, and most people will tell you that it’s a sign of nervousness and anxiety. According to new research, however, this and other “body-focused repetitive behaviors” may actually be indicative of something else entirely.
According to a study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, nail-biting might just be indicative of… perfectionism??
Dr. Kieron O’Connor, author of the study, said “We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform tasks at a normal pace. They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals.”
Basically, nail-biters aren’t trying to alleviate their nerves – they’re doing it out of frustration.