Naked Science Forum

General Science => Question of the Week => Topic started by: IzzieC on 06/11/2017 17:11:57

Title: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: IzzieC on 06/11/2017 17:11:57
Patrick says:

Why oh why am I unable to stop digging my nose? What is it that makes it so satisfying and addictive? Is there an evolutionary reason behind it? Also, why do some (other) people eat what comes out?

What do you think?
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Kryptid on 06/11/2017 20:03:23
I presume that removing foreign matter from your body helps reduce the chance of infection. Also, having too many boogers could obstruct your nose and make it harder to breath and smell.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: alancalverd on 06/11/2017 22:37:18
Because hardened nasal mucus is uncomfortable. Scraping it from your fingernails with your teeth is efficient, the texture is pleasant and the mildly salty taste is quite attractive. Why people buy salted caramel, on the other hand, is beyond me.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: jeffreyH on 06/11/2017 23:28:17
Well you can't pick your family.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: mrsmith2211 on 07/11/2017 02:07:23
So my little dog loves eating goobers from her eyes, licks the big dogs eyes for goobers, now I have eaten a booger or two, you?
Science says eat your boogers!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/05/eating-bogies-good-teeth-overall-health-scientists-conclude/
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their nose?
Post by: Zer0 on 07/11/2017 13:46:22
Nose Pickers & Diggers nowadays are quite a rare find,

Offering them a tissue paper might not be considered a gesture kind.

If the sight of them in action is bothering n bending your hygienic mind,

Just simply look up & thank the heavens they aren't doing the same with their behinds.

(_@_)
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Zer0 on 07/11/2017 14:15:40
Jokes apart, coming to the point raised by the OP.

Nosepicking is a gesture commonly recorded and noted in primates, considering Darwinian theory its in our evolutionary roots.

Although its considered a taboo in most cultures with instances in the United States where minors & adults alike are handed prescription medicines to get over it, elsewhere its considered a bad/unhealthy habit.

Boogers indeed are a vital source of nutrients n seems the brain is aware of its potential contents on a subconscious level.

When a certain physical action provides pleasure or satisfaction the mind tries to put it in a continuous  loop so that more pleasure n satisfaction can be gained.
(Dopamine Effect).  👌

But it is Very Much Necessary to Understand that not all of us are alike or same, we can request an individual to change but not force them unwillingly.   ✌

Remember, dislike the nosepicking but don't look down on the nosepicker.   👍

Zer0 handshakes Patrick.   👋 😀
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: katieHaylor on 22/11/2017 11:38:31
This question has now been answered on the show - take a listen by following this link: https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/questions/why-do-we-pick-our-noses (https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/questions/why-do-we-pick-our-noses)
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Bill Kitchener on 25/01/2018 00:29:24
I think it could be an example a sort of body cleaning instinct, we seem to get satisfaction from ridding our bodies of 'foreign  bodies'-picking t scabs, squeezing blackheads, spitting, pulling out splinters for example. We also seem to have a compulsion to examine anything we have extracted . I have noticed that doctors seem to be aware of this.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: chris on 25/01/2018 08:32:16
I think it could be an example a sort of body cleaning instinct, we seem to get satisfaction from ridding our bodies of 'foreign  bodies'-picking t scabs, squeezing blackheads, spitting, pulling out splinters for example. We also seem to have a compulsion to examine anything we have extracted . I have noticed that doctors seem to be aware of this.
Good thought, @Bill Kitchener but it breaks down a bit when you consider what some people then do with the proceeds of their excavations; specifically, they eat them! Add to that the consideration that most snot is swallowed anyway. I think it's more like the pleasure one derives from squeezing a nice, plump pus-laden spot and seeing it go "pop" and discharge its cargo.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Bill Kitchener on 26/01/2018 01:05:08
I presume that removing foreign matter from your body helps reduce the chance of infection. Also, having too many boogers could obstruct your nose and make it harder to breath and smell.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Bill Kitchener on 26/01/2018 01:30:12
\I take the point about people eating the bogies, but I don't think necessarily rules out the cleansing theory -after all many instinctive behaviors get modified misdirected over time, particularly when the reward for obeying them becomes more powerful than the instinct itself .Also, I think it is quite possible for two separate instincts to work in opposition since I think instincts are usually logical, but not necessarily rational.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Yusup Hizirov on 12/01/2019 21:56:09
Nose-picking is a form of drug that distracts from problems.
When a person picks his nose, he cannot think and the brain rests. This is the same gum.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/01/2019 09:27:44
When a person picks his nose, he cannot think
You need to work on your  multi-tasking skills.

Nose-picking is a form of drug
Not by any sensible definition of "drug".
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 23/04/2019 20:46:47
Because it is irritating.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: abrooks051 on 22/07/2019 12:56:33
Because it a little more polite than picking their butts.  :-)
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: pensador on 22/07/2019 19:25:18
People need to find something else to do with hands/fingers in public. Cleaning/scratching orifices in public in some cultures is not socially acceptable, whilst in some it seems to be praise worthy. The distance some people seem to be able to insert their fingers inside their noses is eye watering.

Could a nasal infection be relieved by scraping/itching/wiping mucous, dried or otherwise from ones orifice/s



 
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: abrooks051 on 22/07/2019 19:43:48
flummoxed.
Used to be that you had to go to a "side show" to see people who could shove just about anything up their nose, now you just need to go to your neighborhood Walmart.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: pensador on 22/07/2019 20:02:21
apparently it increases the risk of staph infectuions
Also you could get your finger stuck unless you hold the world record dont watch if you are about to eat
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Hayseed on 26/09/2019 10:16:35
The habit probably gets ingrained when a child.  A soon as you learn to move your hands, everything goes in the mouth.  Sooner or later you taste your runny nose.  It's salty.  It's good.

You will learn to search there again.   It can became satisfying, like sucking a thumb, And comforting, when distressed.

A habit that satisfies stress, is hard to break.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Monox D. I-Fly on 27/09/2019 04:33:53
I admit that I am a nose picker, though I never eat my booger. Yes, people kept complaining about it, but one day, when I was in college, I saw one of my close friends had a booger in his nose and we could see it from the outside. I then told him "Taichou (yes, I was a weaboo), I can see your booger". Soon he picked his nose and picked it out. I asked "Have you never pick your nose?". He answered "Never". Ever since then, I kept picking nose in public. For me it's better for people to be disgusted out by me cleaning my nose than disgusted out by seeing a piled booger in my nose. Also, for the latter option, I myself feel uneasy whenever there's a sufficient dirt in my nose.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Hayseed on 27/09/2019 05:07:56
I understand that the sinuses alternate about every 60-90 minutes or so.  One swells and engulfs, while the other shrinks and drains.  Left and right, back and forth all the time.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Hayseed on 27/09/2019 05:31:10
The sinuses drain to the throat.  Everyone eats their boogers.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: chris on 27/09/2019 19:57:21
The sinuses drain to the throat.  Everyone eats their boogers.

You are absolutely right; thank you for pointing it out to everyone!
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: InTheEnd on 14/11/2019 11:44:37
I remember when my son was about 6 years old, and I tried to convince him that eating boogies was bad by googling it. He learned to read early on, and caught on quick. Unfortunately, every article that we came across had nothing bad to say about eating boogies, even published medical sites. He told me “see dad, I told you, and I already googled it anyways!” and went back to his business.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Monox D. I-Fly on 03/01/2020 02:39:54
I remember when my son was about 6 years old, and I tried to convince him that eating boogies was bad by googling it. He learned to read early on, and caught on quick. Unfortunately, every article that we came across had nothing bad to say about eating boogies, even published medical sites. He told me “see dad, I told you, and I already googled it anyways!” and went back to his business.
Back then I didn't believe that some people eat their own boogies. Until one day, I was tutoring math to a 6th grader student when her 1st grader sister picked her nose and then ate her booger. Surprised, I spontaneously asked "Did you just eat your booger?". Her brother (the one I was tutoring) casually said "I did that when I was her age, too".
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Chalky on 25/02/2020 09:52:04
I love a pick as much as the next guy.

But...  I also like to clean myself, and the one area I worry about is under the nails.  I mean how can you possibly clean this area properly?  Use a nail brush, then the nail brush gets dirty doesn't it.

I think loads of transmissable diseases can easily find their way into our bodies through the nose.  As there must be a low barrier to entry there (or am I mistaken thinking that?).

I'd be interested to know if worms and other nasties can find their way in like this.
Title: Re: QotW - 17.11.06 - Why do people pick their noses?
Post by: Chalky on 25/02/2020 09:57:57
Also how do you/should you clean your nose?

Stories about people ending up dead after using a neti pot, or through some super bug in the shower are a put off!