Reactions to Behaviors: The Role of Education on People’s Perceptions of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Katrina Scarimbolo


Reactions to body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) (trichotillomania, excoriation disorder, onychophagia, and trichophagia) were measured by evaluating people's reactions on a Likert scale. A total of 221 participants completed the survey. It was predicted that educating people about those conditions would produce more positive ratings. However there was no difference between the experimental and control group that received no information. It was found that trichophagia was viewed most negatively followed by trichotillomania, excoriation disorder, and then onychophagia which was viewed most positively. These findings suggest that information presented in a quick and limited format did not impact the views of participants. However, it is seen that attention needs to be directed toward promoting a greater understanding of these disorders in order to minimize the negative perceptions of people with these conditions.


BFRBs, trichotillomania, onychophagia, excoriation

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