Now I'm sure that we all know how one goes about picking their nose, so we can skip the step-by-step instructions.

We've all caught someone at sometime picking their nose. Some try to do it in secret. Others do it openly without embarrassment. Maybe even you have been caught in the act.

Nose-picking is one disgusting habit and is certainly not socially acceptable. So, are these people normal?

One would guess that this is not the type of thing researched at our institutions of higher learning.

Guess again.

Believe it or not, there was a study on nose-picking published in February of 1995 in the Journal of Psychiatry. Yes, you read it right - college professors being paid the big bucks to find out who picks their nose.

Of course, scientists must give everyday things complicated scientific names. Nose-picking is a term for us common folk. Nose-picking should really be referred to as rhinotillexomania (rhino=nose, tillexis=habit of picking at something, mania=obsession with something). So, the next time that you see a person picking their nose, tell them that they are a rhinotillexomaniac.

The researchers prepared their "Rhinotillexomania Questionnaire" and randomly mailed it to 1000 residents in Dane County, Wisconsin. Each survey included a cover letter that stated "The University of Wisconsin is conducting a survey of a common but understudied habit scientifically known as 'rhinotillexomania'. Its common name is nose-picking."

Even better, the letter actually defined what nose-picking is: "Insertion of a finger (or other object) into the nose with the intention of removing dried nasal secretions." I'll bet that you already knew that.

Can you imagine getting this survey in the mail? Even with the University's seal on the stationary, one would have to wonder whether this was a joke or not.

Now for the results (assuming that they are reliable):

Of the 1000 surveys mailed out, only 254 were completed and returned to the researchers.

8.7% claim that they have never picked their nose. (In other words, they are liars or they can't remember doing it as a kid.)
91% stated that they had picked their nose in the past and were still actively practicing this habit. Yet, only 49.2% of the respondents actually thought that nose-picking was common in adults.
9.2% rate their pickin' as "more than average."
25.6% actually pick their noses daily, 22.3% do it 2 to 5 times each day, and three people admitted to doing it at least hourly.
55.5% spent 1-5 minutes, 23.5% spent 5-15 minutes, and 0.8% (2 people) spent 15-30 minutes each day cleaning their nostrils. One lone soul claims to devote over 2 hours each day to this ritual (I'm not a doctor and I can tell you that this guy definitely has rhinotillexomania).
18% reported nosebleeds, while 0.8% claimed perforation of the nasal septum from their nose-picking.
82.8% had picked their noses to "unclog the nasal passages", 66.4% had done it to relieve discomfort or itchiness, 35.7% to avoid the unsightly appearance of a booger hanging from their nose, 34.0% for personal hygiene, and 17.2% picked out of habit. 2.1% (five people) claimed to pick solely for enjoyment. To no one's surprise, one perverted person picked his/her nose for "sexual stimulation."
65.1% use their index finger, 20.2% use their pinky, and 16.4% use their thumb (must have BIG nostrils to fit a thumb in) as their instrument of choice.
Most people (90.3%) disposed of the goop in a tissue or a handkerchief, while 28.6% used the floor, and 7.6% stuck it to the furniture.
8% of the respondents actually ate the end product. In case you are thinking of trying this delicacy, the study claims that the pickings are quite tasty (salty).
So, what have we learned from this groundbreaking study?
First, we now have positive proof that picking one's nose is almost a universally practiced custom, although most won't admit to it.

Second, boogers apparently taste good, although I can guarantee to you that I will never do the taste testing to find out.

And, lastly, when researchers are devoting money and time to studying the picking habits of the United States, it comes as no surprise that we can't find a cure for cancer or HIV.

The Kiddie Pick
When you're by yourself and you uninhibitedly twist your forefinger into
your nostril with childlike joy and freedom. And the best part is,
there's no time limit!

Camouflaged Kiddie Pick
When, in the presence of other people, you wrap your forefinger in a
tissue, then thrust it in deep and hold back the smile.

Fake Nose Scratch
When you make believe you've got an itch but you're really trolling the
nostril edge for stray boogers.

Making A Meal Out Of It
You do it so furiously, and for so long, you're probably entitled to

Surprise Pickings
When a sneeze or laugh causes snot to come hurtling out of your nose, and
you have to gracefully clean it off your shirt.

The kind you do in a car, when no one's looking.

Pick Your Brains
Done in private, this is the one where your finger goes in so far, it
passes the septum.

Pick And Save
When you have to pick it quickly, just when someone looks away, and then
you pocket the snot so they don't catch on to what you did.

Pick And Roll
No explanation needed.

Pick And Flick

Pick And Stick
You wanted it to be a "Pick and Flick," but it stubbornly clings to your

The kind where you remove a piece of snot so big, it improves your
breathing by 90%.