In the last decade, our understanding of the neurology of habit formation has been transformed.
A quiet revolution has upended our concept of the way patterns work within our lives, societies, and organizations. And much of what we have learned has come from studying the simplest of habits — such as why people bite their nails.
In the summer of 2006, for instance, a 24-year-old graduate student named Mandy walked into the counseling center at Mississippi State University. For most of her life, Mandy had bitten her nails, gnawing them until they bled.
Lots of people bite their nails. For chronic nail biters, however, it’s a problem of a different scale.
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