Koumpounophobia is the term used to describe the phobia of buttons on clothing. This phobia regularly leads to feelings of fear and disgust when sufferers are exposed to buttons either visually or physically. It is estimated that less than one percent of the U.S. suffers from this phobia. The most common forms of treatment for koumpounophobia are behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., suffered from koumpounophobia. Some have speculated that his condition influenced the trend towards touch screens and virtual keyboards in the design of Apple devices.
Koumpounophobia in popular culture
In 2009, popular author Neil Gaiman released a promotional teaser trailer for the film Coraline, based on his novella. The trailer featured Gaiman addressing the nature of koumpounophobia and warning sufferers about the content of the film, which features characters with buttons in place of eyes.
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