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What Makes a Creep?

By Lacy Schley
Nov 4, 2016 12:00 AMNov 19, 2019 1:40 AM
(Credit: John S. Dykes)


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In the December 2016 issue of New Ideas in Psychology, researchers asked 1,341 people (1,029 females, 312 males) to rate the characteristics of creepiness on a scale from 1 to 5. Here are the results:

(Credit: John S. Dykes)

Creepiest BehaviorWatches you before interacting: 4.55 Touches you frequently during conversation: 4.24 Steers conversation toward sex: 4.16 Asks to take your picture: 4.11 Asks for personal details of family: 4.09 Opposite sex: 4.01 Appearance: 3.87 Never looks you in the eye: 3.74 Significantly older than you: 3.72 Shows little emotional expression: 3.62 Talks a lot about personal life: 3.41 Extremely thin: 3.18 Displays a lot of emotion: 3.15 Tall: 3.08 Has facial hair: 2.89 Dresses too formally for occasion: 2.64 Crosses arms: 2.61

(Credit: John S. Dykes)

Creepiest Hobbies25% of participants say collecting things (dolls, insects, bones, etc.)

8% say some variation of observing things (bird-watchers and photographers of children were most frequently listed) 

(Credit: John S. Dykes)
(Credit: John S. Dykes)

Do Creeps Know They're Creepy?8.6% say yes 59.4% say no 32% say they’re unsure

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