Creepiness is a difficult trait to define. More than a definitive set of characteristics, it is more of a definitive feeling.
Researchers Francis McAndrew and Sara Koehnke decided to find some of the most creepy and least creepy habits of people. The experiment was conducted with the help of 1,341 males and females. They asked the group to “ Imagine a close friend of yours whose judgment you trust. Now imagine that this friend tells you that she or he just met someone for the first time and tells you that the person was “creepy.”
After a detailed analysis they found out that a creepy person exhibits 44 types of behaviour or physical characteristics on a 1 to 5 scale (with 1 being very unlikely and 5 being very likely).
So what behaviour is considered to be the most creepy? The creepiest thing that people do, now scientifically proven, are:
1. Staring a friend before interacting.
2. Touching a friend frequently.
3. Talking about sex too often.
4. Taking photographs of friend.
5. Asking about too many details about friends’ family.
6. Greasy and oily hair.
7. Not maintaining eye contact.
8. Showing little or no emotional expression.
That brings us to the apt question – what does a creep look like?
Here are some of the physical appearance pointers:-
1. Person having greasy hair
2. Peculiar smile
3. Long fingers
4. Bulging eyes
5. Unkempt hair
6. Very pale skin
7. Eye puffs
8. Odd dressing
9. Licking lips too frequently
10. Donning dirty clothes
11. Laughing at weird moments
12. Appearing to be rude
If this is how creepy person behaves and appears, then what about adorable people (Yes, the opposite of creepy is adorable!)?
According to McAndrew and Koehnke, the following are the traits if non creepy people:-
1. Being a child
2. Talking about clothes
3. Dressing nicely
5. Playing with hair often
6. Wearing revealing clothes
7. Crossing arms
Take a look at few more highlights of the study:-
- The most creepy people by profession are clowns, Taxidermist, Sex shop owner, Funeral director and taxi driver.
- The least creepy people by profession are Meteorologist, teacher, farmer, college professor and doctor.
- People find men to be creepier than women.
- Females are more likely than men to perceive sexual threat from creepy persons.
- Unpredictability is the most important component of creepiness.
There are some very interesting patterns that have emerged from this study like younger people find someone creepier than older people. The physical traits are something that one can’t help but, by improving your social skills, you can switch from creepy to adorable.