What Makes a Creep?

New research breaks down the characteristics of people who weird us out.​

By Lacy Schley|Friday, November 04, 2016
RELATED TAGS: PSYCHOLOGY
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John S. Dykes
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:
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Creepiest Behavior
Watches 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
John S. Dykes
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Creepiest Hobbies
25% 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) 

John S. Dykes
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Creepiest Jobs Out There
John S. Dykes
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Do Creeps Know They're Creepy?
8.6% say yes
59.4% say no
32% say they’re unsure
John S. Dykes
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