Have you ever wondered if you are “creepy”? Are your likes, preferences or hobbies sending the wrong signal to society? Psychology professor Frank McAndrew and other researchers endeavored to find out with a formal study on what “creeps people out.”
The study, “On the Nature of Creepiness,” was published in the New Ideas in Psychology journal.
As far as professions go, you are considered “creepy” if you are a clown, funeral director, taxidermist or sex shop worker. Is anyone really surprised that “clown” is on that list?
But what about your hobbies? Do you spend you leisure time doing something that creeps people out? The study shows that collecting things is considered by society as creepy, especially insects and dolls. People are also creeped out by hobbies that involve “watching,” like bird-watching or photography.
The study was conducted among 1,341 people internationally.
“Creepiness may be related to the ‘agency-detection’ mechanisms proposed by evolutionary psychologists,” McAndrew said in Psychology Today. “These mechanisms evolved to protect us from harm at the hands of predators and enemies.”
There is also a gender disparity in the study’s findings. Men are more likely to be considered “creeps” than women. In fact 95% of people expect a “creep” to be a man.
One alarming finding in the study is that people who are creepy don’t even know it. USA Today writes, “Creeps don’t know they’re creepy, said the study’s participants, who also indicated that creepy people can’t become un-creepy.”
So, if you are creep, that’s it, it’s over, you can’t change, you forever wear the scarlet letter of creepiness.
Y’all can return to playing with your doll collection or bird-watching now.