By Chelsea Lacey-Mabe
Galesburg, Ill. (CBS) -- A new study helps define what makes a person creepy.
Researchers from Knox College surveyed more than 1000 people online to come up with "creepy" criteria.
People were regarded as creepy if they:
Stood too close to another person.
Wore dirty clothes.
Licked their lips frequently.
Laughed at unpredictable times.
Made it nearly impossible to leave the conversation.
Relentlessly steered the conversation toward one topic.
People were also deemed creepy if they had:
Bags under their eyes.
A peculiar smile.
Very pale skin.
A person's job added to their creep factor as well. Researchers found the creepiest jobs were ones that involved uncomfortable topics like death or sex. Taxidermists, sex shop owners, funeral directors and clowns were among the creepiest occupations while doll collecting and bird watching topped the charts for creepy hobbies.
Men came off creepy more often compared to women. Researchers believed this was partly because people are more inclined to perceive men as a physical threat. The women's answers also showed they're more likely to perceive a sexual threat from a creepy person.
Ultimately, creepy people are ones whose intentions are unknown and whose behaviors can't be predicted which helps explain the uneasiness feeling someone may get when they pass a stranger on the street. Since they aren't familiar with the man or woman they don't know if they should regard them as a threat or not.
It may seem like a judgment but the creepy criteria is a good reminder for people to keep their guard up.
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