The 10 ‘creepiest’ careers people have – according to science

Just in time for the Hallowe’en season, here is a look at the creepiest jobs on the market. These findings come from a paper prepared for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The researchers studied the science of ‘creepiness,’ and what creepy people have in common.

To determine those factors, the authors surveyed an international sample of 1,341 people (1029 females, 312 males) about creepiness.

In general, participants found that males were much more likely to be seen as creepy than females. This was attributed to the fact that men are more likely to be perceived as a threat than women – not for any particular behaviour.

Aspects that participants found to be creepy about another person include:

    • The person standing too close
    • Having greasy hair

  • A particular kind of smile
  • Bulging eyes
  • Long fingers
  • Having unkempt hair
  • Very pale skin
  • Having bags under their eyes
  • Dressing oddly

Now, as a person who frequently has bags under his eyes, unkept hair, and odd clothing, I take issue with this list. However, that’s what the study found. (It also sounds a little like they are describing Gollum from Lord of the Rings.)

You’d think that maybe grave digger or cemetery caretaker might top the list of creepiest professions, but they don’t make the cut. Taxidermist and Funeral Director do make the top 10, however. Perhaps unsurprisingly in the era of Joker and It, Clown was ranked as the most creepy job to have.

Here are the ‘Creepiest’ professions:

  • Clown
  • Taxidermist
  • Sex Shop Owner
  • Funeral Director
  • Taxi Driver
  • Unemployed
  • Clergy
  • Janitor
  • Garbage Collector
  • Guard

My profession only narrowly avoided the top 10 list. ‘Writer’ was ranked as the 11th creepiest job to have. Perhaps this is because writers tend to spend long hours indoors, work late into the night, dress oddly, and have unkempt hair. Other honourable mentions for creepy jobs include ‘Cafeteria Worker,’ ‘Actor,’ and ‘Farmer.’

The study also ranked two hobbies as particularly creepy: Collecting and Watching. People who collect things – particularly dolls, insects, reptiles, or body parts such as teeth, bones, or fingernails – were considered especially creepy. (#NoKidding)

Watching – as in seeking, following, and photographing things – such as bird watching, were also ranked as creepy. The study points out that taking pictures of people (especially children) was thought to be extra creepy by many participants. (Again, #NoKidding)

For more chills, see Four candidates who were too creepy to hire.

You can read the full report on ‘creepiness’ from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology here.

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