Creepy — ‘Standing too close’ with a ‘Peculiar Smile’

April 8, 2016

ted-cruz-350.gifFog and gray this early Friday on California’s north coast — though, sunshine trying-hard to melt the marine layer, the bright appears slow in coming.
If at all — generally overcast with possible rain showers the next few days. Our basking in the sun now history.

Meanwhile, beyond the fog and into the creepy: ‘…fearfully and mysteriously strange or fantastic; marked by or causing agitation or uncomfortable feelings…

Hence, ‘creepy‘ has a face — Ted Cruz offers a display of disturbing: ‘“Several fellow classmates who asked that their names not be used described the young Cruz with words like ‘abrasive,’ ‘intense,’ ‘strident,’ ‘crank,’ and ‘arrogant.’ Four independently offered the word ‘creepy.'”

The human trait of recognizing strange and scary…

(Illustration found here).

Nowadays especially, when a whole lot of shit is creepy — Cruz is freakish, creepy just a byproduct. The asshole seems to be universally disliked, and apparently he’s got the profile of longtime yuk.

Surfing the InterWeb news yesterday, I came across this nifty bit on the impulse of that ‘creepy feeling‘ from the UK’s BPS Research Digest, and maybe a biological source:

Francis McAndrew and Sara Koehnke, the authors of a new exploratory paper in New Ideas in Psychology, say that creepiness is what we feel when we think someone might be a threat, but we’re not sure — the ambiguity leaves us “frozen in place, wallowing in unease”.

Several behaviours and aspects of appearance were consistently rated as characteristic of creepy people, including: standing too close; greasy hair; peculiar smile; bulging eyes; having a mental illness; long fingers; unkempt hair; pale skin; bags under eyes; odd/dirty clothes; licking lips frequently; laughing at odd times; steering conversation toward one topic (especially sex); making it impossible to leave without seeming rude; displaying unwanted sexual interest; asking to take a picture of you; being very thin; and displaying too much/little emotion.
Men and women alike overwhelmingly said it was more likely that a typical creepy person would be male.
“While they may not be overtly threatening, individuals who display unusual patterns of nonverbal behaviour, odd emotional characteristics or highly distinctive physical characteristics are outside of the norm, and by definition unpredictable. This may activate our ‘creepiness detector,'” the researchers said.
The four most creepy professions, in order, were clown, taxidermist, sex shop owner and funeral director (least creepy was meteorologist).
The creepiest hobbies were those that involved collecting (especially body parts like finger nails, or insects) or watching or photographing other people.
Consistent with the researchers’ theory that creepiness stems from ambiguity, participants said the typical creepy person makes them feel uncomfortable because they cannot predict how he or she will behave.

As if  ‘wallowing in unease‘ isn’t creepy enough…

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