Understanding Creepiness: Development of a Typology of Creepy Behaviors and Feelings

  • 321 views
Uploaded on

This research examined instances of creepiness. Participants (n = 121) completed open-ended questionnaires about situations that they identified as “creepy.” They reported on the specific …

This research examined instances of creepiness. Participants (n = 121) completed open-ended questionnaires about situations that they identified as “creepy.” They reported on the specific interactions, people, contexts, and their feelings (physiological and emotional) when creepiness occurred. This project is the first step in the development of a creepiness scale, which will further help us understand what creepiness is, what it is related to, and what the implications are of experiencing a creepy situation or person.

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
321
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Understanding Creepiness: Development of a Typology of Creepy Behaviors and Feelings Shannon T. Carton, Sean M. Horan, & Brian H. Spitzberg Literature Review Purpose of Study Examples Question 1 Although “creepiness” is known and known This research examined instances of creepiness. Participants (n = 121) completed open-ended What does creepiness look and sound like?discussed, little scholarly research has been questionnaires about situations that they identified as “creepy.” They reported on the specificconducted on this topic. In the vernacular, interactions, people, contexts, and their feelings (physiological and emotional) when creepinesscreepy refers to things that make us uneasy, occurred. This project is the first step in the development of a creepiness scale, which willafraid, disgusted, anxious, or that give us further help us understand what creepiness is, what it is related to, and what the implicationschilling feelings. are of experiencing a creepy situation or person. The little research conducted has examinedwords related to creepiness. This includeswords such as weirdness (Ostow, 1963; Paul, Research Questions1976), oddness (Brewer, 2008), bizarrebehavior (Deporto, 2007), fishy-looking behavior 1. What interactions did participants identify as creepy? What were the specific behaviors,(Bond, 1992), deception (Vrij & Holland, 1998), contexts, and characteristics of creepy interactions or creepy people?and deviance (Stewart, 2009). Creepiness might also be related to other 2. What did participants feel when they experienced creepiness, physiologically andareas of research; however, without first emotionally?examining creepiness independently, theserelationships cannot be examined. Some areas Resultsof research that might relate to creepinessinclude threat detection, formication, fear, Question 1 Question 2anxiety, and disgust. Threat detection and What does creepiness look and sound like? What does creepiness feel like?formication are of particular interest in thisresearch. Formication is the feeling that the skin Question 2 What does creepiness feel like?is crawling or tingling (Brandt, 1977). This is anegative, tingling sensation that is irritating,disgusting, and fear-inducing. Many people experience formication whenin danger, and when “creeped-out.” Formication,then, might be a result of creepiness, and couldaid in detection of threats. Threat detection is ofgreat importance, as vigilance to threateningstimuli and detection of threats can increaseself-preserving behaviors. Women who were stalked reported feeling“creeped-out” by certain appearances andbehaviors of their stalkers (Cupach, in press). In Researchers’ contactfact, 43% of these women used the word information“creepy” in interviews without being prompted to Shannon T. Carton, (M.A., DePaul University, 2012) is a PhD studentdo so. This suggests three important and GTA in the Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University. Sean M. Horan, (PhD, West Virginia University, 2009) is aimplications that inform present research. First, professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University. Briancreepiness is common. Second, creepiness is H. Spitzberg (PhD, University of Southern California, 1981) is a professor in the School of Communication at San Diego Statelikely identifiable through communication University. Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressedbehaviors. Third, creepiness may precede to Shannon T. Carton, Department of Communication Studies, 108 Armstrong Hall P. O. Box 6293, West Virginia University, Morgantown,potentially dangerous situations. If creepiness is WV 26506. Email: stcarton@mix.wvu.edulegitimized in scholarship and then attended to,people might be better able to avoid dangeroussituations.