Business Bytes: Top 7 creepiest professions revealed

Taxi drivers, guards and caretakers have been listed in the top seven creepiest professions, according to a survey published in New Ideas in Psychology in which states that “creepiness” is the feeling that someone may be a threat, but aren’t sure, leaving us feeling uneasy.

Authors of the study Francis McAndrew and Sara Koehnke asked those surveyed to rate patterns of behaviour and occupations on a scale of creepiness.

Several behavioural patterns were consistently labelled as creepy characteristics, including standing too close, laughing inappropriately and displaying too much or too little emotion.

The researchers said: “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.”

Also ranked were the creepiest professions according those surveyed.

1. Clown

The concept of the ‘fool’ was first used as entertainment in the medieval times, but has since evolved into the creepy smiling face most of us fear. And if you’re one of the few that aren’t afraid, it’s probably because the word clown conjures up an image of the Ronald Mcdonald.

2. Taxidermist

This Victorian tradition of stuffing a dead animal is becoming increasingly popular. Whilst still hold the belief that taxidermy is art, most of those surveyed would class the profession as pretty creepy.

3. Sex shop owner

It’s easy to see why an older male working in this profession might give us the heebie jeebies, but these jobs only exist because there is a public demand for it – so who’s the real creep here?

4. Funeral director

What creeps people out about funeral directors is that they have actually chosen to be in that job, and most of them enjoy it. The majority of people would think there is something creepy about working so closely with the dead by choice, but someone has to do it.

5. Taxi driver

They drive around at strange times on their own in black cabs, picking up whoever waves their arm at them. The creepy thing is they’re a stranger and yet you trust them with your life. Most people don’t even fasten their seat belt when being driven by a taxi driver and yet they’re the fifth creepiest profession.

6. Caretaker

Ever since the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, people see caretakers as strange loners who hang around schools late at night, which can only be classed as creepy.

7. Dustbin man

Those of you who were born before wheelie bins were introduced will understand why dustbin men are a little creepy. The elusive man who sneaks into your garden and empties your bin for you before waking hours might be a justification for this profession being at number seven.

Consistent with McAndrew and Koehnke’s theory that creepiness stems from ambiguity, participants labelled certain individuals as ‘creepy’ because their behavioural patterns were unpredictable.

Staring too much, steering the conversation towards sex and excessive touching were seen as particularly creepy behaviours. From the top ten, we can deduce that professions that deal with death or sex are perceived as creepy.

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