Research Interests: Frank T. McAndrew, Ph.D.
Creepiness
A current area of interest for me is the experience of "creepiness" and the psychology underlying paranormal experiences such as seeing ghosts and experiencing a house as "haunted."  I am also interested in distinguishing different types of creepiness, as I believe that creepy places, creepy people, and creepy things may press somewhat different buttons in our brains. Knox students who have worked on this research with me so far include Sara Koehnke, Jonathan Doriscar, and Nicolette Schmidt.

McAndrew, F. T. (Book in Progress). Essays on Creepiness.

McAndrew, F. T., Doriscar, J. E., Schmidt, N. T., & Niebauer, C. (IN REVIEW). Explorations in Creepiness:Tolerance for ambiguity and susceptibility to not just right experiences predicts the ease of getting creeped out. Psychological Science, (also presented as a poster at the 2022 (February) meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), San Francisco.

McAndrew, F.T. (IN PRESS). The psychology, geography, and architecture of horror. In G. Yeşildağ (Ed.), Architecture and Fear. Istanbul: Ondokuzonbir Press.

McAndrew, F. T. (2020). The Psychology, Geography and Architecture of Horror: How Places Creep Us Out. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, 4(2), 47-61. (available online October 7, 2019)

McAndrew, F. T. (2020, December 12). Where is that fine line between terror and delight?
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind. Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2020, June 1). Why Face Mask Give Us the Creeps. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind. Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2019, October 28). Why we love big, blood-curdling screams. Appears in dozens of media outlets, including The Conversation, Time Magazine, Discover Magazine, The Big Think, LiveScience, & Medical Xpress.


McAndrew, F. T. (2019, October 28). How stories about haunted houses become self-perpetuating. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture Blog,

McAndrew, F. T. (2019, October 21). Houses of Horror. Aeon Magazine,

McAndrew, F. T. (2019, September 6). The Psychology Behind Why Clowns Creep You Out. Essay published in over two dozen news outlets including CNN, Quartz, The Wire, The Conversation, & Popular Science.

McAndrew, F. T. (2019). Why lifelike dolls and robots creep you out.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind. Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2018, October 30). Creeped-Out: The psychology of Creepiness and Horror. Invited talk at Western Illinois University (Quad City Campus), Moline, Illinois.

McAndrew, F. T. (2018, October 11). Why We Fear the Zombie Apocalypse. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind. Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2018, January 29). The Winchester Mystery House and Other Haunted Places.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, October 25). How the God You Worship Influences the Ghosts You SeeThe Conversation, Quartz, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Raw Story, The Associated Press, The Houston Chronicle.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, October 16). The Role of Creepy Characters in Popular Culture.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, October 1). Creepy Halloween Destinations. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, September 22). A Reflection on Creepy Mustaches and Creepy Hobbies. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, July 4). How to avoid creeping women out.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, May 2). A Reflection on Near Death Experiences.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, April 12).  Communicating with the Dead: Mediums, Seances, & Ouija Boards.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2017, January 11). The Creepiness of Japan's Suicide Forest.
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, December 9).  Haunted Houses: What Keeps the Legends Alive
In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T,, & Koehnke, S. S. (2016). On the nature of creepiness. New Ideas in Psychology, 43, 10-15.

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, November 10). The Perils of a Life in Isolation.
[Published by invitation; not peer reviewed. This appeared in several different outlets, including The Conversation, Psychology Today, Intellectual Takeout, IFL Science, The Associated Press, & Inner Self.]

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, October). Creeped Out: Evolution, Psychology, & Creepiness. Invited talk to the Evolutionary Psychology Lab Group at Vrije University (VU), Amsterdam.

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, September 29).  The Psychology Behind Why Clowns Creep Us Out. [Published by invitation; not peer reviewed. This appeared in more than a dozen different outlets, including PBS Newshour, CNN, The Daily Mail, Scientific American, The Daily Beast, The Conversation, RawStory, Time, Quartz, Business Insider, Salon, Psychology Today, IFL Science, The Washington Post, The Bangor Daily News, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, & The New Republic]

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, June 6). How can we better understand the "Office Creep?"  HRZone, Siftmedia, U. K.

McAndrew, F. T. (2016, March). Who are the Creepiest Celebrities?  In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2015, October). Evolutionary psychology explains why haunted houses creep us out. [Published by invitation; not peer-reviewed.  This appeared in more than a dozen different outlets, including Time, Newsweek, The Conversation, Quartz.com, Livescience, & Business Insider)

McAndrew, F. T. (2015, September).  Why some people see ghosts and other apparitions. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T. (2015, May).  How we decide who's creepy. In Out of the Ooze: Navigating the 21st Century with a Stone-Age Mind.  Psychology Today Magazine Blog.

McAndrew, F. T., & Koehnke, S. S. (2015, May; 2013, January). Can "Getting the Creeps" be an Evolutionary Adaptation?  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Columbia, Missouri, and also at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP),  New Orleans, Louisiana.

Results of the Knox creepiness study (2012)