Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why Yawning Is Contagious

I don't have any philosophies left, because the heat has melted my brain. So I thought why not make this post informative in another way?

So I decided to deepen your understanding of some trivial trivia. I have had this question many times when I was younger and I think it is finally time to get some answers.


The reason I remembered this question of mine was the fact that I was watching a YouTube video and a guy yawned in the video and I started yawning, even though I was looking at a screen. 

For you who have noticed this, when a person yawns in front of somebody else, they yawn too. Also, when a person yawns in front of a dog, it yawns as well.

Like most things, yawning contagion has a psychological root. Before explaining further I'd like to mention that it becomes contagious for people after the age of 4.

Studies have found that we yawn back after someone has done the same for two subconscious reasons. First is the act of empathy. Empathy is putting yourself in someone else's shoes, in this case especially, it is the mimicry behind empathy. Put in layman's terms, people like to copy others, even subconsciously in yawning.

Second, very closely related to the first reason, is our need to bond socially. In that sense, since socialization doesn't necessarily kick in in the first years of somebody's life, kids under the age of four don't yawn after prompting. The same happens to people with autism since they don't have the need to create social bonds.

For more info click here.