Whenever we see someone yawn, we yawn spontaneously, without even being aware of it. Why does that happen? Why is yawning so contagious?
Studies have found, about half of adults yawn after someone else yawns due to a universal phenomenon called “contagious yawning” (yes, it’s a real thing). And, contrary to popular belief, a new study from Duke University suggests that contagious yawning is not actually strongly related to variables like empathy, tiredness, or energy levels.
Previously people used to believe that yawning is related to empathy. However it is now found that found that contagious yawning may decrease as people age and may not be associated with empathy.
The lack of association in our study between contagious yawning and empathy suggests that contagious yawning is not simply a product of one’s capacity for empathy,”
said Elizabeth Cirulli, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Center for Human Genome Variation at Duke University School of Medicine.
Contagious yawning is a phenomenon that only occurs in humans and chimpanzees as a response to hearing, seeing, or even thinking about yawning.
How many times have you felt the urge to yawn while reading this blog article? Studies have found that certain individuals are more susceptible to contagious yawning than others.
Spontaneous yawning usually happens when someone is bored and tired, and usually starts from the time in the womb.
While contagious yawning doesn’t begin until early childhood.
So in conclusion, yawning is contagious, and there’s no specific reason for it, just that its a response the human brain creates when you’re bored, tired, or just existing. Fascinating isn’t it?