Why Is Yawning Contagious?

Time, June 8, 2017

60-70% of people yawn when they see another person yawning. For a long time, yawning was believed to be a precursor to sleep, but recent research has suggested it bears no relation to dipping energy levels. Instead, catching yawns seems to indicate more about your personality than sleepiness. A 2010 study from researchers Deborah Fein, distinguished professor of psychological sciences, Inge-Marie Eigsti, associate professor of psychological sciences, and colleagues Molly Helt and Peter Snyder found that catching yawns may be an unconscious sign you’re attuned to other people’s emotions. Fein and Eigsti were also featured in Southern Living.


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