“Catching a yawn” is a sign of empathy

Does seeing people yawn make you want to do the same?

If it does, that could be a sign of empathy. In fact, we are more likely to “catch” a yawn from a friend than a stranger, as copying is a sign of empathy.

Yawning becomes contagious when you are about four years old. That is when humans develop the ability to identify emotions.

It is an involuntary action.

This also shows that psychopaths, who by definition lack empathy, may be immune to contagious yawning.

Chimpanzees and dogs are the two animals that also find human yawns contagious, which might help explain our connection to them.