If contagious yawning is a sign of empathy and psychopaths are labeled for their lack of empathy,

does that mean psychopaths will not contagiously yawn like the rest of us??


I believe the answer is no (i.e., psychopaths will demonstrate contagious yawning). It’s important to note that we can’t answer this with certainty as a direct study of this hasn’t been done, but let me walk you through some logic based on the available scientific knowledge of psychopathy.

Studies of contagious yawning suggest that patient populations with impaired social awareness (autism spectrum, etc.) do NOT demonstrate contagious yawning. Some researchers have posited that the key differing variable is empathy, however I disagree as elaborated later on. The other thing to note, are theories of contagious yawning that involve mirror neurons. The ability for social awareness, to understand and interpret human behavior, feel a social connection, etc. has been linked to this mirror neuron system (still a huge area of research; FAR from well understood).


img http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler