What a Yawn Says about Your Relationship

Yawning is more contagious among people who are emotionally close…


Given that regions of the brain involved in empathizing with others can be influenced by the degree of psychological closeness to those others, Norscia and Palagi wanted to know whether contagious yawning might also reveal information about how we relate to those around us. Specifically, are we more likely to catch the yawns of people to whom we are emotionally closer? Can we deduce something about the quality of the relationships between individuals based solely on their pattern of yawning? Yawning might tell us the degree to which we empathize with, and by extension care about, the people around us.

By Piercarlo Valdesolo