The scientists, from the Museum of Natural History and Territory in Calvi, outside Pisa, believe that yawn infectiveness can be a form of emotional contagion. They believe that humans, and other primates, transmit yawns more often and more quickly from family and friends than acquaintances and strangers.
These observations serve as new evidence that empathy – the ability to share others’ emotions – plays a part in controlling contagious yawning…
contagious yawning may ultimately prove a useful tool in the field of mental health, according to Norscia, saying it could be used as a non-invasive method to help assess empathy disorders.
by Lindsey Tugman