Psychopaths Don't Catch Contagious Yawns

Publish Date
Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 6:10PM

No matter how hard you try, you can't NOT yawn when someone near you lets out a big old're probably yawning right now while you're reading this...

You're probably wondering why yawns are contagious, especially seeing as you're not even tired when you yawn half the time. 

Psychology Today shared the fascinating piece of research, and the answer to the age old question also reveals why people defined as ‘psychopaths’ don’t experience the same phenomenon.

The study revealed that empathy is one of the key factors which leads to people catching yawns.

Given that one of the primary personality traits of psychopaths is a lack of empathy, it stands to reason that people defined as such would be impervious to following their peers’ yawning lead.

The study comes courtesy of researchers at Baylor University, who had 135 subjects take a test called the ‘Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised’ (PPI-R), before putting them through a contagious yawn experiment, which sounds amazing.

The results showed that the ‘cold-heartedness’ part of the psychology scale was significantly related to whether the person yawned – if they were more cold-hearted, they were less likely to catch a yawn.