Many people have this experience: As long as one person yawns in the house, it will cause a yawning sound. But yawning is not like a cold. A cold is caused by viruses, so it is very contagious. What is behind the yawn infection?
Why is yawning contagious? Let’s first look at why people yawn. Medical scientists say that yawning has many triggers, such as lethargy, boredom, and overuse of the brain. It is caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain, and is a normal physiological response when people are tired. When yawning, people usually close their eyes, relax the muscles and nerves of the whole body, and breathe in more cool oxygen in the nostrils, at this time the temperature of the brain will drop. The brain is generally more awake when the temperature is low, so the number of yawns in summer is much higher than in winter. After yawning, the whole person’s mind and body can be temporarily relaxed.
Psychologists have shown yawning videos to some people. After watching, 42%-55% of people are susceptible to infection and start yawning. After careful analysis, it is found that those who are not easily affected are those with a colder personality and firmer thinking. They are not easily influenced by the outside world; those who see others yawn and follow yawns usually have personality Relatively easy-going and kind, this kind of people are very good at getting along with others and easily win the favor of each other. In the long-term human evolution, many expressions will be passed down. One person yawns and the others follow. The purpose is to keep the whole group awake and consistent. This is the simplest way of communication and expression.
In fact, not only humans, but also other primates can be infected by yawning. Scientists have discovered that in a group of gorillas, if the gorillas with high status perform yawning actions, many of the gorillas below will be infected to express group consistency. In addition, there is infection between yawning monkeys and dogs. This kind of animal has a well-developed mind and a strong ability to imitate and express emotions.
So, now we understand that the reason why yawning is contagious is on the one hand because yawning can relax our brain, and on the other hand, it is to satisfy our need to express group consistency. In the future, if you find that someone is susceptible to other people’s yawning, please don’t laugh at them. Such people generally have high EQ and they are very good at interpersonal communication.
Young children and some people with autism are generally not affected by others’ yawning. This is because they are not prone to empathy. Not only do they have insufficient communication and social skills, they are also not good at putting themselves in place. Be considerate of others, so it is not easy to be infected by others’ emotions.