We published a post in August about how your friends might be psychopaths if they don't do this one thing: catch a yawn. But that's a bit of an exaggeration. The explanation was that psychopaths yawn less often than non-psychopaths, since yawning after someone does has to do with empathy (being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes). And psychopaths aren't very capable of empathizing.
But psychopaths aren't the only ones who can't understand others. Jerks can't too, LOL! According to Brian Rundle, a researcher on contagious yawning, "It's not an on/off of whether you're a psychopath. It's a spectrum." He means that if a stranger or someone not close to you yawns, it's possible that you won't yawn back because you guys don't have a connection.
Still, there are those who easily catch a yawn, and there are those who can easily feel what someone else is feeling regardless of their relationship (or lack thereof). Much research still has to be done on how yawning relates to being empathetic, though. In the meantime, find out if you're pretty empathetic or really just have high self-control. Check out this yawning video challenge! Yup, we also challenge you NOT to yawn.
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