Can someone be fearless

We all know it: when someone around us yawns, others also start to yawn. Only with psychopaths is it not contagious. But why?

Tired, hungry or boring - suddenly we open our mouths wide, close our eyes and breathe deeply in and out. Researchers have long been concerned about why we yawn at all; there are various theories about this behavior.

What is certain is that Yawning is contagious in humans, chimpanzees, and dogs. The yawning sound alone triggers the need to yawn in other dogs.

This phenomenon scientists attribute to empathy: Those who can empathize with others and empathize with their feelings are particularly easily infected.

Yawning also has something to do with bonding in social mammals, besides it strengthens a group's sense of togetherness. Of course, emotional closeness plays a decisive role here.

We are more easily infected by friends or family than by strangers. If we find someone sympathetic, we yawn with them, although we don't have to.

Feeling cold? Immune to the yawn effect

However, this is not the case with psychopaths. People with psychopathic properties are less likely to be infected by yawns than empathetic contemporaries.

This is the result of a study by Baylor University Psychology, which has now been published in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences".The less empathy a person has, the less he yawns.

As part of the study, Brian Rundle and his team first examined 135 students for their antisocial traits. The focus was on cold-heartedness, fearless dominance and egocentric impulsiveness.

According to the researchers, psychopathy is characterized by an antisocial lifestyle, the selfish, manipulative, impulsive, fearless and domineering can be.

In particular, there is a lack of empathy. Whether you are a psychopath, writes the psychologist Rundle in his press release, cannot be determined on the basis of an on-or-off principle, it would be a whole spectrum.

After the psycho-test, the test subjects were shown video clips with various facial movements in a second step. In addition to a laugh and a neutral face, there was also a yawn.

It showed that the less empathy a person possessed, the less likely they were to be infected by yawning.

Despite the clear results, study author Brian Rundle warns people to be labeled psychopaths. "If you yawn and someone else doesn't, it doesn't mean the other person is a psychopath. Many people don't yawn with strangers"says Rundle.

Also interesting: That's why people who yawn a lot are more intelligent.