Q:

Why do people often yawn after someone else does?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Discovery News, contagious yawning results from primal instincts rooted in the human capacity for empathy and for building unconscious emotional links with others. Yawning when other people yawn is similar to laughing or crying when others do, in that it promotes social bonding.

Know More
Why do people often yawn after someone else does?
Credit: RubberBall Productions Brand X Pictures Getty Images

Full Answer

Discovery News states that people begin yawning after other people do at about 4 years of age. People with severe autism never pick up contagious yawning, with autistic people in general being around half as likely as the general population to pick up the behavior and show evidence of having developed unconscious emotional links to other people. According to Discovery News, studies show that people do not yawn to bring in more oxygen, as many people think. The cause of spontaneous yawning is not known.

Learn more about Human Anatomy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do people sneeze twice?

    A:

    There is no definite scientific answer to why most people sneeze two or three times in one go. However, people who sneeze more than three times most likely have special immunological or neurological characteristics. For instance, they may have allergies, notes Scienceline.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do nails grow faster in summer?

    A:

    According to Broken Secrets, fingernails and toenails grow faster in the summer because people are exposed to more daylight then. In daylight, the human body produces more vitamin D, which is essential for healthy growth in nails and hair. Cold environments and smoking can slow nail growth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why can't you tickle yourself?

    A:

    HowStuffWorks explains that people cannot tickle themselves because the brain is aware that the sensation of touch is impending, and it loses the effect of surprise that usually accompanies the sensation of being tickled. The brain's cerebellum is responsible for deciphering whether a touch is familiar or unexpected.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do some people float better than others?

    A:

    How people float is based on their specific density, so people who float have a lower density than people who don't float well. Specifically, people with a higher fat content in their bodies float better than people with a higher muscle content.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore