Double-Yawn Effect: Causes & Psychological Impact

  • Thread starter fawk3s
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In summary: ContagiousnessIn summary, the contagiousness of yawning is a phenomenon that has been observed and studied, but the exact reason for its occurrence is still unclear. Some theories suggest that it may be a survival instinct inherited from our evolutionary past, while others propose that it is a way to synchronize sleeping patterns within a group. It has also been linked to mirror neurons and the stretching of the eardrums. However, there is still no definitive answer and further research is needed to fully understand this curious behavior.
  • #1
fawk3s
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One person yawns. Give it 2-5 seconds and the person next to him yawns aswell.

Why does this happen? Is it psychological?
 
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  • #2
You can check out some of the thinking on why it's contagious here. Interesting that they mention human to dog yawning contagiousness. I've yawned a time or two after seeing my dog yawn right after a nap. Maybe they should check out for reverse dog to human contagiousness also.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn#Contagiousness
 
  • #3
The wiki article is kind of a collage.

I thought this paragraph was pretty peculiar:

Gordon Gallup, who hypothesizes that yawning may be a means of keeping the brain cool, also hypothesizes that "contagious" yawning may be a survival instinct inherited from our evolutionary past. "During human evolutionary history when we were subject to predation and attacks by other groups, if everybody yawns in response to seeing someone yawn, the whole group becomes much more vigilant, and much better at being able to detect danger.

For me yawning seems like crossing a threshold from forced, sustained activity or vigilance to relaxation. The deep breath and the whole "pandiculation" thing result in a more sloppily relaxed, less sharp state. This sentence: "It signals tiredness to other members of the group in order to synchronize sleeping patterns and periods." made much more sense to me than the earlier proposition that it increased group vigilance. In my experience yawning is more likely to precede sleep than anything else. Who really feels more alert and vigilant after yawning?

The best mechanism I've heard of for how a yawn might be "contagious" is the proposed mirror neuron one. Mirror neurons could account for a huge mass of things, but as far as I know it's a notion that hasn't been more than just sketched out.
 
  • #4
I had a similar reaction to the wiki article zooby. Here's another article that discounts some of the things in the wiki article. According to this one, there's no basis for thinking it removes excess CO2 from the body, something I was told a long time ago. Anyway, I did yawn once while reading this one. :cool: Anyone else?http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/yawning.html
 
  • #5
If yawning is a means to keep the brain cool, why don't we see joggers yawning all the time?
 
  • #6
Jim1138 said:
If yawning is a means to keep the brain cool, why don't we see joggers yawning all the time?

Thats because our body temperature is kept pretty much the same. It is balanced by swetting. You don't get a remarkable temperature while jogging.
Plus, the jogger is breathing fast and regularly while jogging. So the brain isn't in a desperate need of oxygen either. But I guess the "brain-is-in-need-of-oxygen-so-yawn" theory is proven wrong now anyways.

Wiki tells us that yawning is the reflex which is created by the stretching of the eardrums and inhaling. How come that creates the reflex anyway?
 
  • #7
runner said:
I had a similar reaction to the wiki article zooby. Here's another article that discounts some of the things in the wiki article. According to this one, there's no basis for thinking it removes excess CO2 from the body, something I was told a long time ago. Anyway, I did yawn once while reading this one. :cool: Anyone else?


http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/yawning.html

Just by reading the title :biggrin: but I was already feeling sleepy - it was just the tipping point.
 
  • #8
lisab said:
Just by reading the title :biggrin: but I was already feeling sleepy - it was just the tipping point.

"...even reading, or thinking about yawning, or looking at a yawning picture can cause a person to yawn..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn
 

Related to Double-Yawn Effect: Causes & Psychological Impact

1. What is the "Double-Yawn Effect"?

The "Double-Yawn Effect" is a phenomenon where one person's yawn triggers another person's yawn, leading to a chain reaction of yawns within a group. It is also known as contagious yawning.

2. What causes the "Double-Yawn Effect"?

The exact cause of the "Double-Yawn Effect" is not fully understood. However, it is believed to be related to a combination of social and psychological factors. Seeing someone else yawn can trigger a reflexive response in our own brains, leading to a yawn.

3. Is the "Double-Yawn Effect" universal?

No, the "Double-Yawn Effect" is not universal and can vary among individuals. Some people are more susceptible to contagious yawning, while others may not experience it at all. Age, gender, and certain medical conditions can also impact the likelihood of experiencing the "Double-Yawn Effect".

4. What is the psychological impact of the "Double-Yawn Effect"?

The "Double-Yawn Effect" is thought to have a social and emotional impact on individuals. It can increase feelings of empathy and social bonding, as well as decrease feelings of isolation or loneliness. It is also believed to have a calming effect on the brain and may help regulate arousal levels.

5. Can the "Double-Yawn Effect" be controlled?

While it may not be possible to completely control the "Double-Yawn Effect", some studies have shown that being more aware of yawning and trying to suppress it can reduce the likelihood of contagious yawning. Additionally, engaging in activities that require focus and attention can also help prevent the "Double-Yawn Effect".

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