Psychopaths don’t yawn? One study suggests a link

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(Image courtesy: MGN Online)

WACO, Texas- A recent study by a Texas university shows those who don’t yawn may have more psychopathic tendencies.

Researchers at Baylor University exposed 135 students to a test intended to induce yawns. A common characteristic of psychopathy is empathy, which can trigger yawns in humans.

“One of the biggest lines of evidence is that (contagious yawning is) very much related to empathy,” PhD student Brian Rundle told The Times. “While this is a really interesting finding, it doesn’t mean that if you’re not affected by a contagious yawn there’s something wrong with you.”

According to the study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, the students with higher scores on the cold-heartedness scale were less likely to yawn.

“Further, we found that emotion-related startle amplitudes were predictive of frequency of contagious yawning. These data suggest that psychopathic traits may be related to the empathic nature of contagious yawning in our species,” the Baylor University research stated.

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