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Youngsters Immune to the Contagious Yawn

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posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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Youngsters Immune to the Contagious Yawn


www.scientificamerican.com

Psychologists at the University of Connecticut studied more than 120 children, who ranged in age from one to six. While reading each child a story, a researcher would stop several times to yawn conspicuously. Fewer than 10 percent of the children younger than four yawned in response. Among the older kids, that percentage jumped significantly, with 35 to 40 percent of kids displaying contagious yawning.

“We know that the social brain develops over the first few years of life,” says Molly Helt, the study’s lead author and a doctoral student in psychology. Although youngsters are certain
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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I believe that I speak for most people reading this that if they see someone yawn they more than likey will yawn themselves. I know I certainly do.
I have wondered in the past why indeed a yawn seems contagious. This study is interesting in that it tries to explain this phenomenon as a 'mirrored emotion'. Perhaps it is. I have to ask though, using the data obtained from this study, then why don't other things get mirrored, such as a sneeze, or facial tick?
I have noticed though something that may be related. When you put two subjects together who have never spoken or met, quite often they will start speaking in the others accent.
Certainly not earth changing information, but it is interesting.

www.scientificamerican.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 12:59 PM
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I just yawned thinking about a reader yawning.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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I find this interesting. I have a three month old baby at home and when I was playing and talking to her the other day I yawned and she yawned immediately afterward... I remember thinking to myself "she caught the contagious yawn, how cute". It may have just been a coincidence, but now you have me interested...I will try to pay attention when I yawn around her from now on. Maybe throw in some fake yawns too. That brings up another thought, can a fake vs. real yawn have an effect on the study? Maybe the results were lower because he was fake yawning?



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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That is really interesting.

When my daughter was about 6 months I realized she didn't yawn when I did and started making a point to get her attention when I yawned. I had everyone in the room yawning except her. Later I noticed as she started yawning when someone else yawned but it didn't really start until she was about a year. She is only 15 months now but it is clear that she yawns more often when someone else does as she gets older and I had been wondering why that was. Now I know I'm not the only one crazy enough to think this is an interesting part of human development!

Thank you for posting!



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by 11PB11
I just yawned thinking about a reader yawning.


I yawned as soon as I opened the thread, before even thinking about it.

But I did just get out of bed not so long ago, and I'll probably be yawning some more...



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 01:24 PM
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I smiled when I saw this title , I was only discussing this with my beautiful wife two weeks ago .Children are conditioned to this .Yes 4-6 is the typical age when they consiciously develop the habit . It is a programed condition , that goes something like this .The child has a natural yawn , the preconditioned parent yawns in response and says oh don't do that or oh don't get me started .Child inquires to what the adult is meaning , the adult explains .Program is set with the power of suggestion .



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by 13th Zodiac
 


That is a good theory zodiac.

I also had an idea just now about this that may or may not have any merit. From what I've read, we supposedly yawn because our bodies aren't getting enough oxygen. Ie: when you're tired your breathing slows so your body forces a big breath of air to balance the oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio. I've also noticed that when I'm really interested or engrossed in something I often hold my breath some and realize once I need air. I assume that others do this as well without even thinking about it. Maybe in a social situation everyone stops breathing consistently because they are preoccupied by what's going on around them. Thus, yawning ensues. It may just be coincidence that they all yawn around the same time. I mean I know I don't yawn every time someone else does. And with numbers as low as 35% it could just be that 35% of the subjects just all needed some air for the same reason?



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