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We believe that contagious yawning indicates empathy. It indicates an appreciation of other people's behavioural and physiological state.


 yawn empathy social
The human tendency to anthropomorphise means we miss out on animals' real feelings and needs, with the result that we often provide them with inappropriate housing and medical care. ... For example, most species only seem capable of thinking in the present, and cannot think about past or future events. Similarly, few animals appear to be self-aware, or aware that other creatures are sentient. ... As an example, he cites the scenario of a...


 animal anthropomorphise empathy laetus in praesens present association
They found that inhaling the "cuddle hormone" oxytocin made men just as empathetic as women.


 hormone male oxytocin cuddle empathy emotion feeling bonding manipulation
Virtual reality is allowing scientists to ask difficult questions about human behaviour that were previously not possible or were thought too unethical.


 ethics virtual reality psychology experiment behaviour empathy
Contagious yawning may show the closeness of your relationships rather than your tiredness, say scientists.


 yawn brain empathy family friendship contagious social behaviour