7. The Chameleon Effect May Also Explain Contagious Yawning
The chameleon effect is a more colloquial term for what is known as non-conscious mimicry. We are innately social beings; as such, we imitate the behaviors of the people around us, often subconsciously or non-consciously. That is why in seventh grade, you wanted the same pair of Nike’s as the other kids in your class.
It also may explain why sometimes, yawning seems to be contagious. When someone else yawns, our social impulses kick in and force us to behave in the same way, whether we like it or not.