Andy McNab

Do psychopaths yawn?

Posted on Updated on

What doesn't kill you, makes you?If you yawn at a psychopath the chances are that they won’t yawn back.

Scientists have found that the more psychopathic traits people have the less likely they are to yawn.

Generally speaking yawning is contagious; someone yawns and before you know it everyone is at it.

This latest study, published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, tested 135 students on measures of machiavellianism, coldheartedness, and rebellious non-conformity.

They were then shown a video in which people exhibited a variety of expressions including yawning. The researchers then measured how often the students yawned. Those who scored highest on the coldheartedness scale were less likely to yawn.

The study was partly to validate the idea that yawning was about empathy, as suggested by previous research on showing empathy to others.

51X95v1vd6L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_-1Psychopaths may have social skills but empathy is something they have to work at.

After generally receiving a bad press, including in the management literature, psychopaths may be gaining respectability . Well-known psychopath Andy McNab, ex SAS man turned author, is promoting the values of being a good i.e. normal or socialised, sociopath in a series of books and workbooks with psychologist Kevin Dutton.

Not sure people like Fred the Shred and Bob Diamond need such advice!