One of the most fascinating concepts in behavior is contagious behavior. The text describes contagious behavior as reflexive behavior that is exhibited by one person after another individual behaves the same way (Powell, p. 436). This is exhibited in instances such as yawning; majority of the time when you witness someone yawn you will also yawn. The link I attached describes this phenomenon in a real situation. In Tennessee, over 100 people were taken to the ER because they felt that they were become ill from smelling gasoline. Instead, a teacher initially felt sick and then the students and other faculty felt ill; it was a domino effect. These individuals were not sick; they were suffering from mass psychogenic illness, which is a type of contagious behavior. The link provided describes this behavior as unconscious (Wang, para. 7). Contagious behavior occurs because on a biological level because we are designed to mimic others due to neurons firing when we watch others’ behaviors (Wang, para. 33). This behavior is usually not harmful or disruptive in everyday life, but it is important that we notice how interconnected we all are on both a conscious and unconscious level.
Powell, R., Honey, P., Symbaluk, D. (2013). Introduction to learning and behavior. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.