Friday, June 23, 2017

Contagious Behavior

As found in the book, Contagious Behavior is a more-or-less instinctive or reflexive behavior triggered by the occurrence of the same behavior in another individual. This stood out to me because this happens to me all the time when I am around other individuals. If I am sitting in class and see someone else yawn, I automatically start yawning. If I am intensely watching a movie, I suddenly notice that I am making the same faces as the characters on the television. If my friend is laughing and telling me a story, I start laughing with them. Even if we do not realize it, behavior of other individuals is contagious.
Some of the most common types of behaviors that are the most contagious are: yawning, laughing, smiling, frowning, shivering, and risk-taking. Why do we mimic other behaviors that we see? Our brains are hardwired for social interaction and bonding. Mimicking the actions we see in those around us is a natural way that we empathize and gain a sense of how others are feeling.

Below is a video clip explaining in more detail how and why yawning is so contagious.


  1. The video you attached was very informative! During the beginning of the clip, I actually started to yawn because the video was showing a yawn. I have the worst contagious behavior. Whenever someone yawns, I find myself also doing it right away.
    I found it interesting that children start this contagious behavior at four or five years old.
    Also, it is more prevalent in friends rather that strangers.

  2. Brianne you picked a great video to explain contagious behavior! I thought it was interesting that you mentioned that our brains are hardwired for social interaction and bonding. When I read that it reminded me of all the times my mom said to me, "if your friends jump of a bridge, would you?!' and most of the time I would say YEP! At least now, after reading your post and watching the video I'll have a scientific reasoning behind my answer!