Gina Florio
Updated Aug 22, 2016 @ 6:01 pm
Credit: Shutterstock

Remember how science proved to us that only psychopaths want to stay friends with their exes? Well, there’s more news on the psychopath front that might surprise you. Research published in Personality and Individual Differences shows that the way a person yawns makes a big difference when you’re trying to tell if they’re a sadistic, narcissistic person “whose main intention is to manipulate others and [get] satisfaction from doing that.” At least, that’s the definition of a psychopath from psychiatrist Dr. David M. Reiss.

It’s not so much about the length and duration of your yawn, or what kinds of sounds you make.

Rather, it’s all about how contagious you find yawns to be. Do you join in on a yawn when you witness someone else whip one out? Or, do you manage to keep a straight face without a single blink of the eye? If you’re in the latter, you just might be a psychopath.

Here, take this test. It’s only 30 seconds, but see how long you can go without joining on the chorus of yawning.

If you caught onto the yawning train, it means you’ve probably got a healthy ability to empathize with others, according to the research that was done. If you didn’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go out and murder someone in cold blood, but you could have a tendency to be extremely selfish and conniving in your personal relationships, or you’re particularly cruel to people who work for you.

There’s a study in Behavioral Sciences and the Law that says people in positions of power are four times more likely to have psychopathic qualities than a normal employee.

That’s because these people are more likely to step all over others in order to claw their way to the top. And they have very little sense of empathy. We’re guessing they would never find a yawn to be particularly contagious.

So, if there’s someone in your life you’re just not sure about and you’re wondering if they fall on the psychopathic scale, watch their face the next time someone else yawns in the room. If they’re completely unaffected by it, that might be a sign to steer clear.