Yawning: Why and What Could It Mean?
You are correct in thinking that yawns are catching. Seeing, hearing or thinking about yawning can trigger the event, but there is little understanding of why it is contagious. A number of theories regarding the genesis of yawning have been presented over the years. Some evidence suggests that yawning is a means of communicating changing environmental or internal body conditions to others. If so, then its contagious nature is most likely a means of communication within groups of animals, possibly as a means to synchronize behavior. If this is the case, yawning in humans is most likely vestigial and an evolutionarily ancient mechanism that has lost its significance.