mass hysteria

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mass hys·te·ri·a

1. spontaneous, en masse development of identical physical and/or emotional symptoms among a group of people, as seen in a classroom of schoolchildren;
2. a socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

mass hysteria

n.
A condition in which a large group of people exhibit similar physical or emotional symptoms, such as anxiety or extreme excitement. Also called epidemic hysteria.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

mass hysteria

The synchronous appearance in a group of individuals of signs and nonspecific physical symptoms of hysteria, for which no organic cause can be determined. It is transmitted among members of a group by “line of sight” and is more common in young females.

Clinical findings
Nausea, loss of consciousness, vertigo, headache, shortness of breath, fainting, screaming, shaking, crying, muscle weakness, hyperventilation; a general lack of symptoms in those sharing the same physical environment, but in a different timeframe—i.e., of temporal, and not spatial, significance.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

mass hysteria

Psychiatry The 'transmission' of anxiety among a group of individuals
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

mass hys·te·ri·a

(mas his-ter'ē-ă)
1. Simultaneous identical physical or emotional symptoms among a group of people.
2. A socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.
Synonym(s): mass sociogenic illness.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
At one point as she interviewed him, Lewis opined that there was deception (lying by the investment world) but that too was not examined as Lewis himself counterpoised two explanations for the disaster, asking, "was it mass delusion or crime?
During that time, I watched friends at Canadian universities participate in what I saw then - and still do - as mass delusion. At the heart of their political activism - which consisted mainly of badmouthing university presidents and attempting to paralyse the "system" by behaving badly - was the belief that we, the babyboomers, were somehow morally superior to our parents.
You may also find yourself contemplating the value of a cultural front that fosters mass delusion. According to Denning, the panic provoked by Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast War of the Worlds reflected an entrenched, Popular Front anti-fascism.
Now I'm not sure which piece of pundit psychobabble is dumber, this or the notion that the inequitable distribution of wealth is a mass delusion based on a newly identified pathology called "entitlement mentality." The real pathology is "pundit arrogance"--an affliction that results when a really big, fat paycheck, complicated by a solid dose of male privilege, prevents you from understanding facts or seeing everyday people's lives.
Skeptics claim that it was just a helicopter or a mass delusion.
As Stone told Slate, "At the end of the day, if the mass delusion of a religion makes you happy, makes your family work better, is that bad or good?"
Presumably, therefore,all those Gwynedd people who are currently unable to find a home for their family at a price they can afford are suffering from mass delusion.
Magical thinking, compensatory fantasy, and mass delusions were rife.
Authors Bartholomew and Hassall present general interest readers with an examination of unusual crowd behavior, mass phenomena, urban legends, moral panics, riots, and mass delusions and hallucinations throughout history.
The thrill is gone, the euphoria has faded and our mass delusions have been swept away to make room for the reality that there never was an Egyptian revolution.
They take a worldwide, historical look at mass delusions that have taken hold of people in times past and explore how it is that this happens--what kinds of needs the delusions fill.