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.

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.

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.

mass hysteria

Psychiatry The 'transmission' of anxiety among a group of individuals

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers' Bodies, Rebecca Kukla traces current conceptions of pregnancy to a late eighteenth-century split in the figuration of the maternal body into two: "an unruly, capricious, improperly and porously bounded body" and a " 'natural' body enjoying perfect unity and reciprocity with its child" (67).
The mass hysteria theory has gained ground through the years and is now generally accepted as the cause of what happened in Mattoon.
A variety of local print media sources, from the Pretoria News to The Sowetan and The Sunday Tribune traffic in the terminology, with headlines reading "Mysterious wave of mass hysteria hits city", "Mass hysteria at Soweto school?", and "'Mass hysteria sweeps six E Cape schools." Other headlines emphasize spiritual and supernatural causes for these events, such as " 'Evil spirits' hit 70 Soweto pupils," "Prayer meeting for 'possessed' pupils," and "Demons take over Mdzimba High." The reports alternate between placing loaded terms like hysteria and evil spirits in distancing scare quotes and presenting them directly, as accepted classifications.
Mass hysteria once again bursts forth from old unfaithful fans, current fans and the media locally.
In Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers' Bodies, Rebecca Kukla argues that about two and a half centuries ago, Enlightenment ideology, modern science, and the rise of the nation-state produced a profound change that persists to this day in the cultural meanings assigned to maternal bodies: they were transformed "from private, almost furtive matters into vivid centers of public management, surveillance, celebration, approbation, and regulation" (p.
The Pop Memorabilia auction includes tickets and an illustrated program for the Royal World Premiere of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" at the London Pavilion, expected to go for $1,000-$1,400, proving that the Fab Four is still capable of producing mass hysteria. www.christies.com
Instead, we hear about his reflections on politics, human rights and mass hysteria. Commentators agree that these reflections are relentlessly abstract.
The German rockets first hit the capital in September 1944, but Churchill decided to tell the public that gas explosions were responsible, fearing mass hysteria. It was not until November 10th 1944 that Churchill publicly admitted to the V-2 threat, once the Allies were more prepared for the problem.
It has been suggested by some in the media that we behaved like fans at a rock concert, and since a large number of Catholics practise many things forbidden by the Church, that our admiration for JP II was nothing more than the worship of a pop star or mass hysteria.
We're resisting the impulse to succumb to mass hysteria, despite the horrors of September 11th and the ongoing bacteriological attacks.
After final rehearsals with Mezzacappa in January 2002, the UNL Dance Ensemble will cap the centennial February 11 with an all-Weidman concert featuring some of his most important works, including Lynchtown, a taut study of mass hysteria inspired by a lynching Weidman said he witnessed in Omaha as a youth; Bargain Counter, a social satire on consumer frenzy; and Brahms Waltzes, a sweepingly lyrical work he choreographed as a tribute to Humphrey after her death in 1958.
There was mass hysteria, widespread confusion and unadulterated panic concerning how to meet the aggressive time frames for OBRA implementation.