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

Etymology: ME, maiour, great; Gk, hystera, womb
an episode of psychogenic illness affecting a large group of individuals at the same time. Examples include the witchcraft trials of the 17th century and the irrational mass reaction to the 1938 radio show based on H.G. Wells' science-fiction novel, War of the Worlds. Also called collective hysteria, epidemic hysteria, major hysteria, mass panic, mass psychogenic illness.

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 ?
Coffins, Corpses and Wheelchairs': Mass Hysteria and Postcolonial Constitutions" Studies in the Humanities 39-40 (January 2014): 57-88.
Mass Hysteria is a learned, engaging, and lively account of the politics surrounding that experience.
Weird stuff happens when they go into the woods but it's stuff that can't be explained either rationally, supernaturally or by Stephen's mass hysteria theory.
The worldwide mass hysteria of competitive utilitarianism leads to uniformity in any area that has been contaminated.
When James Dean died in a car crash on September 30, 1955, he was mourned throughout the world with a mass hysteria that had never before been experienced.
MASS hysteria is to hit Northern Ireland this weekend as One Direction gig tickets go on sale.
The phenomenon of mass hysteria is only one example of the ways that human beings are emotionally connected to each other.
It was reported Saturday that the vocal of the French band Mass Hysteria has shouted the word "resignation" in Bulgarian four times at a concert during the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, on July 24.
And certainly there is far too much spectator sport, producing stress and mass hysteria.