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 ?
And Ong reads cases of mass hysteria in factory workers as examples of class resistance against undesirable actions or rules from managers.
The worldwide mass hysteria of competitive utilitarianism leads to uniformity in any area that has been contaminated.
Der Versucher (1953; Spell, The) exemplifies Broch's theory of mass hysteria in the portrayal of a Hitlerian stranger's domination of a mountain village.
Researchers have previously noted several other outbreaks of mass hysteria among schoolchildren and adults.
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.
This was not Diana-type mass hysteria, as Tyndale seemed to imply.
They will never stop grieving for their mother, but will be content that the mass hysteria at her passing is no longer revived every year.
Mr Mladenov, who is now the United Nations Special Representative to Iraq, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the media had done well to try to set right such suggestions, saying they "show that this whole mass hysteria, which has been fanned out by some media outlets in the UK, has been purely politically-motivated and that there is no reason to believe that the UK will be swarmed by waves of immigrants from Bulgaria".
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.