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Collective hysteria, or mass hysteria, is the sociopsychological phenomenon of the manifestation of the same hysterical symptoms by more than one person. It may begin when a group witness an individual becoming hysterical during a traumatic or extremely stressful event. A potential symptom is group nausea, in which a person becoming violently ill triggers a similar reaction in other group members.

Examples include certain cases of rioting and frenzy, and accidents in which people act "irrationally" (screaming, running in the wrong direction, hunting down and brutally murdering scapegoats, etc.).


See also

References

Books

  • Bartholomew, R. E. (2001). Little green men, meowing nuns and head-hunting panics: A study of mass psychogenic illness and social delusion. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Papers

  • Ali-Gombe, A., Guthrie, E., & McDermott, N. (1996). Mass hysteria: One syndrome or two? : British Journal of Psychiatry Vol 168(5) May 1996, 633-635.
  • Amin, Y., Hamdi, E., & Eapen, V. (1997). Mass hysteria in an Arab culture: International Journal of Social Psychiatry Vol 43(4) Win 1997, 303-306.
  • Balaratnasingam, S., & Janca, A. (2006). Mass hysteria revisited: Current Opinion in Psychiatry Vol 19(2) Mar 2006, 171-174.
  • Bartholomew, R. (1997). Mass hysteria: British Journal of Psychiatry Vol 170(4) Apr 1997, 387-388.
  • Bartholomew, R. E. (1990). Ethnocentricity and the social construction of "mass hysteria." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry Vol 14(4) Dec 1990, 455-494.
  • Bartholomew, R. E. (1993). Redefining epidemic hysteria: An example from Sweden: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Vol 88(3) Sep 1993, 178-182.
  • Bartholomew, R. E. (1994). Tarantism, dancing mania and demonopathy: The anthro-political aspects of "mass psychogenic illness." Psychological Medicine Vol 24(2) May 1994, 281-306.
  • Bartholomew, R. E. (1994). When the consequences of beliefs are defined as psychiatric entities: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Vol 15(1) Feb 1994, 62-64.
  • Bartholomew, R. E., & Sirois, F. (1996). Epidemic hysteria in schools: An international and historical overview: Educational Studies Vol 22(3) Oct 1996, 285-311.
  • Bartholomew, R. E., & Sirois, F. (2000). Occupational mass psychogenic illness: A transcultural perspective: Transcultural Psychiatry Vol 37(4) Dec 2000, 495-524.
  • Bartholomew, R. E., & Wessely, S. (2002). Protean nature of mass sociogenic illness: From possessed nuns to chemical and biological terrorism fears: British Journal of Psychiatry Vol 180(4) Apr 2002, 300-306.
  • Benaim, S., Horder, J., & Anderson, J. (1973). Hysterical epidemic in a classroom: Psychological Medicine Vol 3(3) Aug 1973, 366-373.
  • Black, D., Welch, F., & Murray, V. (2000). "Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school": Comment: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1674.
  • Campbell, N. D. (2007). Review of Panic diaries: A genealogy of panic disorder: Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences Vol 43(3) Sum 2007, 316-318.
  • Ceschia, C., & Cozzi, D. (1989). The "hysterodemonopathy" epidemic of Verzegnis (1879): Archivio di Psicologia, Neurologia e Psichiatria Vol 50(2) Apr-Jun 1989, 214-217.
  • Chakraborty, A. (1993). Possessions and hysterias: What do they signify? : Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review Vol 30(4) 1993, 393-399.
  • Champion, F. P., & Taylor, R. (1963). Mass hysteria associated with insect bites: Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association 59 1963, 351-353.
  • Chen, C.-S., Yen, C.-F., Lin, H.-F., & Yang, P. (2003). Mass hysteria and perceptions of the supernatural among adolescents girl students in Taiwan: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Vol 191(2) Feb 2003, 122-123.
  • Cohen, P., Kasen, S., Chen, H., Gordon, K., Berenson, K., Brook, J., et al. (2006). Current affairs and the public psyche: American anxiety in the post 9/11 world: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology Vol 41(4) Apr 2006, 251-260.
  • Crocq, L. (1992). Collective panics and age-old fears: Psychologie Medicale Vol 24(Spec Issue 4) 1992, 395-401.
  • Dhadphale, M., & Shaikh, S. P. (1983). Epidemic hysteria in a Zambian school: "The mysterious madness of Mwinilunga." British Journal of Psychiatry Vol 142 Jan 1983, 85-88.
  • Gehlen, F. L. (1977). Toward a revised theory of hysterical contagion: Journal of Health and Social Behavior Vol 18(1) Mar 1977, 27-35.
  • Gilbert, A. N. (1975). Doctor, patient, and onanist diseases in the nineteenth century: Journal of the History of Medicine & Allied Sciences Vol 30(3) Jul 1975, 217-234.
  • Glatt, M. J. (1980). A study of midrashic responses to group trauma: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Goode, M. D. (2000). "Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school": Comment: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1673-1674.
  • Guaraldi, G. P., Antonica, M. R., Ruggerini, C., & Chiossi, C. (1995). Epidemic (mass) hysteria: description of an episode and review of literature: Psichiatria dell'infanzia e dell'adolescenza Vol 62(3) May-Jun 1995, 231-247.
  • Gupta, R., Vohra, A. K., Madaan, V., & Gaur, D. R. (2001). Mass hysteria among high school girls following tetanus toxoid immunisation: Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine Vol 18(3) Sep 2001, 90-92.
  • Halpern, D. F. (2003). The tabloids and "B" movies finally got it right: Alien abductions and man-eating tomatoes are old news: PsycCRITIQUES Vol 48 (5), Oct, 2003.
  • Hempelmann, C. F. (2007). The laughter of the 1962 Tanganyika 'laughter epidemic.' Humor: International Journal of Humor Research Vol 20(1) 2007, 49-71.
  • Heuser, G. (2000). "Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school": Comment: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1674.
  • Jacobs, N. (1965). The phantom slasher of Taipei: Mass hysteria in a non-Western society: Social Problems 12(3) 1965, 318-328.
  • Jilek, W., & Jilek-Aall, L. (1977). Mass hysteria with koro symptoms in Thailand: Schweizer Archiv fur Neurologie, Neurochirurgie und Psychiatrie Vol 120(2) 1977, 257-259.
  • Johnson, D. M. (1945). The "phantom anesthetist" of Mattoon: a field study of mass hysteria: The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology Vol 40(2) Apr 1945, 175-186.
  • Jones, T., Craig, A., & Schaffner, W. (2000). "Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school": Reply: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1675.
  • Jones, T. F., Craig, A. S., Hoy, D., Gunter, E. W., Ashley, D. L., Barr, D. B., et al. (2000). Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(2) Jan 2000, 96-100.
  • Lee, P. W. H., Leung, P. W. L., Fung, A. S. M., & Low, L. C. K. (1996). An episode of syncope attacks in adolescent schoolgirls: Investigations, intervention and outcome: British Journal of Medical Psychology Vol 69(3) Sep 1996, 247-257.
  • Lee, R. L., & Ackerman, S. E. (1980). The sociocultural dynamics of mass hysteria: A case study of social conflict in West Malaysia: Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes Vol 43(1) Fal 1980, 78-88.
  • Lemkau, P. V. (1973). On the epidemiology of hysteria: Psychiatric Forum Vol 3(2) Sum 1973, 1-14.
  • Levine, S. B., & Risen, C. B. (2004). The Crisis in the Church: Dealing with the Many Faces of Cultural Hysteria: International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies Vol 1(4) 2004, 364-370.
  • Lienard, P., & Boyer, P. (2006). Whence Collective Rituals? A Cultural Selection Model of Ritualized Behavior: American Anthropologist Vol 108(4) Dec 2006, 814-827.
  • Luaute, J. P., & Saladini, O. (2007). Epidemic Hysteria: A politically incorrect diagnosis? : Annales Medico-Psychologiques Vol 165(4) May 2007, 263-268.
  • MacLachlan, M., Banda, D. M., & McAuliffe, E. (1995). Epidemic psychological disturbance in a Malawian secondary school: A case study in social change: Psychology and Developing Societies Vol 7(1) Jan-Jun 1995, 79-90.
  • Mattoo, S. K., Gupta, N., Lobana, A., & Bedi, B. (2002). Mass family hysteria: A report from India: Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Vol 56(6) Dec 2002, 643-646.
  • McCunney, R. J. (1987). The role of building construction and ventilation in indoor air pollution: Review of a recurring problem: New York State Journal of Medicine Vol 87(4) Apr 1987, 203-209.
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  • McLeod, W. R. (1975). Merphos poisoning or mass panic? : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Vol 9(4) Dec 1975, 225-229.
  • Miller, C. S., & Ashford, N. A. (2000). "Mass psychogenic illness attributed to toxic exposure at a high school": Comment: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1673.
  • Miller, D. L., Mietus, K. J., & Mathers, R. A. (1978). A critical examination of the social contagion image of collective behavior: The case of the Enfield Monster: Sociological Quarterly Vol 19(1) Win 1978, 129-140.
  • Nandi, D. N., & et al. (1985). Contagious hysteria in a West Bengal village: American Journal of Psychotherapy Vol 39(2) Apr 1985, 247-252.
  • Narayanan, H. S., & Mahal, A. S. (1980). A clinical report of epidemic hysteria in six members of a family: Advances in Family Psychiatry Vol 2 1980, 289-293.
  • Neubaur, C., & Wilkens, L. (1997). Propaganda as religion in National Socialism: Psyche: Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse und ihre Anwendungen Vol 51(3) Mar 1997, 253-277.
  • Olkinuora, M. (1984). Psychogenic epidemics and work: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health Vol 10(6) Dec 1984, 501-504.
  • Orr, J. T. (1999). Panic diaries: Cybernetics, psychiatry, and the technoscientific control of social disease. (hysteria, Cold War). Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Pastel, R. H. (2001). Collective behaviors: Mass panic and outbreaks of multiple unexplained symptoms: Military Medicine Vol 166(12,Suppl 2) Dec 2001, 44-46.
  • Pullela, S. (1986). An outbreak of epidemic hysteria: An illustrative case study: Irish Journal of Psychiatry Vol 7(1) Spr 1986, 9-11.
  • Ramalingaswami, V. (2001). Psychosocial effects of the 1994 plague outbreak in Surat, India: Military Medicine Vol 166(12,Suppl 2) Dec 2001, 29-30.
  • Rankin, A. M., & Philip, P. J. (1963). An epidemic of laughing in the Bukoba district of Tanganyika: Central African Journal of Medicine 9(5) 1963, 167-170.
  • Raschka, L. B. (1976). Lynching: A psychiatrist's view: The Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal / La Revue de l'Association des psychiatres du Canada Vol 21(8) Dec 1976, 577-580.
  • Rifkin, A. (2000). "Responding to mass psychogenic illness": Comment: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 342(22) Jun 2000, 1674-1675.
  • Roach, E. S., & Langley, R. L. (2004). Episodic Neurological Dysfunction Due to Mass Hysteria: Archives of Neurology Vol 61(8) Aug 2004, 1269-1272.
  • Roback, H. B., Roback, E., & LaBarbera, J. D. (1984). Epidemic grieving at a birthday party: A case of mass hysteria: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Vol 5(2) Apr 1984, 86-89.
  • Rockney, R. M., & Lemke, T. (1992). Casualties from a junior-senior high school during the Persian Gulf War: Toxic poisoning or mass hysteria? : Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Vol 13(5) Oct 1992, 339-342.
  • Rockney, R. M., & Lemke, T. (1994). "When the consequences of beliefs are defined as psychiatric entities": Response: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Vol 15(1) Feb 1994, 64-65.
  • Rothman, A. L., & Weintraub, M. I. (1995). The sick building syndrome and mass hysteria: Neurologic Clinics Vol 13(2) May 1995, 405-412.
  • Sirois, F. (1974). Epidemic hysteria: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Suppl 252 1974, 44.
  • Sjoberg, R. L. (1995). Child testimonies during an outbreak of witch hysteria: Sweden 1670-1671: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Vol 36(6) Sep 1995, 1039-1051.
  • Sjoberg, R. L. (2002). False claims of victimization: A historical illustration of a contemporary problem: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry Vol 56(2) 2002, 132-136.
  • Sjoberg, R. L. (2003). Understanding mass allegations of satanist child abuse in early modern Sweden: Demographic data relevant to the Rattvik outbreak of 1670-1671: History of Psychology Vol 6(1) Feb 2003, 3-13.
  • Small, G. W., & Borus, J. F. (1983). Outbreak of illness in a school chorus: Toxic poisoning or mass hysteria? : New England Journal of Medicine Vol 308(11) Mar 1983, 632-635.
  • Small, G. W., & Borus, J. F. (1987). The influence of newspaper reports on outbreaks of mass hysteria: Psychiatric Quarterly Vol 58(4) Win 1987, 269-278.
  • Small, G. W., & Nicholi, A. M. (1982). Mass hysteria among schoolchildren: Early loss as a predisposing factor: Archives of General Psychiatry Vol 39(6) Jun 1982, 721-724.
  • Small, G. W., Propper, M. W., Randolph, E. T., & Eth, S. (1991). Mass hysteria among student performers: Social relationship as a symptom predictor: American Journal of Psychiatry Vol 148(9) Sep 1991, 1200-1205.
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