mass hysteria

mass hysteria

noun Psychology.
a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness.
Also called epidemic hysteria.


Origin:
1930–35

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mass hysteria n.

  1. Spontaneous, en masse development of identical physical or emotional symptoms among a group of individuals, as in a classroom of schoolchildren.

  2. A socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.

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