Mass Hysteria in The Modern World Essay

Mass Hysteria Social Phenomenon Essay

The current paper aims to analyze the influence of mass hysteria on the social and political situation in the globalized society. A close look at the data indicates that the modern world is highly dependent on information. The citizens of various countries have many possibilities to interact with each other. The usage of Skype, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media or messengers helps individuals to be regularly online and monitor the latest news.

Some philosophers argue that this intention for trendsurfing makes people seriously affected by mass media and informational events. For instance, people in Europe regularly read news about war in Syria and make political conclusions on the basis of the media messages. Obviously, some irresponsible media news could lead to mass hysteria in some regions of the planet. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the if mass hysteria is a worldwide human trait.

Thesis Statement

It is possible to state that mass hysteria is a worldwide human trait because it is possible for the irresponsible politicians or corporations to use the weakness of human nature to achieve some private and probably destructive aims.

Background information

It is necessary to mention that mass hysteria is the specific definition of social science, which is used to reveal the phenomenon of collective delusion. The fact is that in some social groups the news about probably existing or absolutely imaginable trait are retranslated with the help of rumors or mass media (Chenga 83-84). The information about these traits could cause panic and irrational behavior of people. The radical cases of mass hysteria imply the presence of clinical hysterical manifestations by a group of people.

The medical studies show that the hysteria usually has pandemic character. It starts after the illness of single individual. His irrational behavior soon spreads. The consequences of mass hysteria could be both social and biological. Social outcomes could be connected with wars, revolutions, or bloody massacres, which were common for the followers of Dionysus in Ancient Greece. The health outcomes are connected with muscle weakness, headache, fits, and nausea.

Case study

The history shows that the cases of mass hysteria regularly happened in Europe and in other parts of the planet. For instance, the dancing plague of 1518 was a specific case of mania, which happened in Alsace. The people started dancing due to unknown reasons. However, some historians argued that this behavior was caused by the rumors about the further end of the world.

Obviously, there are many cases of mass hysteria in the modern world. For instance, the famous corporation Coca-Cola experienced the consequences of mass hysteria in 1999. At this year, more than one hundred students in Belgium fell ill after drinking Cola. The further investigations demonstrated that there was nothing bad in Cola, which could cause the illness. It means that this case was some type of mass hysteria connected with the fear to drink beverages with potential risk for health.


The medical studies usually have no answer regarding the mechanism of mass hysteria functioning. This situation is better described by psychologists. For instance, Sigmund Freud argued that mass hysteria is closely connected with the peculiarities of the crowd psychology. The fact is that the huge groups of people behave differently than some single person, especially in case of some external danger for the entire group (Masters 93-95). In such case, the crowd becomes very suggestible. Thus, some specific idea could be spread very fast without inner resistance towards some aspects of the idea (Friedman 55). The rational abilities to think critically do not work in conditions of the crowd psychology. Therefore, mass hysteria could be present in any type of society.

The biggest problem for doctors and psychologists is that mass hysteria is seriously dependent on subconscious mechanisms of the brain. The individual could experience panic due to some inner reasons (Macionis 172). However, this panic could become understandable for all members of society in case if they live in partly totalitarian regime based on the formation of some specific fear. The North Korean people crying after the death of their leader represent how people could be exposed to mass hysteria.

There seems to be no doubt that media could help to spread some information worldwide in few days. For example, the Zika virus panic could be caused by unserious arguments. The doctors did not make any conclusions regarding the danger of the virus. However, many people are refusing to leave their houses. The same panic could lead to nuclear war or other negative outcomes.


It is possible to conclude that mass hysteria could be very dangerous because it is a worldwide human trait. The modern society is seriously dependent on rumors and information, which could lead to the cases of mass hysteria. It is essential for people to avoid some unexplained life decisions based on emotions, especially fear because such behavior could be specially caused by some third parties to achieve their aims.

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Works Cited

Chenga, Joey T. and Tracya, Jessica L. 2009. Pride, personality, and the evolutionary foundations of human social status. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Print.

Friedman, Howard. 2010. Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research. Pearson Publishing. Print.

Macionis, John. 2012. Social Problems. 5th ed., Books a la carte, Pearson Education. Print.

Masters, Roger and McGuire, Michael. 1994. The Neurotransmitter Revolution: serotonin, social behavior, and the law. Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition. Print.