Susceptibility of people to panic Mass hysteria Crowd panic Epidemic hysteria
Panic is a term used loosely to describe a variety of such social situations in which a portion of the population responds irrationally to socio-economic, military, or other crises, whether real or anticipated or imaginary. Epidemic or mass hysteria is said to explain a variety of irrational or bizarre behaviour affecting persons in close proximity to each other. Concern on the part of authorities at the possibility of causing mass panic is frequently cited as a reason for suppressing information concerning potential hazards.
Panic may follow acute financial crises, widespread bank failures, stock market failure, or the threat of attack. In the case of chemical and biological warfare, for example, it may cause individuals to flee from the area, even when there is no longer any danger of exposure, thus making it almost impossible either to bring personnel or material into the affected area to help cope with the casualties or to evacuate those affected.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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