Werther syndrome

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A pattern of imitative cluster suicides following the well-publicized suicide of a famous person. The phenomenon was first demonstrated statistically by the South African-born US sociologist David P. Phillips (born 1943) in an article in American Sociological Review in 1974, and elaborated in articles in Science in 1977 and 1978 and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1986 and 1987. For etymology, see Wertherism.

Subjects: Psychology.

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