A cross-cultural review of sudden mass assault by a single individual in the oriental and occidental cultures

Anthony G. Hempel, Ruth E. Levine, J. Reid Meloy, Joseph Westermeyer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    A nonrandom sample of North American cases of sudden mass assault by a single individual (SMASI, n = 30) is compared with a nonrandom sample of Laotian amok cases (n = 18) and other amok studies. Perpetrators in both studies show evidence of social isolation, loss, depression, anger, pathological narcissism, and paranoia, often to a psychotic degree. The term 'innovative perpetrator' is reintroduced and expanded upon. Similarities among samples far outweigh differences, leading the authors to conclude that SMASI and its appearance in different cultures is not a culture-bound syndrome.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)582-588
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
    Volume45
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 2000

    Keywords

    • Amok
    • Forensic psychiatry
    • Forensic science
    • Homicide
    • Mass murder
    • Predatory violence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Genetics

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