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The Resolution of the Latah Paradox

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Part of the Culture, Illness, and Healing book series (CIHE,volume 7)

Abstract

Culture-bound syndromes are forms of unusual individual behavior restricted in distribution to discrete areas of the globe. They are considered eccentricities in distribution to discete areas of the globe. They are considered eccentricities in the cultural systems of societies in which they are endemic, and psychopathologies in the reference system of Western psychological medicine. Most are episodic and highly dramatic. Because of their intrinsic interest as dramatic exotica and their implications for theories of deviance, several have been the subjects of much previous work.

Keywords

  • Startle Response
  • Attention Capture
  • Startling Stimulus
  • Hold Object
  • Defensive Posture

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

latah is remarkably congruent with themes which are both unique to and central to [Javanese culture]. If it were not for the presence of latah elsewhere in the world, one would be tempted to conclude that the reason for its occurrence in Java is self-evident, that its congruence with Javanese culture sufficiently accounts for its appearance there — Hildred Geertz (1968: 104).

… any one who desires to really account for this affliction must, I am convinced, begin by analysing and examining and explaining the pathology of the common start or ‘jump’ to which we are all in a lesser or a greater degree subject — Sir Hugh Clifford (1898: 197).

… it may be surprising to hear that the startle reflex of human subjects can be facilitated or inhibited, more or less at will, by applying a very simple paradigm which has been used with rats and rabbits — Frances K. Graham (1975: 238).

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© 1983 D. Reidel Publishing Company

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Simons, R.C. (1983). The Resolution of the Latah Paradox. In: Simons, R.C., Hughes, C.C. (eds) The Culture-Bound Syndromes. Culture, Illness, and Healing, vol 7. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_4

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-277-1859-4

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