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Panic is a sudden terror which dominates thinking and often affects groups of people. Panics typically occur in disaster situations, for example, during a fire, and may endanger the overall health of the affected group. Architects and city planners increasingly try to accommodate the symptoms of panic, such as herd behavior, during design and planning, often using simulations to determine the best way to lead people to a safe exit.

In sociology, precipitate and irrational actions of a group are often refererd to as panics (e.g. "sex panic", "stock market panic"), see also hysteria.

The word panic apparently derives from the Greek God Pan, who supposedly struck fear into the enemies of his subjects.

See also: