We examined whether the number of suicides in the public in the weeks following the media coverage of celebrity suicide varied with the reason of the suicide. Using 9-year data, from 2007 to 2015, collected in South Korea, we found that when the reported reason of a celebrity's suicide was either “depression,” “financial problems,” or “life despair,” there were more suicides in the public and more individuals searched for suicide methods on the Web during the weeks following the media coverage than when other reasons were reported. Additionally, the frequency of searching for suicide methods on the Web was found to be a strong predictor of the number of suicides in the public.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science