Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological and emotional reaction that captives experience when subjected to life-threatening situations over an extended period of time. Individuals activate this survival mechanism when exposed to traumatic situations that involve a direct threat on their lives while being held against their will. The term originated following an attempted bank robbery and subsequent hostage situation in Sweden, in 1973, in which the hostages began to sympathize with their captors and resisted rescue attempts by law enforcement agencies. As a result of the media sensationalism surrounding the Swedish hostages' unusual behavior and the well-publicized kidnapping and trial of Patricia Campbell Hearst, in 1974, many social scientists and psychologists began studying the phenomenon of emotional bonding between hostages and their captors to determine ...

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