Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Is Stockholm Syndrome?


BBC.com- Forty years ago, the term Stockholm Syndrome was coined at the end of a six-day bank siege. What is it and why is it cited time and again in hostage situations?

Most people know the phrase Stockholm Syndrome from the numerous high-profile kidnapping and hostage cases - usually involving women - in which it has been cited.


The term is most associated with Patty Hearst, the Californian newspaper heiress who was kidnapped by revolutionary militants in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors and joined them in a robbery. She was eventually caught and received a prison sentence.
But Hearst's defence lawyer Bailey claimed that the 19-year-old had been brainwashed and was suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" - a term that had been recently coined to explain the apparently irrational feelings of some captives for their captors.
More recently the term was applied in media reports about the Natascha Kampusch case. Kampusch - kidnapped as a 10-year-old by Wolfgang Priklopil and held in a basement for eight years - was reported to have cried when she heard her captor had died and subsequently lit a candle for him as he lay in the mortuary.
Police snipers opposite Kreditbanken where Jan-Erik Olsson
held workers hostage for six days

...The phrase was reported to have been coined by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot. Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg was intrigued by the phenomenon and went on to define the syndrome for the FBI and Scotland Yard in the 1970s.

Read the full article at BBC.com [here]. 

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