Posted by: Viktor Mar | 2009 April 26

Stockholm syndrome

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger or risk in which they have been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term “Stockholm Syndrome” was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.[1]

Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm

In 2007, a group of scholars studied twelve highly-publicized cases of Stockholm syndrome, publishing their results in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia. They argued that, as the media accounts lacked “access to primary sources” or an “identification of a pattern of features exhibited in Stockholm syndrome,” the characterization of any of these events as Stockholm syndrome could have been due to reporting bias.[2]

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