The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in a hostage, in which the hostage exhibits seeming loyalty to the hostage-taker, in spite of the danger (or at least risk) the hostage has been put in.
Origin of the name
Origin of the name
The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 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 was coined by the criminologist and psychologist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.
· Millionaire heiress Patty Hearst, after having been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in February 1974, helped rob a bank with the group two months later. She was arrested in September 1975, and her unsuccessful legal defense was that she suffered from Stockholm Syndrome and was coerced into aiding the SLA. She was convicted and imprisoned for her actions in the robbery, though her sentence was commuted in February 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, and she received a Presidential pardon from Bill Clinton in January 2001.
· Elizabeth Smart, a girl kidnapped and sexually abused by a mentally ill man who treated her as his wife in 2002-2003; Smart spent many months living on the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah with her captors, physically unrestrained.
· Japanese abducted to North Korea during the late 1970's and early 1980's. After five of them were allowed to return to Japan in October 2002, they exhibited behavior of submission to the North Korean regime and, given that the regime would not allow their North Korean-born children to join them in Japan right away, attempted to go back there to join them; however, their Japanese families, seeing this as symptoms of brainwashing, restrained them, and eventually the former abductees shed their North Korean identities symbolically by shedding the pins with pictures of previous dictator Kim Il Sung on them during a press conference and denouncing the North Korean regime as a "criminal state" in subsequent interviews, which eventually led to the release of their children in 2004.
According to the FBI, 92 percent of hostages in the FBI's database were reported to show no signs of Stockholm Syndrome (PDF).
Outside of the criminal context, a form of the syndrome may take place in military basic training, in which "training is a mildly traumatic experience intended to produce a bond", with the goal of forming military units which will remain loyal to each other even in life-threatening situations.
Similarly, the effects of the "hazing" system of induction into groups such as fraternities and sororities have been compared to the syndrome. In cultural anthropology a similar symptom is common to bride capture situations.
Loyalty to a more powerful abuser — in spite of the danger that this loyalty puts the victim in — is common among victims of domestic abuse (battered wives) and child abuse (dependent children). In many instances the victims choose to remain loyal to their abuser, and choose not to leave him or her, even when they are offered a safe placement in foster homes or safe houses. This syndrome was described by psychoanalysts of the object relations theory school (see Fairbairn) as the phenomenon of psychological identification with the more powerful abuser.
· Buffalo '66
· Matlock: The Kidnapping
· Dog Day Afternoon (based on a true story)
· The World Is Not Enough (a James Bond film)
· Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
· In Die Hard, a doctor appearing on a television show describes an identical phenomenon known as "Helsinki Syndrome". The bumbling host says this refers to "Helsinki, Sweden", and the doctor corrects him, saying "Finland".
· In Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake refers to his companions attraction to terrorist "Sniper Wolf" as Stockholm syndrome.
· CSI Miami, episode 13, season 3: Rex Linn starring as Detective Frank Tripp suggests the case at hand might be an example of the Stockholm syndrome.
· In "Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997)" a couple played by Kevin Pollak and Kim Dickens is taken hostages by Vincent Gallo and Keifer Sutherland. He begins to be friends with them, while she gets outraged by his behavior.
· Nip/Tuck, episode 3.14 (Cherry Peck). Kimber Henry shows signs of Stockholm syndrome after ostensibly sympathizing with The Carver after he kidnapped and tortured her.
· 2004 saw a tour of a new band called Stockholm Syndrome http://www.stockholmsyndromeband.com/, consisting of Jerry Joseph, Dave Schools, Eric McFadden, Wally Ingram and Danny Dziuks. They have a release on Terminous Records called Holy Happy Hour.
· There is a Canadian rock band called Stockholm Syndrome.
· Muse has a song called Stockholm Syndrome from the album Absolution.
· Yo La Tengo has a song called Stockholm Syndrome from the album I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One.
· blink-182 has a song called Stockholm Syndrome from the album blink-182.