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Sai Sanjana Vietla

on 15 September 2014

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What is Stockholm Syndrome?
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors , sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them. (Wikipedia)

Common symptoms include:
Victim having positive feelings toward the abuser
Victim having negative feelings toward family, friends, or authorities
Abuser having positive feelings toward the victim (Lima Syndrome)
Victim supporting or helping the abuser

Patty Hearst Interview with Larry King
Counterclaim example #1
Wife turns in husband for child pornography
Contemporary Issue:
Patty Hearst
Wealthy American heiress
Kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) in 1974
The SLA is a terrorist group
Announced by videotape that she denounces her parents and has joined the SLA
Participated in illegal activities such as the robbing of a bank
Patty Hearst SLA
Scientific Perspective:
Dr. Joseph Carver, a clinical psychologist, describes Stockholm syndrome as a survival strategy for victims of abuse and intimidation.
It develops subconsciously and involuntarily
Develops as a defense mechanism to survive
it is a rare occurrence

The amygdala is the gatekeeper of emotions.
The first response is always emotional.
When communication between the amygdala and the thinking brain is damaged, these people are called serial killers.
Social Perspective
Ethically speaking it would be wrong for the victim to side with her/his captor.
The victim forming a bond with the captor means that she/he is going against the views of the society

Human Sciences (Psychology)

Knowledge Issue
How and to what extent does emotion and reason play a role in our rational thinking?
Problems with using emotion over reason:
Victims escaped later than they could have, less effort from victim to escape
Negative legal, and social consequences such as their continued attachment to the captor
Continues to affect family and friends

Benefits of using emotion to guide reason:
Victims survived their captivity
Permitted privileges by captors for their good behavior
Allowed to 'cope' with incidents afterwards
However, reason can play a great role in our rational thinking because we have the ability to reason logically.


"Stockholm Syndrome." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 June
2014. Web. 1 Sept. 2014.
"Rihanna and Chris Brown." Mirror. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2014.
"The Birth of “Stockholm Syndrome,” 40 Years Ago." History.com.
A&E Television Networks, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Sept. 2014.
"Stockholm Syndrome - Brainwashing the Victim." Out of the FOG -
Stockholm Syndrome - Brainwashing the Victim. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2014.
"The Symbionese Liberation Army Abducts Patty Hearst."
History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2014.
"Patty Hearst and the SLA." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2014.
"Moors Murders." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Sept. 2014.
Web. 1 Sept. 2014.
"Stockholm Syndrome." Princeton University. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Sept.
"Stockholm Syndrome | RAINN." Stockholm Syndrome | RAINN |
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2014.
"The Symbionese Liberation Army Abducts Patty Hearst."
History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 3 Sept. 2014.
"Societal Stockholm Syndrome." Societal Stockholm Syndrome. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014.
Farberov, Snejana. "Son Turns in His Ex-convict Father after Learning the Man
'got His 14-year-old Friend Drunk and Raped Her at a Sleepover'" Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 Aug. 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2014.
"The First Response Is Always Emotional." Manny Roman I Am TechNation. N.p., n.d. Web. 3
Sept. 2014.
Knower's Perspective
Where did it come from?
Originated in 1973 from the Norrmalmstorg robbery in Sweden
Two criminals (Jan-Erik Olsson and Clark Olofsson) attempted to rob a bank (Kreditbanken) in Stockholm, Sweden
4 bank employees were taken hostage for 6 days
Hostages developed more trust in their captors than in the police who were trying to rescue them
"Stockholm Syndrome" was coined by Swedish psychiatrist & criminologist Nils Bejerot who was involved in the case
Rihanna and Chris Brown
Celebrity couple
Chris Brown assaulted his girlfriend Rihanna in 2009
In 2013 it was confirmed that they had rekindled their romance
Is this irrational under the strong influence of emotion?

Hostages view the perpetrator as giving life, therefore, the captor gains control of the victim’s life itself.
The perpetrator threatens to kill the victim, this makes the victim think that the perpetrator has the ability to do so.
The captive judges it safer to align with the perpetrator
If the perpetrator shows some kindness, victims will submerge the anger and concentrate on the captors’ “good side”
Victims are isolated from other perspectives
Employees taken hostage in the bank’s vault by Jan-Erik Olsson
Emotion plays a great role in our rational thinking because many times our emotions overtake our ability to think rationally and can lead to such things like domestic violence.

However, emotion can be overpowered by logical reasoning and may not influence our decisions to a great extent. This is depicted in the way many people make tough decisions involving their loved ones.

Moors Murders
Series of murders conducted by couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between 1963 to 1965
Hindley was so attached to Brady that she agreed to participate in the murders
Acted out of emotion rather than reason
Kidnapped and killed 5 children
Through our real life example of Patty Hearst, we can conclude that emotions do cloud our judgment at times like when Hearst denounced her former life and joined the SLA in their illegal activities.
Sometimes, a person's ability to think objectively, rationally or logically becomes impaired when they are in survival mode.
Through the Deglau's pornography example, we conclude that the wife made a rational decision in turning over her husband because she didn’t allow her emotions to overtake her ability to reason logically.
Relevance to the Situation:
Patty Hearst was caught on security camera at an SLA bank robbery two months after her abduction.
A taped message followed from the SLA in which Hearst claimed that she had voluntarily joined the SLA and was now to be known as "Tania."
Patty Hearst was convicted, despite her claims that she had been coerced
through repeated rape
brainwashed into joining the SLA
Prosecutors believed that she actually orchestrated her own kidnapping because of her prior involvement with one of the SLA members. Despite any real proof of this theory, she was convicted and sent to prison.
Hearst is the textbook example of Stockholm syndrome
Robbing a bank
Reason does not play a great role in our ability to think rationally because most of the time it is overpowered by stronger reactionary feelings such as emotion.
Ryan Stout
Ryan Stout, 38 from Deltona, Florida was arrested because he raped his son's 14-year-old friend during a sleepover at his house.
According to reports, it was Stout's own son who turned the man in to police after learning of the alleged rape.
Is this rational under the strong influence of reason?
Even though it is rare, it has affected and still continues to affect the victims who have gone through it first-hand.
Stockholm Syndrome is a survival mechanism.
Even though not many are associated with this syndrome, a lot of people don’t understand the severity of this situation because they don’t look at it from the victim’s perspective and they don’t understand the victim’s positive feelings towards their tormentor.

For something to be ethically correct, the people's judgement towards it must be consistent and the facts on which it is based must be true.
Our moral values are determined by society.
Ethically speaking it would be wrong for the victim to side with her/his captor.
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