Stockholm Syndrome Essay

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Stockholm syndrome is one of the most contradictory concepts in psychology. Jonathan Haidt, a professor in the psychology department at the University of Virginia, explains that attachment in adult relationships, as well as in mother and child relationships, similarly shows four features; secure base, separation distress, safe haven, and proximity maintenance. It has been found rather odd that the word hostage is being used in the same text as safe haven. A hostage is defined as a person that has been seized or held as security for the fulfillment of a condition. For example, in Walt Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast, Belle is held captive in the Beast’s castle, thus making Belle a hostage. Although, there have been many cases that prove that there is in fact an attachment build between the captor, and their hostage. A Captor is defined as a person who imprisons or confines another. Also using The Beauty and the Beast example, the Beast would be considered the captor because he is holding Belle away in his castle. A hostage situation is defined as one or more terrorists or criminals holding people against their will and trying to hold off the authorities by force, threatening to kill the hostages if provoked or attacked. Many experts have come up with multiple variations of Stockholm syndrome. However, there is a contradiction as to how real Stockholm syndrome really is. The syndrome still has not been given an MSH (Medical Subject Heading) due to the lack of academic research. A question also being pondered is why two people can be put in the exact same situation, possible even together in a hostage takeover, and only one of the subjects develops the syndrome, questioning the consistency of it. In contrast, there is most definitely a good amount of research that does prove that there is some form of attachment that blossoms between the subject being taken hostage

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