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In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of victims show evidence of Stockholm Syndrome.
The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden in which bank employees were held hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them 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. It was originally defined by psychiatrist Frank Ochberg to aid the management of hostage situations.
Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other."
The syndrome has also been explained in evolutionary terms by a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "Capture-bonding".
In the view of evolutionary psychology "the mind is a set of information-processing machines that were designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors." 
One of the "adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors," particularly our female ancestors, was being abducted by another band. Life in the human "environment of evolutionary adaptiveness" (EEA) is thought by researchers such as Azar Gat to be similar to that of the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies. "Deadly violence is also regularly activated in competition over women. . . . Abduction of women, rape, . . . are widespread direct causes of reproductive conflict . . ." I.e., being captured and having their dependent children killed might have been fairly common. Women who resisted capture in such situations risked being killed.
Azar Gat argues that war and abductions (capture) were typical of human pre-history. When selection is intense and persistent, adaptive traits (such as capture-bonding) become universal to the population or species. (See Selection.)
Partial activation of the capture-bonding psychological trait may lie behind battered-wife syndrome, military basic training, fraternity hazing, and sex practices such as sadism/masochism or bondage/discipline.
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An inverse of Stockholm syndrome called "Lima syndrome" has been proposed, in which abductors develop sympathy for their hostages. It was named after an abduction at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru in 1996, when members of a militant movement took hostage hundreds of people attending a party in the official residence of Japan's ambassador. Within a few hours, the abductors had set free most of the hostages, including the most valuable ones, due to sympathy.
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