Accession Number:

ADA022136

Title:

Hostages and Their Captors -- Friends and Lovers,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1975-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

5.0

Abstract:

Surprisingly few hostages bear any grudge against their captors for turning them into human pawns indeed, they frequently develop positive relationships with them. Some of the reasons are simple and obvious. Others reveal how the human mind deals with the maximum threat. The hostage instantly tries to establish his own identity, some human bond with his captors. The hostage also quickly recognizes that his interests and those of his captors coincide. Both would like to see the demands met. The hostages life depends on it. Another process is also taking place that the hostage may not be aware of. Its essential ingredient is the inescapable threat of death. It is entirely up to the captor, omnipotent, a virtual god, with absolute power over life and death before whom the hostage is helpless, frightened, and humiliated. Under these circumstances, the hostage unconsciously begins to assimilate -- and even imitate -- the attitudes of his captors.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE