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A security camera photo released by the FBI  that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
A security camera photo released by the FBI that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Experts Still Don't Understand Stockholm Syndrome

A security camera photo released by the FBI  that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
A security camera photo released by the FBI that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Stockholm Syndrome is a common plot device in movies and books. But the psychological phenomenon—which was made famous in 1974 by Patty Hearst (above), the heiress who was kidnapped but later participated in a bank robbery with her captors, the Symbionese Liberation Army—is much more rare in real life. This makes it hard for experts to study, and even prompts them to question whether Stockholm Syndrome is actually a syndrome.

Nils Bejerot, a Swedish criminologist and psychiatrist, reportedly coined the term Stockholm Syndrome in 1973, following a bank robbery in Sweden in which four people were held for six days by their captors. Once they were rescued, the victims all defended the robbers and refused to testify against them. Since then, other similar instances have occurred, but not nearly enough for clinicians to create a list of criteria and treatment strategies for its inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM handbook.

That said, psychologists do know some things about Stockholm Syndrome, gleaned from interviews with people who have been held in a hostage situation. By watching the video below, you can learn what we do know about the rare condition, and why individuals might develop it, according to SciShow Psych.

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A security camera photo released by the FBI that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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A security camera photo released by the FBI that shows Patricia Hearst during a bank robbery in San Francisco in April 1974.
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science
Why Are Glaciers Blue?
iStock
iStock

The bright azure blue sported by many glaciers is one of nature's most stunning hues. But how does it happen, when the snow we see is usually white? As Joe Hanson of It's Okay to Be Smart explains in the video below, the snow and ice we see mostly looks white, cloudy, or clear because all of the visible light striking its surface is reflected back to us. But glaciers have a totally different structure—their many layers of tightly compressed snow means light has to travel much further, and is scattered many times throughout the depths. As the light bounces around, the light at the red and yellow end of the spectrum gets absorbed thanks to the vibrations of the water molecules inside the ice, leaving only blue and green light behind. For the details of exactly why that happens, check out Hanson's trip to Alaska's beautiful (and endangered) Mendenhall Glacier below.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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