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Psychic freezing to lethal malevolent authority

Psychic freezing to lethal malevolent authority Several historical examples are given that indicate that people taken prisoner appear to psychically freeze and/or become compliant to their captors, even when death at the captors' hands is imminent and when small numbers of captors make escape a real possibility. It is argued that: freezing is a normative response to apparently inescapable capture; ‘escapability’ of capture is underestimated as a result of freezing; and rebellion is rare. Psychological theories of this psychic freezing include: 1) social psychological explanations of learned helplessness in prisoners; 2) trauma reactions of dissociation and numbing; and 3) studies from affective neuroscience suggesting freezing is a brain response to a perceived inescapable attack and may be related to hiding. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research Pier Professional

Psychic freezing to lethal malevolent authority

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Publisher
Pier Professional
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Pier Professional Limited
ISSN
1759-6599
eISSN
2042-8715
DOI
10.5042/jacpr.2010.0332
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Several historical examples are given that indicate that people taken prisoner appear to psychically freeze and/or become compliant to their captors, even when death at the captors' hands is imminent and when small numbers of captors make escape a real possibility. It is argued that: freezing is a normative response to apparently inescapable capture; ‘escapability’ of capture is underestimated as a result of freezing; and rebellion is rare. Psychological theories of this psychic freezing include: 1) social psychological explanations of learned helplessness in prisoners; 2) trauma reactions of dissociation and numbing; and 3) studies from affective neuroscience suggesting freezing is a brain response to a perceived inescapable attack and may be related to hiding.

Journal

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace ResearchPier Professional

Published: Jul 1, 2010

Keywords: Massacres

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