Re: Looking for a name.

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Sun 21 Mar 2004 - 03:07:13 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Looking for a name."

    Keith wrote:

    >Indeed. You would have an interesting time getting a research
    >proposal through an ethics committee. On the other hand, you
    >probably *could* analyze saliva samples of Marines going though
    >basic training to get a feel for just what brew of chemicals was
    >soaking their brains. You could compare their brain hormone profile
    >against that of battered women and controls.

    The problem with using battered women is that many of them formed the bond with their husbands *first* and then endured the abuse. The naturally-formed pair bond might confound your capture-bond. Also women still have their friends/family although they are just as likely to *increase* the chances of staying either directly (if they know and encourage the woman to stay) or indirectly (if she is ashamed/embarrassed to let on what is happening). It seems to me that when interpersonal violence takes place in the context of an established trust-bond relationship, the victim often blames him/herself (abused children etc) while in instances of kidnapping it is very easy for the person to say that what happened to them is *not their fault*.

    What about some of the primate models? Mutual reciprocity which seems to be pretty hard-wired in us might play a role here: gratitude for saving his/her life plus any small kindness shown in a situation where small kindnesses are huge. Especially if that person performs those acts in view of other group members - suggesting a possible protective alliance. I've read lots of instances in primate research about the behavior of an animal trying to join a new troop.

    Another group of people who might be worth looking at are Peace Corps volunteers. They are not captured but, they are placed in remote areas, far removed from their known culture/social context and have to learn new group norms with complete strangers. The social disorientation is very similar to what you describe and is often quite traumatic itself. They "go native" all the time. Maybe their saliva would test differently than others who don't go native.

    Maybe your capture bond is the combination of a "trying to survive joining a new group" thing combined with some trauma stuff and learned helplessness. One of the most interesting definitions I read of trauma was that it was an experience which required a major overhaul (accommodation) of your operational schemata (as in Piaget)- and that what was most disorienting was that none of your rules for
    "how the world operates" were guaranteed to work anymore - you were
    "flying blind" in a life or death situation. Successfully integrating the new experience and modifying your schema was the working model for trauma resolution. But people are most vulnerable at that time of re-integration, and can incorporate some really strange stuff in the process. Everything is up for grabs.


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