Theories About Dreams

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In this paper I hope to open a window to the vast and mysterious world of dreaming. To most people, information about dreams isn’t common knowledge. In researching this subject though, I found that everybody has and reacts to dreams, which are vital to your mental health. You will also find how you can affect your dreams and how they affect you.

All over the world different people, scientists, and civilizations have different dream theories. For instance, the Senoi tribe in Malaysia has a fascinating tradition of dream telling. Every morning the people of the tribe begin their day by discussing and interpreting their dreams with each other. The children, as they grow older, actually learn to control their dreams by simply wishing bad dreams into positive ones. It is observed that, by paying tribute their dreams, the people of the Senoi tribe learn to have faith in themselves. Also, they have very few, if any, mental problems “could working constructively with dreams be part of the answer” to mental issues? (Peirce)

Along with tradition, there are also many theories about dreams. Sigmund Freud, the first psychologist to study dreams in-depth, hypothesized that dreams were just subconscious thoughts. He believed that dreams show wants and thoughts in symbolic form that aren’t acceptable on a conscious level. He used the term manifest content to describe the contents of dreams, and the term latent content as the concealed meanings behind symbolic dreams.

Freud’s theory however, is only one of many such as Francis Crick’s. He believed that dreams were a way of mental “house cleaning” or getting rid of unneeded memories. He thought them useful because you don’t have to remember every small minute detail of your life.

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...esults. One interesting thing found, is that although it is though that dreams happen in a blink of an eye that they actually happen in a realistic time span (General Information). Another is that dreams generally take place in familiar settings and are random leftover thoughts from the previous day. What’s interesting though, is that during studies in which participants were woken on a regular basis, scientists found that the dreams remembered the following morning were “more coherent, sexier, and generally more interesting” than the dream descriptions that were collected in data for research. Most participants remembered very little of their dreams and only about the last fifteen minutes of dreaming before awoken.

In conclusion, I hope you learned something about dreams that you didn’t previously and that you now realize that it’s not “just a dream.”

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