For years, psychologists have been wondering over the mysterious field of dreams. Dreams have always been mysterious. The content of the dreams can shift instantly, featuring unexplained events or sudden terrifying images (Whitman, Ornstein & Baldridge, 1964). The fact that the content of dreams can be enthralling is what causes many psychologists to believe that there has to be some implication to dreams (Webb & Cartwright, 1978). While many theories are formed to explain the functions and meanings of dreams, there is a lack of evidence on their purpose. In fact, recent researchers such as G. William Domhoff suggested that dreams most likely serve no real purpose (Domhoff, 2001). This research essay considers the whether there are a significant functions and meanings of dreams by responding to the following questions.
1. What are the theories explaining dreams?
2. What are the limitations behind those theories?
3. Is there any contrast between those theories?
4. Do dreams serve any purpose in psychology?
Understanding the differences between theories would help to understand more about the anonymity called dreams.
What are the theories explaining dreams?
In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud proposed that dreams serve as a gateway between a dreamers’ conscious and his subconscious thoughts (Mccurdy, 1946). Many ideas and information were condensed into a single dream. The dream displaced important parts and insignificant parts of the dream to confuse the dreamer. Certain objects would be introduced into the dream to symbolize the embryonic substance of the dream (Sprengnether, 2003). The dreamer would then comprehend the dream, thus generating the content of th...
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...nce of sleep: neuronal systems, consciousness and learning. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(9), 679-693. doi:10.1038/nrn915
Mccurdy, H. G. (1946). The history of dream theory. Psychological Review, 53(4), 225-233. doi:10.1037/h0062107
Neher, A. (1996). Jung'S Theory of Archetypes: A Critique. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 36(2), 61-91. doi:10.1177/00221678960362008
Sprengnether, M. (2003). Mouth To Mouth: Freud, Irma, And The Dream Of Psychoanalysis. American Imago, 60(3), 259-284. doi:10.1353/aim.2003.0020
Webb, W. B., & Cartwright, R. D. (1978). Sleep and Dreams. Annual Review of Psychology, 29(1), 223-252. doi:10.1146/annurev.ps.29.020178.001255
Whitman, R. M., Ornstein, P. H., & Baldridge, B. J. (1964). An experimental approach to the psychoanalytic theory of dreams and conflicts. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 5(6), 349-363. doi:10.1016/S0010-440X(64)80045-6
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