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Exploring the Dream World. Dreams as unconscious wishes. Dreams as reflections of current concerns. Dreams as a by-product of mental housekeeping. Dreams as interpreted brain activity. Dreams as Unconscious Wishes.

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exploring the dream world
Exploring the Dream World
  • Dreams as unconscious wishes.
  • Dreams as reflections of current concerns.
  • Dreams as a by-product of mental housekeeping.
  • Dreams as interpreted brain activity.
dreams as unconscious wishes
Dreams as Unconscious Wishes
  • Freud concluded that dreams provide insight into our unconscious desires (wish fullfillment). (Psychodynamic Theory)
  • Manifest content includes aspects of the dream we consciously experience and latent content includes unconscious wishes and thoughts symbolized in the dream.
  • To understand a dream we must distinguish manifest content from latent content.
  • Not everything in a dream is symbolic
    • “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”
dreams as reflections of current concerns problem focused
Dreams as Reflections of Current Concerns (Problem-Focused)
  • Dreams may reflect ongoing conscious issues such as concerns over relationships, work, sex or health.
  • Dreams are more likely to contain material related to a person’s current concerns than chance would predict.
    • Example: college students and testing
  • Males and females appear to dream about similar issues now that lives and concerns of two sexes have become more similar.
dreams as by product of mental housekeeping
Dreams as By-product of Mental Housekeeping
  • Unnecessary neural connections in the brain are eliminated and important ones are strengthened.
  • The brain divides new information into “wanted” and “unwanted.”
  • What we recall as dreams are only brief snippets from scanning and sorting that occurs during REM sleep.
dreams as interpreted brain activity
Dreams as Interpreted Brain Activity
  • Activation-synthesis theory.
    • Dreaming results from the cortical synthesis and interpretation of neural signals triggered by activity in the lower part of the brain.
    • At same time, brain regions that handle logical thought and sensation from the external world shut down.