What do dreams tell us - Research Paper Example

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The American Heritage Dictionary defines a dream as a series of emotions, ideas, sensations, and images, which occur in the mind involuntarily during sleep. There has been great fascination about dreams among philosophers and scientists. …
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What do dreams tell us
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Download file to see previous pages Ancient civilizations and religion classify dreams as portals through which divine revelation and wisdom is received from a supernatural context. However, the first widely accepted explanation about the significance of dreams was introduced by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s. According to Freud’s classical theory on dreams, dreams are a “pathway to the unconscious,” one of the three elements of human consciousness in Freudian psychology. Why and how do People Dream? The psychoanalytic Theory: Freud was the first scientist to offer a psychological explanation for the basis of dreams. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory on dreams is based on his interpretation of personality. He describes the personality as an element made of three parts including the Id, Ego and Super-ego (Hobson, 1999). The Id is the unconscious, non-socialized part of personality that presents raw desires and natural drives (such as sexual desires). Acquired directly from nature, the Id is primal. In contrast, the Ego develops from worldly interactions, and is a conscious component, shaped by social interactions. In other words, the ego serves the purpose of satisfying personal needs while complying with reality constraints (Domholf, 2005). As such, the Ego supersedes the Id, which cannot restrict itself because of its unconscious nature. Lastly, the super-ego is the quasi-conscious part that limits biological instincts that cause high level emotions, such as guilt. Freud’s personality research suggests that the human personality inhibits natural biological drives generated by the Id at the unconscious level. The raw biological desires such as sexual desires never get fulfilled due to restrictions from the ego and super-ego. According to Freud, this psychological barrier does not eliminate the stress caused by these natural instincts. Instead these competing urges are intense and redirect their energy to activate the brain in an interesting manner. When asleep this results in dreams, that allow these natural urges to be fulfilled (Domholf, 2005). Therefore, a dream is a pathway through which the Id vents its unconscious drives. Studies of brain activation explain the ideology of dreaming. On the other hand, inhibited natural drives and desires are the cause of dreaming. In essence, Freud’s classical theory suggests that dreams are the result of interactions between the Id and the super-ego. The psychodynamic theory proposed by Freud implies that dreams help fulfill hidden wishes. People’s life events and emotions influence their dream’s content. An individual’s day-to-day processes and are reflected in the dream (Domholf, 2005). For instance, a dream about a car accident may indicate hidden fears about being scared of experiencing an accident. This also explains why individuals may dream at night about their day’s previous engagements. In essence, dreams may be a reflection of thoughts, ideas or activities that the dreamer was engaged in before sleeping (Freud & Daniel, 1911). Freud’s Research on Sleep During Freud’s time scholarly research there was no concise explanation for Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) stages in sleep. This was because there was no technology in existence to monitor these responses. Today studies on REM and NREM cycles have revealed new information about dreaming (Hobson, 1999). In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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