Finding Dreams. Comparing The Different Functions And Meanings

2016 words - 9 pages

Finding dreams. Comparing the different functions and meanings.
Leow Ban Theng
University of Wollongong
Word count:

Finding dreams. Comparing the different functions and meanings.
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 the dream. Therefore, he concluded that dreams were a route to the innermost recesses of an individual. Another researcher Jung Carl also shared some similarities with Freud’s theory, he also added in that dreams express both personal and collective unconscious, serving to compensate for parts of the awareness that are underdeveloped thoughts in everyday life.(Neher, 1996). Conflicting to Jung's research; however, Hall (1991) pointed out that the traits people exhibit during the day time are the same as those shown in dreams.
Recently in the 2000s, Domhoff (2001) suggested that dreaming be a cognitive achievement that develops gradually over childhood. The different parts of the brains were activated while sleeping, resulting in different effects on dreaming, indicating the brain networking is necessary for dreaming (Domhoof, 2001). Another researcher Hobson (1991) suggests that dreams be the result of internally generated signals in the brain. The events that happened during the day time had an impression on the brain. During sleep time, circuits in the brain become activated during REM sleep (Hobson,...

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