Dreams: a Comparative Contrast Between Two Theories of the Possible Functions and Meanings of Dreams

2451 Words Jul 27th, 2010 10 Pages
Abstract Both Freud and Jung provided important and interesting theories on dreams; encompassing their functions, their roots, and their meanings. Freud looked at dreams as a result of repressed memories, particularly repressed sexual memories from our childhood. Jung however, believed that dreams delved beyond sexual repression during younger years, to other problems, be it trauma, anxiety etc. Jung also believed dreams changed predominately through middle adult years, while Freud believed the opposite. There is little empirical evidence to reinforce either Freud or Jung’s theories, however, their contributions to the study of dreams in psychology cannot be lessened or denied.

Dreams: A comparative contrast between two theories of
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Freud even went as far as using dreams from his own children as evidence. (Freud). Freud’s wish fulfillment theory began because he believed that the wishes in adult dreams were disguised in order to reduce their anxiety tendencies. Freud theorised that dreams are disguised by a “censor” of sorts, in four cognitive processes he collectively called the “dream-work” (Freud, 1900) these include; displacement, whereby highly charged thoughts are transferred to minor elements in the impending dream. Condensation then compresses several different dream thoughts. These two are then joined together by the regard for representability, which changes abstract thoughts into a form that is applicable for the sensor. Finally the dream is shaped by secondary revision which basically gives the dream content an understandable pattern. (Freud, 1900). It is through this dream work that Freud contended unconscious thoughts were transferred into dream content. (Freud, 1900) According to Freud (1900) the emotions in dreams are often inappropriate to the content. “I dream I am in a frightful, dangerous, repulsive situation but I feel no fear or revulsion at all; other times……I am filled with horror at something harmless and with delight at something childish.” (Freud, 1900). He attributes this to the fact that content in dreams is often replaced by displacements and substitutions, but emotions remain in place

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