Essay Psychology of Dreams

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Psychology of Dreams To many people, dreams are the thoughts that occur while sleeping, having almost mystic qualities. For millennia the significance of dreams has escaped even the brightest of philosophers and intellectuals. Many people have speculated about why people dream and what meanings the dreams have but in recent times two theories have gained credibility in answering those questions. The first theory is Sigmund Freuds and the other is known as the cognitive theory of dreams also known as biological determinism. Freud presented his theory about dreams in the book The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899. In it he sets out to prove "there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams" and that…show more content…
Freud outlines methods of interpreting dreams. The first is a symbolic interpretation of the dream. This method identifies symbols in the dream that represent something in the waking life, making the dream simpler to understand if done correctly (Freud 129). The second method is to "decode" the dream. Symbols are said to be universal and every symbol has a counterpart that it represents in the waking life. In effect the real meaning of the dream is encoded into universal symbols and must be decoded to understand it (Freud 130). Freud found two meanings in a dream: the manifest meaning and the latent meaning (Freud 168). The manifest meaning of a dream is what is remembered upon waking (Felluga). The manifest meaning can reflect a situation that follows common sense and unfold in a way possible in waking life. Other times it can take its own wild path that follows little or no logical sequence when viewed at surface level. Despite this vast difference, both of these are influenced by the superego, a part of the mind that Freud believes houses the knowledge of the structure of society and what is acceptable in the dreamers culture. The dream takes place on a stage or backdrop that makes sense and relates to waking life (Freud 216-17). While the manifest meaning is useful and can itself contain a message, interpretation of it can reveal more than seen at face value. The second meaning in a dream Freud labels the latent meaning. The latent meaning
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