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Transcript of Dreams
G. William Domhoff
"'Meaning' has to do with coherence and with systematic relations to other variables, and in that regard dreams do have meaning. Furthermore, they are very 'revealing' of what is on our minds. We have shown that 75 to 100 dreams from a person give us a very good psychological portrait of that individual. Give us 1000 dreams over a couple of decades and we can give you a profile of the person's mind that is almost as individualized and accurate as her or his fingerprints."
Domhoff believed that dreams reveal psychological messages from the brain to the conscious.
Dreams in the Sleep Cycle
In 1900, Freud produced a psychoanalytic theory
Dreams occur in the unconscious mind; therefore, dreams are the unconscious mind expressing itself.
Freud also suggested that dreams are an expression of our repressed wishes.
Why we dream and What are the functions of dreams are two questions that are difficult to answer
There are some theories that have been proposed
There were some discussed in the Psychology Text and others found from other sources
Theory on Dreams
The Contemporary Theory
developed by Earnest Hardmann along with other collaborators “considers dreaming to be a broad making of connections guided by emotion.” “[It consists of] activation patterns [that] are shifting and connections [that] are being made and unmade constantly in our brains, forming the physical basis for our minds.”
Dreams sort through memories to help us figure out which ones need to be retained and which ones can be lost. They help to consolidate what has already been learned.
developed by philosopher-neuroscientist Antti Revonusuo in Finland. Evolutionary theory that states that dreams simulate threatening events in order to rehearse threat perception and responses to threats so that if they were to happen we would respond more readily.
introduced and developed by Sigmund Freud. He proposed that dreams provide a way for people to discharge their unacceptable feelings. He said that the latent content of dreams were sexually charged and conflicting, compared to their manifest content.
To Make Sense of Neural Static
Dreams are the brain’s attempt to make sense of random neural activity.
there are some scientists who believe that dreams have no meanings or functions, they just happen. This would be almost equivalent as saying that thinking has no function - therefore this absence of theory is unlikely/not very resourceful
What is a dream? A dream can include any of the images, thoughts and emotions that are experienced during sleep. Dreams can be extraordinarily vivid or very vague; filled with joyful emotions or frightening imagery; focused and understandable or unclear and confusing.
Researchers suggest that dreams work to reveal characteristics about the individual
Research shows that dreams do in fact have meanings
Dreams are the result of the unconscious mind at work
"A dream is a work of art which requires of the dreamer no particular talent, special training or technical competence. Dreaming is a creative enterprise in which all may and most do participate." -Clark S. Hall
Dreams and Culture
You dream about the realities that surround you.
American students and Japanese students may have anxiety filler dreams about taking a test because our cultures are driven by education at this time in our lives.
Kenyan cattle herders and cultures similar have dreams about their cattle and events pertaining to that, because their culture is centered around that lifestyle.
There are universal themes different cultures dream about, but manifest in different ways due to the norms of their culture.
Sex, aggression, and death are examples of universal themes.
Griffith, Miyagi and Togo found that Japanese women were twice as likely to dream of killing than men were. In the United States it was men who are three times more likely to dream of killing someone than women.
Schneider and Sharp reported that a hunter and gatherer culture in Australia, when they dreamt of killing, dreamt of dismembering because their culture is primitive and dismemberment pertains to hunting and being hunted. In a more urban setting this kind of violence would be considered a psychological problem because it has no basis.
Dreams had different meanings in in ancient cultures, more than today.
If there were certain symbols that were significant in that culture for something such as a tree for growth, then they would derive the meaning of the dream from that.
In modern times we attribute the meaning of dreams more to what’s happening around us. Instead of using what’s in the dream to determine what’s happening in realities, today we look for external happenings to explain dreams.
Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that dreams were directly from the gods and could reveal the wishes of the gods—Caesar even ruled that anyone who had a dream about the state had to proclaim it aloud in the marketplace to reveal any problems with the government.
A nightmare is a dream occurring during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that results in feelings of strong terror, fear, distress or extreme anxiety.
Frequent occurrence of nightmares becomes a disorder when it impairs social, occupational and other important areas of functioning. At this point, it may be referred to as Nightmare Disorder (formerly Dream Anxiety Disorder) or "repeated nightmares."
"Repeated nightmares" is defined more specifically as a series of nightmares with a recurring theme. Nightmares usually begin in childhood before age 10 and are considered normal unless they significantly interfere with sleep, development or psychosocial development. Adult nightmares are often associated with outside stressors or exist alongside another mental disorder. Nightmares might be associated with anxiety and trauma.
"Strangers" in your dream are actually people you have seen before because you only dream about people you've seen.
People, ages 25 and younger, reported they hardly ever dream in black and white
People 55 and older reported they dream in black in white a quarter of the time. They believe this is due to childhood exposure to color television.
Overall 15% of people say they dream in black and white
An inconsolable fear during sleep
Night terrors are not remembered....Why?
Night terrors occur in the deepest of non-REM sleep.
A sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another.
-shouting/screaming in distress
-fast beating heart and quick breathing
-sweating and thrashing around
Night terrors are caused by over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during sleep.
overtired or ill, stressed, or fatigued, taking a new medication or sleeping in a new enviroment or away from home
only 3-6 % of children will have night terrors. Usually between ages 4 and 12, before the Central Nervous System is completely matured.
Dreams as a work of art
All humans dream. You may not remember them when you wake up but you do dream.
We tend to have 3 to 7 dreams a night and dream for about 3 hours
Ancient Egyptians were the first to make a dream dictionary in 4000 B.C.
Most Dreams occur in Stage 5.
The waves that are being produced by your brain have a high rate for activity while your muscles are at there most relaxed point, which allows your mind to wonder into places unimaginable
is known as the delta period because of the amount of delta waves that the brain is producing. This sleep is a little over thirty minutes, things such as sleep walking, sleep talking and bed wetting, can occur in this stage.
is the deepest stage of sleep and is where a lot of the dreaming occurs because brain activity is increased along with your heart rate, but at the same time it is the time where your muscles are most relaxed.
1. Stage 1 of a sleep cycle, which is relatively light sleep, ranges from 5-10 minutes
2. Stage 2 is when you have been asleep for about 20 minutes and the brain starts to produce brain wave activity known as sleep spindles.
3. Stage 3 is a transitional period when a person goes from light sleep into a deep sleep and the brain starts to produce waves known as Delta waves.
Nightmares are also caused by:
Medications that affect the brain
Withdrawal from Drugs or alcohol
Certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndro
anxiety and depression
TIP: If you are experiencing nightmares and you typically eat a late night snack, DON'T.
Eating can increase metabolism and signal the brain to be more active.
Hartmann, E. Why Do We Dream?. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-we-dream
10 Theories That Explain WHy We Dream. http://io9.com/10-theories-that-explain-why-we-dream-897195110
Simmons, I. The Literary Mind - Why Do We Dream?. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-literary-mind/200911/why-do-we-dream
Myers, David G., and C. Nathan. DeWall. Exploring Psychology. New York: Worth, 2014. Print