Dream

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Ruoqi Xu
Psychology
Professor Dude
11/22/12

Dream and Its Meaning
Dream can be happy, delightful, absurd or even fearful. Dream is what we experience when we sleep; it “involves an integration of perceptual, emotional, motivational, and cognitive processes performed by various brain modules” (Passer and Ronald193). However, the content of the dream and the reason why we dream specific content still remain a mystery till today. Although many scientists have been attempting to find the answers for decades, none of them was able to do so. In this paper, I will analyze what a dream consists of and how the content of a dream relates to the real life. I developed a theory based on my own experience and conducted experiments based on it. It will begin with the description of my own dream journal, and then the citation of several famous theories. Moreover, I will apply the cited theories to my experiences to test their credibility. Lastly, I will conclude my own theory about the dream and execute an experiment to test its credibility. To begin with the dream journal, I recorded my dream for a week from November 12th to November 19th. During that period, I had four dreams. Unfortunately, even though I tried as hard as I could, I could not remember every detail of the dream I had the night before. I could only remember the main story line and a few images from the dreams. Dream happens while we are sleeping. Each dream has its own story to tell; the story might stimulate our feelings and emotions and motivate us to wonder: if a dream has a meaning, then what does it intend to express and how can it be interpreted in our real lives. Freud states that “the main purpose of dreaming is wish fulfillment, the gratification of our unconscious desires and needs” (Passer and Ronald192). In other words, what we dream is what we desire from out unconscious mind, or our deepest thinking; the idea does not show up in reality or rather, it is repressed when we are conscious. What we wish may be impossible, or not permissible by the reality, or it is a desire that “include[s] sexual and aggressive urges that are too unacceptable to be consciously acknowledged and fulfilled in real life” (Passer and Ronald192). When Freud interprets dreams between the “manifest content”, “the surface story that the dreamer reports”, and “latent content”, “disguised psychological meaning”, he correlates the desire as intercourse and aggressiveness since they argue that urges for sex and violence are the basic needs and the ultimate way of pleasure for human beings (Passer and Ronald192). However, the theory has an obvious flaw: the theory mostly only applies to males, but becomes vulnerable when it comes to females since females do not desire for sex or aggressiveness most of the time. Thus, his theory is only partially true. For instance, this winter I am not going back to China; instead I will be spending the break traveling around Europe, for which I am extremely excited. Nevertheless, the thought of going back home in China may have flashed through my mind. Since I already bought the ticket and got my visa to Europe, I stopped thinking about going back to China and never thought of it again. However, in my dream, I suddenly traveled back home. As I was dreaming, I remember clearly that I was listening and singing to my favorite songs from Youtube while packing for my massive amount of clothing. I even started thinking about my to-go-list of all the restaurants back in Shanghai, China (I definitely miss the Shanghai food). I do wish I could to go back to China; and in my dream this hope came true. However this desire is neither sexual nor aggressive. Thus, Freud’s argument that dream is driven by sexual and aggressive desire is flawed. Apart from Freud’s idea, Foulkes’ idea “focus[es] on the process of how we dream and propose that dreaming and waking thought are produced by the same mental systems in the brain”. Foulkes believes that our brains work...
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