Why Do We Dream?
No one knows the true answer as to why we humans dream. Probably no one ever will truly know but there are many theories concerning this topic. One theory brought about by famed psychologist Sigmund Freud is that dreams are secret wish fulfillments of the dreamer. Another is the information-processing theory. A third theory is called the activation-synthesis theory. All three are valid theories that deserved to be looked at and discussed with a little more detail.
Sigmund Freud was a psychologist in the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Much of his work is now considered to be dated and even a bit absurd but it is still studied to this day. Perhaps his most famous contribution to the world of psychology, along with being the father of psychoanalysis, was his work on the interpretation and meaning of dreams. He wrote, and in 1900 published, the book “The Interpretation of Dreams”. He himself found his book to be very important and said “[It] contains...the most valuable of all the discoveries it has been my good fortune to make. Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime” (Cherry).
His theory is that dreams are repressed, secret, often sexual, desires in the unconscious mind of the dreamer. While dreaming, these secret fears and desires make themselves known. After listening to some dreams from patients of his, Freud said “What is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguisedly realizations of wishes” (Freud).
Another theory about why humans dream is called the Information-Processing Theory. It is also known as the Off-Line Theory.
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