Psychological theories of dreaming

includes freud and research by Cartwright

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Cartwrights research on dreaming

According to Cartwright the role of dreaming was to help us adjust to major life changes, threats and problems

Cartwright studied women recently divorced, in this he found the following;

  • woman who were not depressed had longer dreams that reflected negative emotions arroused by divorce.
  • woman who were deprssed had shorter dreams with no revelance to divorce and marriage
  • after time when the depressed became less despressed group their dreams resembled the non depressed group

this shows that moderate emotional reactions have an adaptive affect on dreams. Strong emotional reactions inhibit the adaptive role of dreaming.

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  • Freud believed the purpose of dreams was to diguise desires that had been repressed in the mind that would be unacceptable for the dreamer when awake. Freud would say that the emotion is attached to a wish or thought that was been displaced onto the dream image
  • Condensation- the way a symbol cab respresent several aniexies or desires, e.g a chatacter from the past
  • Displacement- when an event is made out of propotion,
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Analysing dreams

Dreams can be analysed using dream content

this involves converting the latent content (the dream) to the manifest content which shows the respressed desires by reversing the condensation.

support comes from work by Mark Solms who found that people with brain damage where the cortical-limbic circuit had been cut or destroyed were unable to report dreams but still had REM sleep

this showed REM sleep was separate to dreaming also showing that dreaming is more than a consequence of REM sleep

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