Dreams: a Comparative Contrast Between Two Theories of the Possible Functions and Meanings of Dreams

2472 words 10 pages
Abstract Both Freud and Jung provided important and interesting theories on dreams; encompassing their functions, their roots, and their meanings. Freud looked at dreams as a result of repressed memories, particularly repressed sexual memories from our childhood. Jung however, believed that dreams delved beyond sexual repression during younger years, to other problems, be it trauma, anxiety etc. Jung also believed dreams changed predominately through middle adult years, while Freud believed the opposite. There is little empirical evidence to reinforce either Freud or Jung’s theories, however, their contributions to the study of dreams in psychology cannot be lessened or denied.

Dreams: A comparative contrast between two theories of
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This was brought to Freud’s attention after World War I combatants suffered these occurrences. Freud’s opinion on this was to say that these dreams brought about by trauma are an attempt at mastering overwhelming stimuli. (Freud, 1900) Controversially, Freud (1912) claimed that impressions from early childhood years could appear in our dreams, which conversely, are not available to our memory when we are awake. To demonstrate his point, Freud claimed that the common adult dream of being naked is an “exhibition dream” which is based on a childish desire to prance around naked. (Freud, 1900) Freud (1900) claimed that dreams were in fact guardians of sleep, arising from the mind to provide satisfaction for a bodily urge, for example, a dream of going to the toilet or getting a glass of water is a hallucinatory response to the actual urge to undertake these actions. (Freud). Freud’s conclusions on dreams rested upon his theory of free association in which the dreamer produces uncritical, unreflective trains of thought to each part of the dream. Freud felt that this would reveal the latent wishes on which dreams are based (Domhoff, 2003). Freud combined these beliefs to conclude that the cognitive process of dream work turn these latent wishes into manifest dream content. While Freud looked at dreams in terms of our ego and the manifestation of thoughts and events in our early life, the Jungian theory of dreams is somewhat different. Jung’s dream theory


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