Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dream Interpretation and False Beliefs

Chapter 3.3: Dream Interpretation and False Beliefs

People are fascinated with dreams and their meanings. A popular theory about dreams was made famous by Sigmund Freud. He believed that dreams hold hidden messages, repressed memories, desires, and even past traumatic experiences. By interpreting dreams, one can tap into one’s unconscious mind and discover the truth.  For example, if one has a dream involving blood or torture, one would assume that there are repressed memories of ritualistic abuse. 

However, dream interpretation remains unclear. Many scientists today believe that dream interpretation is a pseudoscience that can produce incorrect information which can lead to harmful results. Despite this, many people still believe that dreams hold meanings. There are many books and websites available to guide individuals in interpreting their dreams. Additionally, some clinical psychologists use dream interpretation in their clinical work.
The question at issue is whether clinical dream interpretation is harmful. Does it actually lead to the recovery of a genuine traumatic past? Or does dream interpretation lead people to develop false beliefs or false memories about their past?

Through the Florence false interpretation study, participants had their dreams interpreted by a clinician who interpreted whether their dream can uncover any traumatic experience before 3 years old. It was discovered that participants can be influenced or manipulated to believe that a certain experience had occurred, even when they had originally denied such occurrences from happening. The implications and consequences of dream interpretation are unexpected side effects due to false beliefs about the past.

I believe that dreams do hold some meaning. It is more of a reflection of your thoughts than an interpretation of something far deeper in your life, such as repressed memories of abuse. For example, when I am stressed about school, I often have homework related dreams. This is just a mere reflection of what is troubling my conscious mind, not any hidden meaning of extreme abuse or inner turmoil.


  1. July 18th - Atlantic County Library - Galloway Township - Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway Twp., NJ is offering free dream interpretations, sorry I don't remember the time.

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  3. This happens so much now-a-days, what would have been a useful tool in our modern society is instead just a nuisance to whoever is of any status above the rest, that makes any mistake.