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Dreams Term Paper

1823 words - 8 pages


About a month ago the two of us brainstormed a few ideas for our first Psychology project. After a weighing the pros and cons of our options, we decided to research dreams and dreaming. We were hoping to learn some information over the vague topic of dreams such as the biology, the causes of dreams, and possibly some of the meanings behind certain dreams. Not only that, but we were interested in the different varieties of dreams people had and why they had them. From the beginning, we had hoped to answer some seemingly basic questions such as “What is a dream?” “What are some different types of dreams people experience?” and “Why would someone experience a certain ...view middle of the document...

Ernest Hartmann mentions in his book, Dreams and Nightmares, that, “Dreaming makes use of our visual/spatial picturing abilities and provides an explanatory metaphor for the dreamer’s emotional state of mind.” Here is yet another complex way of describing an idea that even children seem to understand. We believe Hartmann means that by using dreams, one has the ability to understand what they may be subconsciously feeling or thinking. For example, if someone were to have a dream where they were having trouble escaping from someone or something that was after them, they may have stress or anxiety in an aspect of their life that they may have never realized. Now that that anxiety is discovered, it can be removed and the dreamer could feel more at ease. One final defining aspect of dreams is their ability to improve skills such as problem solving, and creativity. The intertwining and connecting of memories work out the brain as bicep curls work out our arms. This allows for improvement in integrative and other skills. This wide-open definition is what the two of us discovered when beginning our research. While this did answer one of our questions and provide us with very useful information, there was still more to learn. What we learned above defined any and all dreams that one may come across, but we were interested in the specifics. From here we began looking into the different varieties of dreams one could experience.
After searching and searching for a definite list of the different varieties of dreams, we found several different lists with different types on each list. What we discovered was that dreams are classified in a lot of different ways and some are so scarce that it is difficult to find sufficient information on them. Not only that, but it was difficult to find first hand accounts for some of the varieties. Because of this setback we decided to just look into some of the most common types of dreams. These common dreams included, false awakening dreams, daydreams, lucid dreams, nightmares, recurring dreams, epic dreams, and progressive dreams. We looked into each of the above, but focused mainly on lucid dreaming and nightmares; the two most common types of the group.
The first form of dreaming we looked into was nightmares. We decided to research these before any others considering we had both experienced a nightmare more than once in our lives. It turns out nightmares are created the exact same way as any average dream, the only difference is the emotions or memories that are tapped during the dream. Nightmares tend to dwell on negative emotions that invoke fear in the dreamer. Almost all nightmares are reported as bringing that sense of fear into the dreamer, they seem to be very vivid and easy to recall later on, and lastly they always awaken the dreamer. Because of the feeling of terror sensed by the victims, nightmares are often mistaken for night terrors. While they do involve similar emotions or memories as nightmares,...

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