Attitudes and Social Cognition
Dreams are known to be the vision that we see during our sleep. In the olden times, dreams are known to predict the future of a person or of the whole community. In the bible, dreams are known to be one factor that God communicate. In the time old testament, the Lord had actively communicated with the people through dreams and premonitions. Therefore, most people in the history had believed that dreams are signs that must be taken into great consideration whenever there are decisions which are about to be made.
In an article written by Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton, they both discussed the importance of dreams in our daily lives as well as the psychological explanation of having dreams. It is true that all individuals experience having dreams. Some have dreams does not have an entire meaning. Some have funny dreams which are sometimes meaning less but there are dreams which truly captivates the experiences that he or she is currently having or sometimes the fears which had been hunting a person ever since. Dreams truly vary depending on the individual.
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As the authors continually discussed dreams, they have clearly stated the interpretations of dreams are generally difficult to explain. The different interpretations are solely based on how the person would apply their dream in to the real situation. Most of the time, the interpretation is biased for he or she only views the dream as a negative or positive sign of situation. However, if seen by another party, the interpretation of the dream could be slightly or drastically altered depending on the background of the analyst. Thus, this is the main subject focused by the authors. The authors Morewedge and Norton had stated that these types of dreams are taken in as sign by most people therefore; the dreams are mostly an application to the lives of individuals who experience such. Moreover, the authors strongly do adhere with theory done by Freud pertaining that dreams are insights which is meaningful, “Freudian Theory that dream content is meaningful, believing that their dreams provide special insight” (Morewedge and Norton, 2009). As they discuss, the authors have described that “events in dreams often feature familiar people and locations, and thus can be difficult to distinguish from events that occur while awake (Johnson, Foley, Suengas and &1988; Mazzoni and Loftus 1996 Cited in Morewedge and Norton, 2009). In the simple analysis of the authors, they have noticed the most individual give more importance with the thoughts they have during their sleeps compared to the thoughts they have when they are awake.
Upon analyzing such, the authors viewed that people are not keen with the interpretations of their various activities during the time they are awake. It is the obscene or exaggerated than what is normally happening. Thus, these individuals do bother to interpret their dreams to some people whom they know could give the appropriate logic of their dream experience. Hence, these individuals consult variety of people such as fortune tellers or faith healers that would explain. However, not all the interpreted dreams are accurate given to fortune tellers or faith healers but the assurance of having a person who regularly interprets dreams had been effective for some. However, psychologists and psychotherapists have created different interpretations of why people are interested in the meaning of their dreams.
In the study made by the authors, they conducted qualitative and quantitative methods in figuring the importance of the dreams and the interpretations of people with people. In the overview section of the journal, the authors exposed the process of their study. The whole study was each separated into 6 different sections. The first section, they have decided to study six (6) lay people of different nationalities (American, Korean, Indian and the likes) which are reliable to the activity they would want to explore. Thus, the six people they invited will submit the story of their dream while the Morewedge and Norton are utilizing the four methods of theory used by Freud which highlights that dreams are important signals which has obvious or hidden meanings. The second study exposed the desire of the six lay people to interpret their dreams but not similarly as their conscious thoughts. The authors were able to compare and contrast the conscious thoughts to the dreams and relate it to the future intentions or behaviors. In the Third study, the authors have finally applied the views of Freud which stated that dreams does contain hidden meanings or the certainty that dreams are much important than those conscious thoughts. The authors noted that “Although dreams should be seen as more meaningful than similar thoughts, we propose that perceivers take a motivated approach to the interpretation of their dreams, engaging in the correction processes when such correction is self serving” (Morewedge and Norton, 2009). In the following study, the participating group of individuals is made to recall their dream relating any of their acquaintance.
In addition to this, the authors had examined positive and negative dreams while also considering the positivity and negativity of the attitudes of the lay people depending on the situation given in their dream. In the fifth study, the authors were able to see the reaction and impact of the interpretation the participants’ dream. As a result, the acquaintance which the participants have dreamt had a different relationship with the other person. Thus, the relationship of the participants with their acquaintance had changed since the results of the interpretations were provided. In the last stage of the series of studies held, the authors have analyzed whether the interpretations were based on the religious beliefs of individuals and their interest in the message which is communicated from the dreams.
The authors have effectively utilized the qualitative and quantitative techniques through out the study. The whole study conducted was presented to different nationalities which will be more appropriate to see the different views of the people towards dreams. Therefore, ethnic perspectives are also one factor to be viewed. As the study progressed, the authors were able to preview the results through a mathematical explanations and computations. In addition to this, graphical presentation is also previewed in order to immediately understand the analysis done by the authors.
Looking at the study done by Morewedge and Norton, it is obvious that they already know the result of the study which they will conduct. Accordingly, it is known to many that dreams had been a strong basis of different situations and the search for meanings had been a quest for different individuals even in the ancient times. Thus, unconscious visions are seen as a sign or a vision of something that will happen in the future or a message which must be given proper attention. The authors immediately have a conceptual bias with the study of Freud for they have strongly adhered to the concepts of Freud.
In conclusion, dreams are known to be present in our unconsciousness. Everything that we have in our unconsciousness could possibly be present in our mind but we shut such thoughts while we are awake. Thus, dreams show to us things that we do not normally think about. In the end, dreams are thoughts that we want an interpretation for we think there is a significant meaning behind it. Similar to the Bible, dreams and visions are not taken as the mere visualization but could impair or guide any individual. If I am asked to do a follow up study, I would be interested in the making a study regarding the application of the meaning or interpretations of dreams of certain individuals. This will study if the application of the results of the study is applicable to the situation of the individual during a span of time.
Morewedge, C. and Norton, M. (2009). When Dreaming Is Believing: The (Motivated) Interpretation of Dreams. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 2, 249–264.