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Discussion of dreams

2019-05-08 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- Discussion of dreams供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了梦。当社会规范的压力和限制在睡眠的放松状态下消失时,梦会作为自然本能的表达。梦也是一种激活综合机制,是创造力和意识的最高形式。而梦的作用,即继续处理白天接收到的信息,对外界刺激做出反应,以及对精神系统进行维护的能力,其功能是通过压抑的本能、联系和创造力的表达来实现的,包含情感和功利的目的。

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The relationship between dreams and humans is inseparable, as everybody dreams. As long as human brains are active and functioning, dreams never disappear for them. Dreams are not exclusive to a certain group of people, either. The only difference is in the content of the dreams. The mystery of dreams is that dreams are both imaginary and realistic (Myers & DeWall, 101). As people wake up after dreaming, they are still able to feel the remainder of the strong emotions from the dreams. However, it is also difficult, or even impossible, to place what happens in dreams into a real-life context. Dreams are made even more mysterious as the longer it takes, the more difficult it becomes for people to remember the specifics from a dream. These features lead to the question of the origins and meaning of dream. In this research paper, a list of resources will be referenced to answer the question of “Why do people dream?”

Before discussing about the origin and meaning of dreams, the idea of subconsciousness will be introduced first. Subconsciousness can be simplified as the lack of consciousness. Different from logical thinking, psychology includes the study of mostly unconscious mechanisms, since conscious metal process is only a part of humans’ mental activity. According to Freud, subconsciousness is constructed by people’s natural instinct and desires (Kantrowitz & Springen, 42). Therefore, the nature of subconsciousness should include emotions and feelings as well. While consciousness is only the external psychological process for humans, subconsciousness is the suppressed natural instinct of people. The suppression itself is of multiple origins, including social norms, peer pressure and family background. Subconsciousness exists in the deepest layers of the human brain. As civilized beings, the desire and emotion driven subconsciousness is normally hidden. Only when people are not fully conscious, can subconsciousness be expressed. Such occasions include when people are sleeping, drunk, drugged, intensely emotional, or mentally ill. Subconsciousness is expressed in different forms also, such as dreams, violence behaviors, and hysteria (Kantrowitz & Springen, 44). The co-existence of consciousness and subconsciousness is a sign of civilization and evolution for humans. The conflict between the two is also the conflict between natural instincts and ethics, which is commonly seen in people’s lives.

Since subconsciousness is often less suppressed when people feel relaxed, dreams is one of the best means shelters for subconsciousness. Once people fall asleep, subconsciousness breaks free from the burdens of society and release the tons of desire and emotions that are not normally expressed during conscious time. This may be the explanation why dreams are often very imaginative, since there are no social laws and moral restrictions to bind them. People are able to action freely and own things that are not possible in real life. The complexity of dreams is often associated with the complexity of desires and emotions of people. The more they desire and feel, the more difficult it becomes to interpret their dreams.

Based on the understanding of dreams and subconsciousness, the functions of dreams in the subconsciousness domain are derived. Dreams are the implementation of reality, not meaningless brain activities. Instead, they are the partial expression of the dreamer, when the conscious part of the mind is at rest. When people meet with frustration and struggles with life, their dreams become a way for them to realize what they did not accomplish in real life. For example, it is likely for a starving person to dream about food, and for a thirsty people to dream about water. The physical starvation and thirst creates the desire to eat and drink. Although such desire is not satisfied in reality, dreams becomes a psychological solution, as an attempt to restore the inner balance of the person. Dreams are also a mirror, continuation and amplifier for thoughts and emotions.

Dream is a vent for people to release pressure. As discussed above, people are bond by social norms and ethics at all times, which can be a major source of pressure for them. These pressures prevent them from expressing their true nature to the outside world. Dreams thus provide people an opportunity to unload the pressure. This can also be the reason why dreams are easily forgotten after people wake up. Since the major function of dreams is to serve as a vent for emotions and feelings, only a temporary memory mechanism is used to store dreams. The purpose of dreams has already been fulfilled once people wake up. Thus, it is unnecessary to imprint dreams into part of the long-term memory. Doing so will also create confusion between reality and dreams. This function of dreams is further developed into a psychotherapy (Kantrowitz & Springen, 46). In dreams, it is impossible for people to be physically hurt. This means that dreams create a safe environment for thoughts and emotions to be connected. Doing so is a psychological therapy on the mind,

In addition to the psychoanalytic theory of dreams initiated by Freud, there are a number of other theories exploring the purpose of dreams. As proposed by Hobson and McClarley in 1977, the activation-synthesis model considers dreams as an internal brain activity (Cherry). When signals of emotions, feelings and memories are generated by the brain during dreams, they are processed in such a way to establish meaning in them, with the construction of a plot, or story, that is not seen in reality. This model also believes that dreams are not completely random. Instead of relating dreams with subconsciousness, this model considers dreams to be human consciousness in its most active and creative status. The chaotic, spontaneous and imaginative nature of dreams does agree with such an interpretation. However, this does not explain why dreams are not stored in people’s memory system, and are soon lost from conscious memory.

Another popular theory about the function of dreams is the purpose of information-processing. Compared to other theories, dreams actually have a utility in this model. It is argued that the information that people receive during the day are the raw materials for the brain to process. This active information-processing process is continued in dreams as well. With the relaxation of logics and norms, instincts are applied in dreams to establish connection between information, as an attempt to make sense of confusing events during the day (Schredl, et al., 286). In the age of information, the information-processing theory is further combined with computer science. As a device mimicking the functions of brain, a computer performs “clean-up” functions regularly as a means of system maintenance and refreshment (Cherry). This process is compared to dreams. Chaotic pieces of information and fragmented logic are merged into dreams, and deleted after waking up. Dreams are thus considered a self-maintenance of the brain to ensure normal function over the next day. This also explains why dreams don’t happen every day. They are driven by the complexity of information during the day and the need to perform a clean-up.

Psychologists have also discovered the influence of the physical environment over dreams. For example, people who hear the radio playing when sleeping may integrate what they hear over the radio into their dreams. A child who wets the bed may dream of swimming. These instances suggest that dreams can be the response to external stimuli when people sleep. When the stimuli are negative instead of neutral, it becomes likely for dreams to turn into nightmares. Nightmares is a disturbing metal activity that results in fear and anxiety in the dreamers. Typical nightmares involve scenarios of falling, being chased, being paralyzed, being late and the death or injury of loved ones (Schredl, 565). If there were a “function” for nightmares, it would be the release of fear as a natural instinct as well, according to Freud’s psychoanalytic model. People’s anxiety and fear are often repressed during the day. The accumulation of such feelings is unhealthy in the long term. This makes dreams a necessary solution to release the negative feelings. From the information processing and clean-up perspective, nightmares represent the removal of the malfunctioning part of the mind, with fear and anxiety during dreams being the side effects of such removal.

In conclusion, multiple theories of the origin of dreams are explored in this research paper. Among all the theories, the association between dreams and subconsciousness proposed by Freud is the most influential one. Dreams function as the expression of natural instincts, only when the pressure and restriction of the social norms are gone in the relaxed state of sleeping. Dreams are also considered as an activation-synthesis mechanism by some researchers, which is the highest form of creativity and consciousness. Finally, the utility of dreams is also discussed, with the ability to continue processing information received from the day, to respond to external stimuli, and to perform maintenance for the mental system. Combining these theories, the functions of dreams are realized by the expression of repressed instincts, connections and creativity, containing both emotional and utilitarian purposes.

References

Cherry, K. (2017). 7 Theories on Why We Dream: Experts Weigh in With Theories About Why People Dream. Retrieved from: https://www.verywell.com/why-do-we-dream-top-dream-theories-2795931

Kantrowitz, B., & Springen, K. (2004). What dreams are made of. Newsweek. United States: IBT Media, Inc.

Myers, D. G. & DeWall, C. N. (2015). Psychology in modules. 11th edition. Worth Publishers.

Schredl, M. (2010). Nightmare frequency and nightmare topics in a representative German sample. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 260(8), 565-570. doi:10.1007/s00406-010-0112-3

Schredl, M., Atanasova, D., Hörmann, K., Maurer, J. T., Hummel, T., & Stuck, B. A. (2009). Information processing during sleep: The effect of olfactory stimuli on dream content and dream emotions. Journal of Sleep Research, 18(3), 285-290. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2009.00737.x

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