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2,120 hits 1.0 (1 vote) Share Favorite | Flag 10 years ago by Lynn_19

Is there a scientific method of dream interpretation?


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10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Sunday 5/23/10 - 4:53:26 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, I don't think so. Dreams are far too subjective. I've skiimmed through several current 'dream interpretation' books in the New Age section and noticed that the authors had different explainations for the same symbols.

Psychology is known as a 'soft' science, but there's been some interesting *theoretical* material written about dreams, particularly by Carl Jung & his idea of the 'Collective Unconcious' and 'universal archetypes'.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Sunday 5/23/10 - 4:58:37 PM EST (GMT-5)
Dream interpretation is nonsense.

The truth is, we don't really know what dreams are, let alone how to define them.

Be wary of anyone who claims they can interpret your dreams, they'll more than likely try and read your palm afterwards.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Sunday 5/23/10 - 5:31:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 5/23/10 - 4:53:26 PM Absynth wrote:
Psychology is known as a 'soft' science, but there's been some interesting *theoretical* material written about dreams, particularly by Carl Jung & his idea of the 'Collective Unconcious' and 'universal archetypes'.


Tbh, I usually only see the term 'soft science' used as a form of snobbery (and not in recent years at all); it isn't really an academic term. Even so, modern experimental psychology would be considered a hard science by most definitions of it (empirical, falsifiable etc.).

Most of Jung's work on the unconscious, like Freud's, wouldn't be considered scientific by most or really even much aligned with modern psychology.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Sunday 5/23/10 - 5:39:06 PM EST (GMT-5)
For dream interpretation to be of much worth, it would presumably need to be demonstrated that symbols/objects/events etc. in dreams represented meanings consistently both within and between individuals. Assuming they did have meaning (and aren't just nonsense that we confabulate a narrative on), I don't see any really strong reasons why they would, particularly as they get more complex.

Thats pretty difficult to do, considering there isn't really any objective way of verifying what they mean to each individual in the first place. I don't see much value in popular notions of dream interpretation without it though. You can tell people what you think it means and see if they agree, but that doesn't say much about its legitimacy.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Sunday 5/23/10 - 8:20:09 PM EST (GMT-5)
It really depends on what you're asking.

If you mean dream interpretation by symbols in a book - no, it's not scientific.

If you mean dream interpretation as a means of getting in touch with your own personal subconscious mind, then it very possibly is scientific. ie, if you constantly dream of being attacked, you are probably feeling insecure or threatened, and your subconscious mind is using dreams of attack to work with the situation.

As a cab driver, I often dream that I can't find my pick-up address, or that the car in front of me stops and my breaks don't work so I run into it. Real easy to interpret those kinds of dreams.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Monday 5/24/10 - 12:48:55 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 5/23/10 - 5:39:06 PM Floor Demon wrote:
For dream interpretation to be of much worth, it would presumably need to be demonstrated that symbols/objects/events etc. in dreams represented meanings consistently both within and between individuals. Assuming they did have meaning (and aren't just nonsense that we confabulate a narrative on), I don't see any really strong reasons why they would, particularly as they get more complex. Thats pretty difficult to do, considering there isn't really any objective way of verifying what they mean to each individual in the first place. I don't see much value in popular notions of dream interpretation without it though. You can tell people what you think it means and see if they agree, but that doesn't say much about its legitimacy.


What about the Rorschach?
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Monday 5/24/10 - 12:49:36 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 5/23/10 - 4:58:37 PM Brunnen_G wrote:
Dream interpretation is nonsense. The truth is, we don't really know what dreams are, let alone how to define them. Be wary of anyone who claims they can interpret your dreams, they'll more than likely try and read your palm afterwards.


You forgot feet, toenail and scalp reading. . . tut tut.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Monday 5/24/10 - 1:01:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
Your dreams can tell you what you are preoccupied with, but there's no such thing as 'dream interpretation'
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 5:37:43 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Monday 5/24/10 - 12:48:55 PM Lynn_19 wrote:
What about the Rorschach?


What about it? You quoted quite a long post
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:34:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
^I quoted the post because Rorschach also involves interpretation. What makes it more legitimate than dream symbols?
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:49:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think dreams are too varied, sporadic, nonsensical, and mysterious for there to be a scientific method in which we can objectively interpret them.

What a dream signifies to one person can be radically different from what it signifies to another. And in the end, it's merely brain activity that occurs during sleep.

How much meaning can anyone honestly invest in something like that?
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:51:03 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Monday 5/24/10 - 1:01:40 PM AndresH wrote:
Your dreams can tell you what you are preoccupied with, but there's no such thing as 'dream interpretation'

What does your idea of 'interpretation' mean in 'dream interpretation'?
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:52:13 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:49:00 PM BlackBird77 wrote:
What a dream signifies to one person can be radically different from what it signifies to another.


How about just to the dreamer?
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:54:28 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:34:22 PM Lynn_19 wrote:
^I quoted the post because Rorschach also involves interpretation. What makes it more legitimate than dream symbols?


Nothing, the Rorschach is probably one of the most controversial tests associated with psychology after the IQ test. A lot of people have quite strongly opposed particular groups (e.g. the Society for Personality Assessment) for continuing to advocate its use (primarily out of tradition) in clinical and legal settings despite having little to no empirical foundation.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:55:12 PM EST (GMT-5)
Its been pretty heavily criticised for a lack of validity and reliability, as have most projective tests. A lot of the later attempts to establish standards for it have tried to shift away from the interpretive aspect and include behavioural aspects (e.g. longer fixations or erratic scanning in disorders like schizophrenia.). They tend to get more reliable results, but even then its been argued that the same behaviour (and more informatively) can be observed with other visual search/scanning tasks. The actual form/interpretation of the ink blot is pretty irrelevant in that sense.
10 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/10 - 5:43:47 PM EST (GMT-5)
There are some "scientific" assessments regarding dreams; for example, training on a task, then dreaming about that task is associated with better performance on a retrial than not dreaming about it. That's not at all interpretation of particular objects, though, and there likely will not be any interpretation similar to what a Jungian would believe - personally, I feel the evidence tends to fall toward an activation-synthesis model, with some caveats not given by Hobson.

To be sure, answering what dreams "mean" isn't going to be scientific since there's not even a solid scientific explanation of REM sleep. (Non-REM at least has good models, and a few good hypotheses as to its necessity, though).
10 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 5/27/10 - 1:37:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
My dreams are way too weird for anyone to be able to interpret them. It's like literary theory, it's all sex, no actual substance. Mere speculation.
10 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 6/3/10 - 12:23:28 AM EST (GMT-5)
dreams can mean anything, there isn't always a psycological reason for it.
for example i had this dream about an accident in which a hanging dryer thing fell on my head.
it came true about 2 months later.
10 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 6/3/10 - 7:46:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Monday 5/24/10 - 1:01:40 PM AndresH wrote:
Your dreams can tell you what you are preoccupied with, but there's no such thing as 'dream interpretation'
On Tuesday 5/25/10 - 3:51:03 PM Lynn_19 wrote:
What does your idea of 'interpretation' mean in 'dream interpretation'?


My point is, you can tell from a persons dreams if they are stressed, maybe even roughly what they are stressed about, or things like that.

But what is nonsense is the sort of dream interpretation you get in dream interpretation books like "If you dream about spiders, you're going to come into some money soon."
10 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Thursday 7/15/10 - 9:07:12 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think technically it can be explained scientifically but so can anything including how people got here. Doesnt mean its true.



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