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Freud's Theory & Method of Dream Analysis

The purpose of this research is to examine Freud's theory and method of dream analysis. The plan of the research will be to set forth the principal elements of Freud's dream-related theory, which focuses on the psychology, physiology, and interpretation of dreams, and to discuss such theoretical concepts as manifest and latent content of dreams, the nature of dream work, and the role of unconscious processes in the determination of dream content.

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1978) is very much the pioneer psychological work in the matter of why persons dream, what they dream, and what their dreams mean. Dream theory either elaborated or investigated by researchers subsequent to Freud has created a vocabulary unto itself, but it owes much to Freud. At the core of this vocabulary are latent and manifest dream content. Freud (1978) differentiates between, then compares and contrasts, these concepts, focusing on the project of interpreting the latent content of the apparently straightforward manifest content. As the term implies, manifest content means more or less what happens in a dream. Manifest content may be painful, but for Freud, it does not follow that the painful dream "means" what it says. Indeed, the process of dream distortion (images or events in a dream that conceal or stand for hidden meanings that can be interpreted), is such that "wish-fulfillment is the meaning of every dream" (p. 44). Accordingly, the process of interpretation of dreams is meant to "detect a latent dream content whose significance far surpasses that of the manifest dream-content" (Freud, 1978, p. 70). Concepts such as day residue (actual events that may appear in distorted form in events or images of a dream), dream censorship or endopsychic censorship (the conscious mind's tendency to "defeat interpretations"), and wish-fulfillment (a repressed infantile wish that is gratified in some form in the dream) originate with Freud (1978, p...

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Freud's Theory & Method of Dream Analysis. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 08:53, September 03, 2015, from