The Internal Anomaly: Dreaming
Armstrong High School
The Internal Anomaly: Dreaming 2
This essay examines the phenomenon of dreams the strange things that occur in the brain while asleep. There are many wellknown theories regarding dreams and dreaming proposed by psychologists and researchers such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Allan Hobson and Robert
McCarley. Other important facts about dreaming are discussed such as when humans dream, how researchers can detect brain activity and consciousness, and the different types of dreams including daydreams, recurring dreams, lucid dreams and nightmares. Common symbolic messages experienced while dreaming such as flying and falling are also included in this essay.
Dreaming is one of the most fascinating, yet mysterious aspects of psychology. Dreaming is a natural part of life for everyone.
Dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep (Schneider &
Humans go to sleep every night, wake up every morning, and dream about 4 to
6 times per night, yet most individuals are unaware of what exactly is happening in their brains.
Scientists still don’t even know where dreams originate and what purpose and effect dreams have on one’s lives. To study this phenomenon, we look back to theories and principles proposed by the great psychologists and scientists, and draw fascinating conclusions about what’s really going in the human’s brain in the midst of slumber.
There are multiple theories regarding why and how humans dream, including those from psychologists, neurologists and scientists from the past few centuries. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious,” (Freud, 1899). Sigmund Freud, one of the greatest neurologists of all time, was the first human to study the importance and influence that dreams have on people’s lives.
According to Gupta (2008),
Freud believed that dreams help people act out what they cannot achieve in social settings. He focused on the significance of secret desires and symbolism in dreams. On the contrary to Freud’s beliefs, Carl Jung, one of Freud’s young colleagues, felt that dreams served to help solve problems or think over troublesome issues; he believed that dreams were related to the thoughts that people have while awake (Gupta, 2008). Another theory regarding dreams is the activationsynthesis hypothesis, which was proposed by Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley in 1977. It is widely accepted as one of the most prominent theories in the field of psychology regarding dreams. According to this theory, dreams are a result of random electrical brain impulses. Once these electrical impulses are activated in the brain, areas of the
limbic system involved with emotion, sensation, and memory, all become active (Cherry, 2015).
All of these theories become intertwined to give us the universal definition of dreams and dreaming. As stated before, from Schneider & Domhoff (2015), dreams are a succession of images , ideas , emotions , and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep . They help humans realize that there is much more to life than what they experience on a daytoday basis. Dreams can be childlike or serious or magical or dangerous. Some individuals go on exotic journeys to see magical creatures living in enchanted castles, while others envision themselves plunging into the ocean and swimming around with a school of fish. According to
Rettner (2010), dreams help to expand your consciousness as there are no limitations. Humans begin to feel as if there are no barriers to impede or hinder their dreaming process. Dreaming serves multiple purposes to the lives of every individual. Dreams help understand new