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Study Finds Personal Bias in Dream Interpretations

I Had a Dream: Study Finds Bias Distorts Dream Interpretations

Two psychologists have studied over 1,000 people's dreams (join in here), to examine how people assign meaning to them. Turns out we only bother to interpret the ones our waking selves agree with.

How so? Let's say you dream your partner saved you from a burning house in one dream and cheated on you in another. You'd probably shake the latter off as a silly dream, and look up "house, burning" in Dream Moods A-Z for the former. It's a self-serving bias — kind of like how Freud saw sex everywhere he looked for it.

So basically dreams can be self-fulfilling prophecies or an easy way to shirk off responsibility. But knowing that, now what? Should we crack open the dream journals, or write interpretations off to Never-never land?


Join The Conversation
liliblu liliblu 8 years
You can change your dreams. If I've having a bad dream and wake up, I think about how I want the dream to go and then that's exactly what I dream. That's why I don't think about what my dreams mean.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"Two psychologists have studied over 1,000 people's dreams (join in here), to examine how people assign meaning to them. Turns out we only bother to interpret the ones our waking selves agree with." I'm HOPing that the government didn't fund this common sense research.
zeze zeze 8 years the opposite, i only remember the bad ones and freak out over those and assume the good ones are just silly.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
None of my dreams make enough sense for me to have any bias. I just think about the ones I actually remember
stephley stephley 8 years
I'm not big on dream analysis, but I don't feel much confidence in the self-serving theory - seems to me that people too often remember and endlessly recount troubled or disturbing dreams for them to be just picking and choosing those they agree with.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
I forgot to put in that my mom lives in miami....
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
KadBunny I feel the exact same way sometimes. It sounds crazy but when I dream with my late grandfather the dreams ALWAYS mean something. I dreamed with him and my mom 3 weeks ago and decided to take a trip to miami (tomorrow). Last week my mom found out some really bad news and its just weird that I'm going around the same time as this thing happening in her life. It bugs me out but I do feel he tells me things in my dreams. :nerdgirl:
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
We don't know that. I like to keep a dream journal too just for kicks. Meaningless or not I think it's interesting to see what trippy things my mind comes up with. Plus, some of them feel so real.. I dunno I'm one of those crazy people who think dreams can be a hello from a relative that's passed on or premonitions etc. :P
liliblu liliblu 8 years
I don't know why people try to decipher dreams. Most have no meaning.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I very rarely remember my dreams.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
Funny you should say that, momma. Most of my dreams are so strange, I don't think even my subconscious would be able to distinguish enough from it to decide what to remember :)
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
I always write down my weird dreams. Its fun to see what I dream about and look up to see what it means... But yea I would think we all pick and choose certain ones we remember.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
Wow, that surprises me. *sarcasm* It only makes sense that we would (consciously or unconsciously) be biased in the way we see our dreams...or would unconsciously choose the dreams we liked to remember.
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