States of Consciousness Dreams The function of dreams is as much a mystery as the function of sleep. Freud’s Dream Theory Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that dreams allow people to express unconscious wishes they find unacceptable in real life. He drew a distinction between the manifest content and the latent content of dreams. The manifest content is the plot of the dream: who’s in the dream, what happens, and so on. The latent content is the dream’s hidden meaning. According to Freud, the manifest content is a symbolic representation of the latent content. In other words, the plot acts as a disguise that masks the real meaning of the dream. Cigars and Tunnels Freud theorized that many psychological problems stem from repressed sexual urges. In his dream theory, certain objects symbolize sex or genitals. The most famous Freudian symbol is the cigar, which, owing to its shape and association with men, usually represents a penis. Freudian psychiatrists would interpret tunnels and caves as vaginas. Activation-Synthesis Theory
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