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Understanding dream meanings has fascinated mankind for millennia. In ancient Greece, physicians believed dreams conveyed indications of diseases present in the body. Sigmund Freud thought dreams revealed repressed desires. Since then, pop psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts have all begun offering interpretations of clients' dreams. But are dream interpretations accurate?

Dream interpretations are complete hokum Show more Show less

Dream interpretations are nothing but idiosyncrasy and guesswork.
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Where is the science?

Despite numerous attempts to find a scientifically supported system of dream interpretation, no interpretative method has ever been supported by empirical science.
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There has never been a dream interpretation system that has been supported by scientific findings.[1]

The Argument

The systems and structures interpreters use to find meaning in dreams are not based on science. Even those that study dreams in an academic and scientific capacity have been unable to find any scientific relationship between a dream and its meaning. The interpretations are based on conjecture and amount to nothing more than the idiosyncratic interpretations of an individual.[1] The most likely reason for the lack of scientific evidence behind dream interpretations is because dreams have no meaning. Dreams occur when impulses from the brainstem are detected by the cortex. These produce a series of random images and feelings. The random nature of these images and feelings mean it is impossible to find a deeper meaning, pattern or correlation with real-world events.

Counter arguments

Science is getting closer to cracking the code. We are on the cusp of having a scientifically-endorsed dream interpretation method. Developments in neurology and neuro-imaging capacities are allowing scientists a more intimate look at the brain patterns presented during sleep. This will allow scientists to eventually bridge the gap between our waking life and our dreams and offer an explanation of the correlation between common dreams and shared experiences.[1]


[P1] No dream interpretation method has ever been proven by empirical science. [P2] Therefore, dream interpretations are not scientifically accurate.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Just because no scientific method of dream interpretation has been developed does not mean there will never be one. New technological developments mean we are closer to identifying patterns in brain activity that could unlock meanings in our dreams.



This page was last edited on Monday, 1 Jul 2019 at 13:01 UTC

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