Updating Freud

Jeremy Dean examines the weight we give to dreams:

What [the study] found was that people who remembered a dream about their friend kissing their partner tended to think it was meaningless, but when the dream cheat was someone they didn’t like, it was filled with meaning. This suggests people only imply meaning into their dreams when the implications fit their motives.

In a final study experimenters pitted people’s dreams up against their religious beliefs. Again, participants demonstrated a motivational interpretation of their dreams. They were happy to endorse the meaningfulness of their dreams, unless it contradicted their religious beliefs, in which case they were meaningless.