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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beliefs Affect How We Interpret Our Dreams

The majority of people find meaning in their dreams and think they provide hidden truths about themselves and the world around them, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University psychologist Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School. The study also found that dreams impact our judgment and behavior—and the way we perceive our dreams is affected by our waking beliefs. For example, we treat pleasant dreams as more significant if they're about someone we like rather than someone we don't like. An unpleasant dream about someone we dislike is believed to be more meaningful than if it were about someone we like.
According to Morewedge, "people attribute meaning to dreams when it corresponds with their pre-existing beliefs and desires. This was also the case in another experiment which demonstrated that people who believe in God were likely to consider any dream in which God spoke to them to be meaningful; agnostics, however, considered dreams in which God spoke to be more meaningful when God commanded them to take a pleasant vacation than when God commanded them to engage in self-sacrifice."
The research appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. —Heather Wax


Anonymous said...

you should make this LESS complicated so younger people would know what all that mean...