Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences. 2019, Vol. 12 Issue 2, 17-43
This paper aims to primarily shed some light concerning the nature of dreams by means of examining what research, and theorising has been done so far in this topic. A systematic review of literature was conducted using keywords as the main searching method. The
rationale for choice of systematic as opposed to a narrative review is the fact that the former provide comprehensive means through which one can use research methods that are explicit, allowing ones assumptions to always be open to scrutiny by external parties. For the main review 8 articles were selected, covering a wide range of topics including the nature and function of dreams (Hartmann, 1998; Greenberg et al, 1992; Kantrowitz, 2001; Johnson, 2001), dream and primary/secondary processes (Solms, 2000; Robins, 2004), dreams and REM sleep (Poe et al, 2000), dreaming and creativity (Fisher & Greenberg, 1996). These studies strongly corroborated Freud’s assumptions for the link between conscious and unconscious processes and important role played by dreams in variety of domains including emotional and intellectual problem solving, (Greenberg et al, 1992) selfknowledge and awareness and creativity (Fisher & Greenberg, 1996), adaptation (Kantrowitz, 2001), mind integration (Kantrowitz, 2001), learning and stress neutralization (Fisher & Greenberg, 1996). When it comes to dream function and formation, it should be evident that they also reflect mental activity as a whole, and have many other functions than simply discharging of psychic energy as stated by Sigmund Freud. Among these functions one can identify emotional and intellectual problem solving, self-knowledge and awareness, creativity, adaptation, mind integration, learning and stress neutralization.
Keywords: dreams, psychoanalysis, Freud, awareness, creativity