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UNT PSYC 4620 - Dreams and Defense Mechanism Research

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PSYC 4620 1st Edition Lecture 8 Outline of Last Lecture I. How to Get at Unconscious MaterialII. The Application of Freud’s TheoriesIII. Strengths and Weaknesses of Freud’s TheoriesIV.Dream InterpretationOutline of Current Lecture V. Studying Gender in DreamsVI. The Function of DreamsVII. Criticisms of Freud’s Theories on DreamsVIII. Research on Defense MechanismsCurrent LectureDreams Aren’t Random- Study about the gender of characters in dreams- Females: 50% male/female characters- Males: 65% male characters- The researcher: 65% male characters because it is an unconscious representation of Oedipal conflict- Another study:o Looking at recurrent dreams (dreaming the same thing over and over again)o Recurrent dreams are due to unresolved conflictso Anxiety during the day and poor adjustment =higher levels of recurrent dreamso Directionality not clear (did the recurrent dreams come first or did the anxiety and poor adjustment come first?)Function of Dreams- Topic of debate- Still not 100% sure why we dream- Freudian theory: Symbolic expression of unconscious impulses- Mellman et al., 2001:o Trauma victims and dreamso Trauma victims who try not to think about their trauma experienceo Those who try to avoid thinking about it, the more they dream about the traumaThese notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.o Employed the defense mechanisms of repression Conclusions- Some findings consistent with Freud’s theories- Psychologists can account for dreams without Freudian concepts- Brick & Mitchison, 1983o REM sleep in mammalso Why would mammals dream if they do not have any unconscious issues to work out?o Contradicts Freud’s theory- American Institute of Physics, 2009o REM sleep in fetuseso Fetuses sleep in REM most of the timeo Fetuses have no unconscious issues to work outDefense Mechanisms ResearchDefense Mechanisms- Review:o The behavior is in our awareness, but we are not aware of why we are doing that behavior- Defense mechanisms vs. coping strategies:o Coping strategies: You are aware that you are doing a behavior and why you are doing that behavior- Measurement:o Mostly projective tests (TAT)- Cramer, 1998:o College students and identity threato Higher levels of identification when threatenedo Told men they were feminine by results of TAT, told women were masculineo They used way more defense mechanismsDevelopmental Differences- One study:o Young children rely on denialo Denial is one of the easiest, most primitive defense mechanismso Older children use more projection than denialo More sophisticated defense mechanisms moving into young adulthoodDefensive Style- Individual patterns of defense mechanism useo Well beingo Frequency and age- Cramer & Block, 1998o Adult defenses are related to early childhood experiences- Davidson et al., 2004o Immature defense linked with hostility, depression, alcohol abuseFreud’s Theory of Humor- Tendentious Jokes:o Insight to the unconsciouso Hostility and sexo Tell jokes about things you can’t just talk about in normal conversationo Hostile jokes: men, women, dead baby jokes, racial jokeso Aggressive/sexual jokes: express the inappropriate appropriatelyo Catharsis: Tension reductionJokes Research- Studyo Jokes are funnier when aimed at people we don’t like, or groups we don’t like or identify with- Baron, 1978 (study 1)o Hostile cartoons: people gave less and less intense shockso People got to shock a confederate- Baron, 1978 (study 2)o Same setup as study 1, but this time they could not see the confederate they were shockingo People who read hostile cartoons gave more shockso Contradiction?o Situation-specifico Jokes are funnier when they’re not


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