It is now our task to put these two results together and balance them against one another. How that can take place is puzzling enough, but it is a problem of general psychology with which we shall not busy ourselves here. We have learned from the dreams of children that the purpose of the dream work is the satisfaction of one of the sleep-disturbing psychic stimuli by means of a wish fulfillment.
We were unable to make a similar statement concerning distorted dreams, until we knew how to interpret them. But from the very beginning we expected to be able to bring the distorted dreams under the same viewpoint as the infantile. The earliest fulfillment of this expectation led us to believe that as a matter of fact all dreams are the dreams of children and that they all work with infantile materials, through childish psychic stimuli and mechanics.
Since we consider that we have conquered dream-distortion, we must continue the investigation to see whether our hypothesis of wish-fulfillment holds good for distorted dreams also. It was, in fact, the question of our lay-critics. As you know, humanity has an instinctive antagonism toward intellectual novelties.
The expression of such a novelty should immediately be reduced to its narrowest limits, if possible, comprised in a commonplace phrase. Wish-fulfillment has become that phrase for the new dream-science. He is at once reminded of countless dream-experiences of his own, where his aversion to the dream was enormous, so that the proposition of psychoanalytic dream-science seems very improbable to him. It is a simple matter to answer the layman that wish-fulfillment cannot be apparent in distorted dreams, but must be sought out, so that it is not recognized until the dream is interpreted.
We know, too, that the wishes in these distorted dreams are prohibited wishes, are wishes rejected by the censor and that their existence is the very cause of the dream distortion and the reason for the intrusion of the dream censor. But it is hard to convince the lay-critic that one may not seek the wish-fulfillment in the dream before the dream has been interpreted.
This is continually forgotten. His sceptical attitude toward the theory of wish-fulfillment is really nothing more than a consequence of dream-censorship, a substitute and a result of the denial of this censored dream-wish. We see here, for the first time, the problem of the affects in the dream, a problem worthy of separate investigation, but which unfortunately cannot be considered here.
If the dream is a wish-fulfillment, painful experiences ought to be impossible in the dream; in that the lay-critics apparently are right.
But three complications, not thought of by them, must be taken into consideration. Analysis should then show that these thoughts were far more painful even than the dream which was built out of them.
This much may be proved in each instance. We admit, then, that the dream work has not achieved its purpose any more than the drink-dream due to the thirst-stimulus has achieved its purpose of satisfying the thirst. One remains thirsty, and must wake up in order to drink. But it was a real dream, it sacrificed nothing of its nature. Such cases of miscarriage are not unusual. A contributory cause is this, that it is so much more difficult for the dream work to change affect into content in its own sense; the affects often show great resistance, and thus it happens that the dream work has worked the painful content of the dream-thoughts over into a wish-fulfillment, while the painful affect continues in its unaltered form.
Hence in dreams of this type the affect does not fit the content at all, and our critics may say the dream is so little a wish-fulfillment that a harmless content may be experienced as painful. In answer to this unintelligible remark we say that the wish-fulfillment tendency in the dream-work appears most prominent, because isolated, in just such dreams. The error is due to the fact that he who does not know neurotics imagines the connection between content and affect as all too intimate, and cannot, therefore, grasp the fact that a content may be altered without any corresponding change in the accompanying affect-expression.
Naturally, to him who has the wish. But we know from the dreamer that he stands in a very special relationship to his wishes. He casts them aside, censors them, he will have none of them. Their fulfillment gives him no pleasure, but only the opposite. Experience then shows that this opposite, which must still be explained, appears in the form of fear.
The dreamer in his relation to his dream-wishes can be compared only to a combination of two persons bound together by some strong common quality. Instead of further explanations, I shall give you a well-known fairy tale, in which you will again find the relationships I have mentioned. A good fairy promises a poor couple, husband and wife, to fulfill their first three wishes. They are overjoyed, and determine to choose their three wishes with great care. But the woman allows herself to be led astray by the odor of cooking sausages emanating from the next cottage, and wishes she had a couple of such sausages.
This is the first wish-fulfillment. Now the husband becomes angry, and in his bitterness wishes that the sausages might hang from the end of her nose. This, too, is accomplished, and the sausages cannot be removed from their new location.
So this is the second wish-fulfillment, but the wish is that of the husband. The wife is very uncomfortable because of the fulfillment of this wish. You know how the fairy tale continues. Since both husband and wife are fundamentally one, the third wish must be that the sausages be removed from the nose of the wife. We could make use of this fairy tale any number of times in various connections; here it serves only as an illustration of the possibility that the wish-fulfillment for the one personality may lead to an aversion on the part of the other, if the two do not agree with one another.
We shall make one more observation, then we shall come to a conclusion to which many things lead. The observation is that the anxiety dreams often have a content which is entirely free from distortion and in which the censorship is, so to speak, eluded. The anxiety dream is ofttimes an undisguised wish-fulfillment, not, to be sure, of an accepted, but of a discarded wish. The anxiety development has stepped into the place of the censorship. While one may assert of the infantile dream that it is the obvious fulfillment of a wish that has gained admittance, and of the distorted dream that it is the disguised fulfillment of a suppressed wish, he must say of the anxiety dream that the only suitable formula is this, that it is the obvious fulfillment of a suppressed wish.
Anxiety is the mark which shows that the suppressed wish showed itself stronger than the censorship, that it put through its wish-fulfillment despite the censorship, or was about to put it through.
We understand that what is wish-fulfillment for the suppressed wish is for us, who are on the side of the dream-censor, only a painful sensation and a cause for antagonism. The anxiety which occurs in dreams is, if you wish, anxiety because of the strength of these otherwise suppressed wishes. Why this antagonism arises in the form of anxiety cannot be discovered from a study of the dream alone; one must obviously study anxiety from other sources.
The anxiety dream is usually also a dream that causes waking; we habitually interrupt sleep before the suppressed wish of the dream has accomplished its entire fulfillment in opposition to the censorship. In this case the execution of the dream is unsuccessful, but this does not change its nature. We have likened the dream to the night watchman or sleep-defender who wishes to protect our sleep from being disturbed. The night watchman, too, sometimes wakes the sleeper when he feels himself too weak to drive away the disturbance or danger all by himself.
Such alteration is more or less possible with respect to securing secondary aims if the primary aim is denied i. On the other hand, wish-fulfilling hallucinatory satisfaction may also, at least temporarily, pacify the need.
Here Hopkins proposes a distinction between drive pacification and satiation. A drive system may be more or less temporarily pacified if the wished-for situation is believed to obtain through illusory gratification.
On the other hand, satiation occurs when the actual satisfying conditions necessary for terminating a drive are obtained. As Freud , recognizes, pacification via hallucinatory wish-fulfillment is ultimately futile in the longer term, and the individual is more or less forced to pay attention to reality for satiating drive states.
Freud further recognizes that the so-called reality principle is but a modification of the basic motivational position the so-called unpleasure-pleasure principle— Freud, , p. Phillips et al. To propose otherwise would be to posit a mind independent of its somatic-motivational foundation—a mind existing as a veritable disembodied Cartesian rational faculty—and such an account fails to address the necessary role of the body and its motivational engines for understanding cognitive activity Maze, , ; Boag, , 2.
Freud, , p. While organic sensations such as digestive disturbances may make some contribution to dream content, dreams do not originate in bodily sensations and such sensations are also not sufficient for explaining dreaming activity since they lack any motivational foundation see Freud, , pp.
While Freud believes that dreams are the expression of wishes, not all wishes are equally acceptable and some become censored and distorted via repression. This censorship allows the otherwise objectionable content to be expressed, while protecting the dreamer from anxiety.
In respect to both the role of the dopamine pathways in dreaming, and the relationship between dopamine, motivation, and desire referred to earlier Berridge, ; Alcaro et al. Anxiety Dreams Anxiety dreams, however, appear to provide prima facie evidence against the claim that dreams are wish-fulfilling, and Hobson d , p. Hobson, Therein Freud addresses anxiety and dream distortion in terms of conflicting aims, repression, and disguised fulfillment of wishes.
In other words, the fulfillment of one wish might also represent the frustration of another, whereby, for example, a particular wish may be fulfilling sexually but be distressing ethically.
He repudiates them and censors them—he has no liking for them, in short. So that their fulfillment will give him no pleasure, but just the opposite; and experience shows that this opposite appears in the form of anxiety, a fact which has still to be explained.
Thus a dreamer in his relation to his dream-wishes can only be compared to an amalgamation of two separate people who are linked by some strong element in common Freud, — , pp.
Furthermore, such dreams do not actually reflect repression per se since, if anything, anxiety dreams indicate a relative absence of repression see Colace et al.
According to Freud , Freud, — , during sleep, the repressing functions of the ego are reduced though not completely inactivated and repressed wishes continue to push for expression. However, while critical of the censor account, Hobson does not rule out that repression may contribute to dream content, even if denying any essential role to the process: Dynamically repressed or actively forced down mental content may well emerge in the process of dream image creation and plot selection processes that activation-synthesis credits with dream production, but such material is neither necessary nor sufficient for dreaming to occur in sleep Hobson, d , p.
At the same time, disguise-censorship enjoys an uncertain status within psychoanalytic dream theory. Solms b , p. Taken literally, this censor is an active, cognizing agent independent of the ego a homunculus of sorts , acting to guard the ego during sleep. This is the position explicitly targeted by Hobson: According to PDT psychoanalytic dream theory , dreaming occurs because unconscious infantile wishes, which are easily suppressed during waking, become active in sleep.
When the ego is off duty, the id becomes unruly. To the rescue of the sleeping ego come the defensive forces of disguise and censorship. They bowdlerize the kinky id forces and make them look non-sensical and meaningless whereas, in fact, they are masquerades for viciously potent entities that would overwhelm consciousness if admitted to that realm undisguised Hobson, d , pp.
Freud, — , p. Similarly, in connection with dreams, the censor acts as an independent, cognizing agency, ever vigilant and on alert to protect the sleeping ego: If we enter further into the structure of the ego, we may recognize in the ego ideal and in the dynamic utterances of conscience the dream-censor [Zensor] as well. If this censor is to some extent on the alert even during sleep, we can understand how it is that its suggested activity of self-observation and self-criticism This censor thus stands above the rest of the ego, such that whilst the ego succumbs to sleep, the censor remains vigilant, albeit in an attenuated state see Boag, a , Freud is invoking a strongly partitive account of mind by proposing multiple knowers within the personality.
Furthermore, the functional roles attributed to the censor are problematic. Taken literally, the censor is said to cognize and evaluate other mental processes impulses and desires before either allowing, forbidding or disguising these. If so, the censor must first detect and determine whether a wish is forbidden or acceptable, and know strategies for censoring and distorting these to minimize offense.
Boag, a , An Alternative Account of Repression in Dreaming Censor accounts as found above have proliferated within psychoanalytic theorizing in one guise or another see Boag, , partly because such accounts appear necessary for explaining how repression could occur see Maze and Henry, ; Boag, a , And further: We may here recall that we have found that the formation of dreams takes place under the dominance of a censorship [Zensur] which compels distortion of the dream-thoughts.
We did not, however, picture this censorship as a special power, but chose the term to designate one side of the repressive trends that govern the ego, namely the side which is turned toward the dream-thoughts Freud, , pp. An alternative position to the anthropomorphic censor views the act of repression itself as simply another drive-activity, akin to fleeing or avoiding aversive stimuli, rather than an activity exercised by a rational executive or higher function of the mind see Boag, b , , Viewed in this manner, one way that repression could contribute to dream distortion is via the inhibition of primary aims and the development of substitute ones see Boag, a.
The aims believed to be the most direct route to satisfaction are the primary aims or objects of the drive cf. Petocz, , and should these primary aims be associated with negative consequences and repressed out of anxiety, then substitute secondary aims may act as alternative, compromised routes to satisfaction.
The repressed wish, in relation to the demands of anxiety, may become distorted and lose semblance from its primary objective. On this account, repression reflects an apparent paradoxical state of affairs whereby a person can be said to both know the targets of repression, but also not know that the targets are known. Such repression is presumably mediated via neural inhibition and addresses how apparently paradoxical processes might occur, including unconscious resistance cf.
Freud, ; see Boag, and anosognosia see Boag, Weiskrantz, ; see Boag, ; see also Stevens, , for a discussion of the possible role of the anterior cingulate cortex in repression 4.
Freud explains that during the summer of he had been giving psychoanalytic therapy to a young woman named Irma. Freud was obviously perturbed by the insinuation, dreaming that same night: A large hall—numerous guests, whom we were receiving. She looked pale and puffy. I thought to myself that after all I must be missing some organic trouble.
I took her to the window and looked down her throat, and she showed signs of recalcitrance, like women with artificial dentures. I thought to myself that there was really no need for her to do that. I noticed this, just as he did, in spite of her dress. We were directly aware, too, of the origin of the infection. Not long before, when she was feeling unwell, my friend Otto had given her an injection of a preparation of propyl, propyls Injections of this sort ought not to be given so thoughtlessly And probably the syringe had not been clean Freud, , p.In this respect, Hobson , p. Such primary drive sources are logically independent of their effects and so avoid circular explanation. The conditions for this may be just as easily furnished by the dream-wish as by the dream-censorship. Hobson , b , c , for instance, proposes that diminished self-reflective awareness and self-monitoring in dreams is attributable to REM brain sleeping: Cognitive processes such as memory, self-reflective awareness, insight and judgment are deficient in dream consciousness owing to the shift in balance between the aminergic system which is dominant in waking but ineffective in REM and the cholinergic system which is suppressed in waking but unfettered in REM Hobson, c , p. The unbearable automaticity of being. I cannot do that for you, and simply wish to express the conviction that it will be successful everywhere.
While this is all naturally speculative and open to various criticisms see Anspaugh, , the point here is to simply illustrate how repression could logically contribute to dreaming, without recourse to a censor. Secondary elaboration occurs when the unconscious mind strings together wish-fulfilling images in a logical order of events, further obscuring the latent content. Freud outlines this in his hungry baby example when he describes the development of wishes: The exigencies of life confront it the organism first in the form of the major somatic needs. He suggested that this is because we have two psychological processes at work at the same time when we try to suppress a thought: an operating process that actively suppresses it, and a monitoring process that keeps an eye out for the suppressed thought. I took her to the window and looked down her throat, and she showed signs of recalcitrance, like women with artificial dentures.
We were unable to make a similar statement concerning distorted dreams, until we knew how to interpret them.