The anthropology of dreaming

A reapplication of the process scoring system for dreams

In a Journal of Clinical Psychology Richard Corriere and his colleagues Hartshorn, Hart, Karle and Switzer replicated their original research which described a new  way to analyze and understand dreams.  The first study done over five  years found that how the dreamer acted in dreams was a powerful determinate of dreams content.

For example, if the dreamer was passive in the dream the dream content was often confusing and highly symbolic and if the dreamer was silent and non-expressive the dream often portrayed the dreamer as a victim in the dream.

The research found then when the dreamer was expressive and active in the dream the dream was often positive.

The inspiration for Corriere’s research came from his anthropological studies of the study of the Senoi Tribe of Malaysia.  The Senoi were known as a non-violent, highly productive society that taught their children from their earliest days to be strong in their dreams and to confront bad or evil characters.  They had children learn to re-dream dreams until they were strong, active, speaking and calling on friends to help them while sleeping.  The Senoi then went further to apply these same teachings to waking life skills.

Corriere began to understand how the current field of social science was 180 degrees different from the Senoi.  Social Sciences instead of teaching the skills people needed to learn to be productive members of society was focused on what went wrong with people and societies.  The Senoi were looking ahead to how to make life better while Social Science was looking at what went wrong.  The light bulb turned on.

Corriere’s ideas are defined in his three books on dreams:   The Dream MakersDM Source FrenchDreaming and Waking,  and The Functional Analysis of Dreams.


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