Calvin S. Hall Jr.

BY Layne Sheridan 2022-10-10 Modified date: 2022-10-10


The study of dreams by Calvin S. Hall Jr. (1909–1985) is primarily concerned with the content; this approach is known as content analysis. Dreaming is a cognitive process because it essentially involves thoughts. The inaccessible parts of your mind, also known as the unconscious, can be reached via dreams. According to Hall, dreams are the best tool for identifying inner thoughts and providing context for behaviour. Dreams don't conceal things about you; they reveal them. Hall groups dream into one of the five categories that make up life.

Calvin Hall's cognitive theory was founded on his conviction that dreams were conceptualizations of life experiences, including the environment the dreamer lives in and how the dreamer views himself. As a result of Hall's research, he developed the following.

Concept of Self

The dreamer's perception of who he is and his place in the world is referred to as his concept of self. Money, for instance, represents power. The dreamer is more powerful the more money there is. The dreamer is weaker the less money there is. The dreamer might be wealthy in their dream. However, the money could be taken away or stolen in that same dream. This denotes that even though the dreamer is strong, his strength is limited by his weaknesses. He goes from having a lot of wealth and consequently power to having little wealth and power.

Concept of Others

The dreamer's conception of others is how they appear to them. If the dreamer believes his mother to be nurturing, then his mother will also appear to be nurturing in his dreams. Similarly, if the dreamer believes a friend to be self-centred, that friend will act selfishly in the dream.

Concept of the World

The dreamer's conception of the world is referred to as the concept of the world. Because it is based on the dreamer's current life circumstances, this concept is also dynamic. It changes based on how he's feeling. The dream will show hostile environments if the dreamer thinks that the world is nothing but stress, problems, and agitation. Thunderstorms and traffic are just two examples of these dangerous conditions. Additionally, if the dreamer is considering winter, he might have a dream about snow, ice, or extremely cold temperatures.

Concept of Impulsions, Prohibitions, and Penalties

The dreamer's concept of impulses, prohibitions, and penalties describes what they think humankind is permitted to do as well as what they think humankind is not permitted to do. [11] A difficult circumstance or obstacle will appear in the dreamer's vision. He will experience impulses in the dream that will drive him to act. It becomes clear what the dreamer thinks is permitted and what is forbidden by the way he or she gets past that barrier to satisfy their urge.

The dreamer will take whatever action is necessary to address the issue and satiate his urge if he believes doing so will be okay. However, if the dreamer wants to take a certain action to help them overcome the obstacle but thinks it is against the law, they will not.

Concept of issues and conflicts

The phrase "problems and conflicts" refers to the struggles and issues the dreamer is currently facing in the real world. The dreamer may receive advice from these dreams on how to overcome the struggle he is going through.

Hall thinks you can analyze the content of your dreams and navigate your way toward understanding the inner workings of your unconscious by using these five ideas.

Hall created a cognitive theory of dreams in 1953. This hypothesis claims, "Dreams represent "conceptions" of the dreamer's social environment, family, and friends. They expose ideas about what it means to be "weak," "assertive," "unloved," "domineering," and "hostile." Hall also developed a metaphoric theory of dream symbolism. He developed this theory using metaphors found in poetry and slang, with a focus on metaphors as studied by cognitive linguists George Lakoff and others. Hall asserted that "dream images are visual representations of personal conceptions" and that "a dream was simply a thought or sequence that occurred during sleep."

In other words, "dreams mirror the self; they reflect the dreamer's unconscious self-conception, which frequently does not at all resemble our fabricated and distorted self-portraits by which we deceive ourselves in waking life." For instance, if someone has a dream that they are being attacked by friends, this may indicate that they are wary of friendship. This only applies to latent dream content or the dream's underlying meaning; manifest dream content is not affected (the actual literal subject matter of the dream). "The content of the manifest dream is a distortion of oneself and one's desires, not a true reflection of oneself."

There are numerous ways to accomplish a task or, to put it another way, numerous interpretations of what a dream means. As a result, one can only infer what a dream means. All of this information was gathered by Hall through careful statistical comparisons of thousands of "normal" people's dreams.


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