We learn facts in life from books or from experience, and we remember them. If later we ascertain a new fact about the same subject or phenomenon that contradicts the first impression, we can't erase that first fact, but we keep both facts with the ability to distinguish between them clearly, in consciousness.

For example Pluto used to be the 9th planet however is no longer. But if in a dream one tells someone tha Pluto is in fact the 9th planet, does this mean that there is inconsistency between the id, ego and superego?

Can we link this to slips of the tongue/mind or silly mistakes to which we later feel "oh I still knew it, I did that mistake"


Freud's psychic apparatus is pure theoretical psychology, which isn't cognition's best friend.

It's really hard to think how one could map the 3 construct to cognition (perhaps id is the easiest - primal brain, instinct). But even if you could, suggesting an inconsistency between 3 brain mega-systems to explain dreams is a bit of a stretch (albeit not completely unfounded - consider phantom limbs).

So as far as cognition goes, dreams have a few key characteristics:

  • Recency - they involve things that you have experienced since you've last slept.
  • Saliency - they involve things that are of subjective importance.
  • Randomness - random combinations and often incoherent flow.

If you try to infer anything from dreams, your best shot is that whatever you dreamt of was either recent, salient or random.

I know it may not be exciting like Freud's theories, but it is by far more founded on empirical evidence.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have heard that dreams are unfinished business in your mind so taking from the previous post the three characteristics of dreams interpretations would vary from person to person however some similarities can exist and thus help with possible interpretation $\endgroup$ – Pj Sparkles Dec 30 '15 at 11:45

For the first question, I think the answer is no.

There's an inconsistency between this statement in the dream and the dreamer's current beliefs, but how can you show that it's a difference between Freudian entities?

Which one would be the superego, the ID, or the ego? How would you know? I think the phenomenon doesn't provide enough information to draw that conclusion.

An example of this is: say that the ego believes the old belief, and the superego is automatically correcting to the new belief. Then what if the person learns a third overriding belief? Presumably, either of the old beliefs can be called up in a dream. But then do the beliefs shuffle down to the id, ego and superego, or is the superego carrying two beliefs, or what?

Why would the id care about which version is true?

An example of a belief that is overridden many times is what year it is.

If someone dreamt of someone saying that it's currently what's actually a previous year, how would you assign that to the Freudian entities?

edit: By the way, I'm not a psychologist.

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