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The research of consciousness or states of awareness has provided numerous interesting and influential studies Sleep dreams and hypnosis are states of awareness that have intrigued psychologists because they relate to the quality of psychological interaction with the environment States of awareness change constantly which produces changes in behavior Studies in this area have made great contributions to the understanding of psychology Researchers pursuing answers about states of awareness discovered Rapid Eye Movement sleep and how it relates to dreaming Rosalind Cartwright a leading researcher in this area takes the study of consciousness to another level by suggesting that people may be able to control what they dream about Many psychologists have theorized about why people dream Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were windows to your unconscious that your greatest unfulfilled wishes and fears would be expressed symbolically in your dreams Freuds view has been highly influential and psychotherapists still use dream interpretation during therapy Chrick and Mitchilsons mental housekeeping hypothesis says that you need to dream to clean your mind of information you collect over time that is useless overly bizarre or redundant Rosalind Cartwright developed the theory that dreams provide and extension of thought in order for people to solve problems they face in life This approach allows people to experiment with and gain insight into potential solutions Cartwright suggested that if a personally relevant presleep wish is made then the topic is likely to enter into dreams She believed people are most concerned with personality aspects they would like to change or cognitive inconsistency about the self Cartwright predicted that dreams that follow focus on a personally relevant problem would be related to that topic and that in the dream the person would approach the situation differently than while awake Cartwright used 17 paid volunteer college students to test her predictions All the volunteers claimed to be good sleepers and spent a few nights in the laboratory in order to adapt
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