Jerry M. Burger



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Jerry M. Burger

  • Jerry M. Burger




Dream interpretation

  • Dream interpretation

  • Defense mechanisms

  • Humor

  • Hypnosis



Notion that dreams contain hidden psychological meaning

  • Notion that dreams contain hidden psychological meaning

    • Individual’s dreams provide clues about what’s in individual’s unconscious
  • Used by therapists from different perspectives as a therapeutic tool

  • Questions addressed in the research

    • What do people dream about?
    • Why do people dream?


Dream contains images or evokes emotions that people feel must mean something

  • Dream contains images or evokes emotions that people feel must mean something

  • Traditional Freudian therapist suggests that objects and people in a dream are symbols

    • Sexual symbols


Recurrent dream

  • Recurrent dream

    • Occurs because conflict expressed in the dream is important yet remains unresolved
    • Occurs due to the anxiety people experience during the day


Allow the symbolic expression of unconscious impulses

  • Allow the symbolic expression of unconscious impulses

  • Provide a safe and healthy outlet for expressing unconscious conflicts



Refers to rapid eye movement

  • Refers to rapid eye movement

  • Called paradoxical sleep

  • Muscles are relaxed but brain activity will be similar to that of waking state

  • Filled with dreams

      • Research indicates that People deprived of REM sleep one night respond by increasing their amount of REM sleep the next night


Researchers produced a number of findings consistent with Freud’s speculations

  • Researchers produced a number of findings consistent with Freud’s speculations

    • Content of our dreams is not random
    • Dreaming serves positive psychological functions
  • Researchers uncovered the results that are difficult to explain within Freudian theory



Unconscious efforts to conceal painful thoughts

  • Unconscious efforts to conceal painful thoughts

    • Repression - Cornerstone of psychoanalysis
  • Based on psychoanalytic approach:

    • Ego consists of tools to fend off anxiety and guilt
  • Regularly employed in life without awareness



Done by investigators through:

  • Done by investigators through:

    • Interpreting responses to Rorschach inkblots or to stories
    • Using responses to Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) picture cards
  • Researchers developed coding systems to convert responses into scores indicating:

    • Extent to which test takers use various defense mechanisms




Research indicates that young children rely on denial

  • Research indicates that young children rely on denial

    • Denial - Consists of disavowing certain facts, from failure to see reality to distorting one’s memory
      • Reduces anxiety associated with a traumatic event
  • Mature children find denial of facts and feelings to be ineffective



Older children turn to projection to alleviate their anxieties and inward fears

  • Older children turn to projection to alleviate their anxieties and inward fears

    • Projection - Protects from threatening anxiety by attributing unacceptable thoughts and feelings to others
  • Use of defense mechanisms other than denial and projection indicates emotional maturity



Individual patterns

  • Individual patterns

    • Relying on some defense mechanisms more than others
    • Rationalizing away the misdeeds and mistakes
    • Displacing anger and projecting own suspicions and fears onto others
  • Tells about a person’s general well-being



Defense mechanism being adaptive or maladaptive depends on a function of:

  • Defense mechanism being adaptive or maladaptive depends on a function of:

  • Anna Freud suggested that defense mechanisms are maladaptive when used past an appropriate age

  • Explains how people react to common sources of stress



Concerned with tendentious jokes

  • Concerned with tendentious jokes

    • Provide insight into the unconscious of the joke teller and the person who laughs
    • Identified jokes dealing with hostility and sex
  • Aggressive jokes allow the expression of impulses ordinarily held in check

  • Laughter after a hostile or sexual joke is rarely justified by the humor content of the joke



Catharsis: Reduction of pent up tension by reaction of any means

  • Catharsis: Reduction of pent up tension by reaction of any means

    • Is a reason for laughter on jokes
  • People derive pleasure from many jokes because they reduce tension and anxiety



Research suggests that people find aggressive and sexual themes funny

  • Research suggests that people find aggressive and sexual themes funny

    • Participants rate cartoons containing aggression or sex as funnier than other cartoons


Hypotheses derived from Freud’s theory of humor have been supported in empirical studies

  • Hypotheses derived from Freud’s theory of humor have been supported in empirical studies

    • Men and women in a study were presented with a series of hostile jokes and cartoons
      • Consistent with Freud’s observations, both enjoyed humor aimed at the opposite sex


Hostile humor has tension reducing capabilities

  • Hostile humor has tension reducing capabilities

    • Caution should be exercised on using appropriate kind of humor when dealing with angry audience


More tension people experience before a punch line, the funnier they’ll find the joke

  • More tension people experience before a punch line, the funnier they’ll find the joke

  • Pleasure derived from the release of tension leads to the enjoyment of the joke





People find jokes and cartoons funnier when they contain sexual and aggressive themes

  • People find jokes and cartoons funnier when they contain sexual and aggressive themes

  • People appear to enjoy hostile humor more when it is aimed at someone they dislike

  • Hostile humor may reduce tension

  • Jokes are funnier when the listener’s tension level is built up before the punch line



Research indicates that laughter is an effective means to combat daily tension and stressful events

  • Research indicates that laughter is an effective means to combat daily tension and stressful events



Induction procedure in which people are told about being hypnotized and are suggested to perform certain tasks

  • Induction procedure in which people are told about being hypnotized and are suggested to perform certain tasks





  • Psychoanalytic Theorists



Psychoanalytic view on hypnosis

  • Psychoanalytic view on hypnosis

  • Deeply hypnotized people experience a division of their conscious mind

    • Hypnotized part enters a type of altered state
    • Another part remains aware of what is going on during the hypnotic session
      • Acts as a hidden observer


Challenged the notion that hypnosis involved a state of consciousness different than being awake

  • Challenged the notion that hypnosis involved a state of consciousness different than being awake

  • Concepts of expectancy, motivation, and concentration are used to account for hypnotic phenomena

  • Sociocognitive theorists:



Argued that the psychoanalytic position sometimes becomes circular

    • Argued that the psychoanalytic position sometimes becomes circular
    • Countered unusual behavior under hypnosis with demonstrations of the same phenomena without hypnosis
    • Challenged the accuracy of the participants’ descriptions
    • Were skeptical of participants’ reports concerning posthypnotic amnesia


Varies amongst indiviudals

  • Varies amongst indiviudals

  • Achieved by:

    • Defining the situation as hypnosis
    • Securing cooperation and establishing trust before beginning
  • Freud observed that:

    • Hypnotizing neurotics is difficult
    • Insane are completely resistant to hypnosis


Predicted by an individual’s ability to become immersed in a role

  • Predicted by an individual’s ability to become immersed in a role

  • Absorption

    • Personality trait that predicts hypnotic responsiveness
    • High scores indicate ability to become:
      • Highly involved in sensory and imaginative experiences
      • More responsive to hypnotic suggestions


Important variables affecting hypnotic responsiveness

  • Important variables affecting hypnotic responsiveness

    • Attitude
    • Motivation
    • Expectancy



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