On dreams and motivation: comparison of Freud's and Hobson's views

Simon Boag*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    97 Downloads (Pure)


    The merits of Freudian dream theory continue to be debated and both supporters and critics appeal to empirical evidence to support their respective positions. What receives much less attention is the theoretical coherency of either Freudian dream theory or alternative perspectives. This paper examines Freudian dream theory and J. Allan Hobsons alternative position by addressing the role of motivation in dreams. This paper first discusses motivation in Freudian theory and its relation to dreams and disguise-censorship. The role of motivation in Hobsons theory is then considered. Hobsons claim that dream plot and content selection is random and based on design error and functional imbalance is then discussed in relation to the protoconsciousness theory proposal that dreams serve an adaptive function. While there are apparent inconsistencies in Hobsons position, his appeal to emotions and instincts provides a preliminary platform for understanding the role of motivation in dreams that is consonant with the Freudian position.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2001
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Issue numberJAN
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017


    • disguise-censorship
    • dreams
    • fantasy
    • motivation
    • psychoanalysis
    • neuropsychoanalysis
    • repression


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