An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming
2nd Edition
by Kelly Bulkeley, PhD
June 2017, 160pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5706-5
$41, £31, 36€, A56
Paperback: 978-1-4408-5827-7
$24, £18, 21€, A33
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5707-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

After 100 years of scientific study, researchers have established that all humans dream—everyone has the innate ability to generate vivid imaginal experiences in sleep.

Introducing students at all levels to the key concepts of modern dream psychology, this concise book provides an overview of major theories regarding the formation, function, and interpretation of dreams.

Why do people dream, and what do dreams mean? What do the most recent neuroscientific research and studies of patterns in dream content reveal about the functionality of dreams? How do the ideas of earlier generations of dream psychologists continue to influence the research of psychologists today? An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming covers all major theories in dream psychology from 1900 to the present day. It provides readers with a unique resource that focuses specifically on this lineage of research in dream psychology and is concise and accessibly written.

Each chapter of the book analyzes a particular theory of dream psychology in terms of three basic questions: How are dreams formed? What functions do dreams serve? How can dreams be interpreted? By examining each theorist’s answers to these questions, readers can clearly see how dream psychology theorists have both incorporated concepts from previous researchers and developed new ideas of their own. A breadth of psychological approaches is considered, from Freud and Jung to contemporary brain studies, giving readers an appreciation of the wide range of theories regarding this fascinating area of study.


  • Explains the historical development of dream psychology across a century of thought and research, from Freudian psychoanalysis to modern neuroscience
  • Provides a clear template for analyzing each theory of dream psychology in terms of how it answers the three basic questions of formation, function, and interpretation
  • Encourages readers to look carefully at their own dreams as a legitimate source of insight into the dreaming process
  • Represents an ideal resource for undergraduate students in introductory psychology classes who need a solid understanding of the psychology of dreaming
Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, is director of the Sleep and Dream Database. A senior editor of the journal Dreaming and a former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, he is author and editor of several books, including Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion; Praeger's Lucid Dreaming: New Perspectives on Consciousness in Sleep (coedited with Ryan Hurd); and Dreaming in the World's Religions: A Comparative History.


"Though this text is brief, it is rich with information, is written in a clear and concise style, and offers introductions to the primary contributors to dream psychology. It will serve as a strong companion to Bulkeley’s other works and to other dream psychology volumes. Updated research and appendix material are included. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018
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