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Continued: New research reveals many dreams are universal

  • Article by: MELISSA DRIBBEN , Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Last update: January 13, 2014 - 2:41 PM

Nearly 80 percent of recurrent dreams are negative, she said, but the dream response varies widely. Barrett has heard of dreams in which a man is mortified to find himself in a mall without shoes and he tries to keep to the shadows to hide his bare feet. Others, she said, may find themselves stark naked on a busy city street and decide to saunter nonchalantly as though nothing were amiss.

Dream interpretation also exists in nearly every culture, researchers say. And while it has always provided fodder for those who claim to know how to unlock the mind’s secrets, the only expert about your dreams is you.

“People can give you helpful advice, but it’s always up to the dreamer to say this is what I think it means,” said Bulkeley. “If anyone takes out a dictionary and tells you this is what your dreams mean, run the other way.”

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