- Emotional selection
Emotional Selection is a psychological theory of dreaming developed by [http://www.couttsdesigninc.com/Biography.html Richard Coutts] and published in the April
2008issue of [http://www.ammonsscientific.com/ Psychological Reports] . The theory describes a process that executes a set of dreamsduring non-REM sleepwith social content that is tentatively accommodated by mental schemas. Because schemas coexist as a network, accommodations can introduce accidental, maladaptive conflicts and therefore are ideally tested before integration. Consequently, during subsequent REM sleepa second set of dreamsis executed in the form of test scenarios. If accommodations performed during prior non-REM dreamsalleviate anxiety, frustration, sadness, or in other ways appear emotionally adaptive during REM dream tests, they would be selected for retention. Those accommodations that compare negatively to existing, unchanged schemas would be abandoned or further modified and tested. Jean Piagetdescribed schemas as being riddled with conflict, which is why Coutts asserts that they are modified and tested with dreams during sleep. From his 2008paper, "People strive for independence, yet find solace in the company of others; they place a high priority on our personal safety, yet quickly jeopardize it to help those in need; they are sexually attracted to many people, yet seek loving, monogamousrelationships. Schemas help strike the balances necessary for navigating the complex, often contradictory landscape that comprises life."
Schemas are essential for adapting a person to a
social environment. Consequently, emotional selection theory agrees with evolutionary forces by describing a role for dreamsas adaptively enhancing mental schemas, thereby increasing a person’s ability to meet social needs during wakefulness.
# [http://www.emotionalselection.com/ Coutts, R (2008). Dreams as modifiers and tests of mental schemas: an emotional selection hypothesis. Psychological Reports, 102, 561-574.]
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