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Allison, G.H. Loeb, F. Spain, D.H. (1993). Lewin's Manifest Dream Exercise Revisited. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:127-150.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:127-150

Lewin's Manifest Dream Exercise Revisited

George H. Allison, M.D., Felix Loeb, M.D. and David H. Spain, Ph.D.


In an institute research class, the validity of Lewin's methodology in his manifest dream exercise was tested by a different approach. Class members developed a questionnaire based on two actual manifest dreams. Responses from six analytic candidates and fifteen graduate analysts were analyzed by two classroom groups, working independently. The data were assessed by two methods and the conclusions were only partially synchronous with Lewin's method of collective free association in which members of the group influenced one another. Our subjects did not influence one another, and they and research class members were "blind" to the dreams' associations, context, and meanings derived years earlier, until after data were assessed and conclusions were reached. One conclusion suggests that intuition as to "correct" meanings may be independent of the number of years of analytic experience.

This project is reported to stimulate similar research projects as a regular part of psychoanalytic education.

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