Market Research of Dreams -or- Dream Research of Markets

Advertizing and Behavioural Economics -or- The Hidden Persuaders

This dream interpretation is about "markets", and after the introduction about the psychological effects of the market on behavioural economic thought, feeling and decision making found in our dreams, a number of dreams of dreamers ranging from 13 to 55 of age will be reviewed.

Most likely, like many others today, I received a phone call from a company representative (of a different phone company than the one I'm with) that wanted to sell a "cheaper" telephone service. Emptying my mail box of letters, today I found one of two direct mailings, which have found their way into the "blue box" (recycle bin). Almost everyone probably gets e-mail "spam" everyday, I did. Yesterday, someone called about doing a market research survey.

Before I left Switzerland at the end of 1987, I was working for an advertising agency as a psychologist. The popular advertising paradigm at the time was "direct marketing", the agency that I worked for was applying behavioural psychological strategies as an advertising method and tool. The behavioural effectiveness of such an advertising strategy is measurable, at least in theory anyways.

As a student, I had read the work of Vance Packard which spoke about the psychological influence of "The Hidden Persuaders". When I undertook my training therapy from 1984 to 1987, one of the dreams that I bought to my weekly sessions looked at the market place in Berne, Switzerland. For those that know, Berne is the political capital of Switzerland. In the dream I walked with my Professor (with whom I was in training) along this outdoor street market looking at this virtual marketplace of my dream.

One of the behavioural economic models I use to understand dreams is Thorsten Veblen's ideas and perspective that helps to conceptualize and understand the "marketplace of our dreams". Veblen "The Theory of the Leisure Class" coined the concept of "conspicuous consumption", this consumer concept finds meaning and relevance in an inordinate number of dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR).

From 1977 on, my own dreams have been informed by the concept of the "marketplace of ideas" that is reflected in and finds currency and circulation in the "marketplace of dreams". For 35 years, I have observed how an army of cultural media opinion leaders, psychologists, advertisers, public relations (PR) managers (the so-called "spin doctors" all try to control the information flow of perception and behaviour circulating in our collective unconscious and collective memory.

One of the findings of the IIDR is the pervasive influence of the culture industry, and the Hollywood dream factory has on the dreams of those living in the "global village". Just as Charlotte Beradt "The Third Reich of Dreams" showed the media effects of Nazi propaganda on controlling the German crowd living in Hitler's Germany, today the social psychological effects of mass media, advertising and culture industries on dreams is undeniable. Dream research makes visible the social psychological landscape and depth-psychological effects of markets and the culture industries on dreams.

The Internet has become a global marketing marketplace, psychographics are used for the purpose of "market segmentation", such as the one based on dreams discussed below. Many economic theories begin with the disposable income of the "family household", this is not revealing anything that advertisers don't already know.

Economists create pretty formulas and models about how the family operates economically, what most of them for the most part don't understand is that people generally operate by what Jeremy Bentham conceptualized as "felicific calculus". Bentham's concept of felicific calculus has been hedonistically transformed into the modern psychological Freudian pleasure principle and Jean-François Lyotard's idea of a "Libidinal Economy" of dreams and nightmares. We can see one such felicific nightmare in the dream interpretation "Alienation Effects"

What my psychotherapy work has also shown me is that those that cannot secure a desired life style by legal opportunities are tempted and will often resort to illegal opportunities resulting in "criminal careers" and social order deviance. These illegal opportunities are often played out in dreams. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari "Capitalism and Schizophrenia" discuss the productive and destructive forces of unconscious psychological flows of desire. What the International Institute for Dream Research is making visible for you the reader, is the irrational and destructive aspects of desire that creates for many the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams in the Global Village" (read article).

Here are the dreams;

Bill, 13

I had this dream about my crush, Me and my family was going to the airport then when we got there I saw my crush and we went to some sort of a room then she talked to me but I didn't heard what she said then we went out of the airport then I saw her going to a market wearing a yellow T-shirt with a blue collar, a jeans and rubber shoes then I suddenly woke up.

Mr Hagen's Reply; Blue Collar Families

The psychological class conscious concept of "blue collar" worker and family is already visible for a 13 year old.

Jim, 18

I LOOKED like myself, but i FELT like i was Brendan Frazier, the actor. like from the Mummy and such. And me and my family were in like Mexico or some place like that. We got kidnapped. Along with my little cousin Dick. he's around 7 or so. Eventually i managed to escape somehow. and for about 20 minutes i was just running around Mexico or wherever it was. i seemed pretty normal, that was until i started jumping. i could jump like 30 feet up into the air. people were chasing after me. and i just kept avoiding them by jumping super high. after a little bit i was caught by a stray wind and i landed on top of one of those tent things that they have at markets. i was then re-captured. and at that point. after struggling to get off the tent and being captured again, i woke up.

Mr Hagen's Reply; Brendan Frazier and the Mummy -or- Escapism

Jim is 18, the Hollywood dream factory has once again provided escapist "adventure" film entertainment in the "Mummy" . The market as Jim points out tries to capture everyone.

Lisa, 21

I had met a guy but he was pressuring me to have sex.  I said no and he finally left me alone.  Later he comes back and intends to kill me.  I get away and into the apartment where a married man asks me out. I turn him down. The next day I hit an old woman crossing the street with my car but no one notices or cares. I went into supermarket where the killing/cutting off the eyes of oversized shrimp get to me and I have to leave. I walk home (it's night time now) and realize that I am being followed by the ex-date and his friend.  They chase me with a chainsaw.

Somehow I get a knife and stab the ex-date in the head but he still keeps coming so I stab him in his temple and he dies. His friend promises to get me. Once I reach my building, he asks me out on a date. I say, "why so you can try to rape me like your friend?"  He then promises to get me. I go inside but come back out and he sees me.  He runs from a far-away hill to kill me. He gets inside the building but I somehow get the upper hand and push him down the stairs, killing him. The next day all the room mates leave for class but I tell them that I'm scared to be alone because someone will get me.  I ask to attend class with them and one agrees. She drive to her class and up one entering a parking garage, there is a giant truck covered in soda. We park and finally start to walk to class. I wake up feeling scared and anxious.

Mr Hagen's Reply; Dating, Graphic Violence and Media Violence Research

The gratuituous "supermarket" of graphic violence in this dream borders on the stuff of splatter and snuff films are made of. Has anyone in the media violence research field seriously thought about the harmful effects of violence on dreams?

Jennifer, 23

I dreamt of a fish sold in the market which has no life at all. In my dream, I'm with both my parents inside the market.

Mr Hagen's Reply: The Global Recession -or- All in the Family

This dream was received after the 2008 global recession, no wonder the market in the dream was dead.

Paula, 31

My husband & I were on our way to a party when we came across an huge open area with lots of stairs (like a something you would see in older movies with that were suppossedly dated from the roman times!) the stairs were everywhere going everywhere, when I noticed alot moving & fighting going on, there were very small animals, mostly cats & rabbits fighting & tearing each other apart & eating them. That's when I noticed my own 2 cats & my cats that had died 2years ago.

I tried to save them all & was frantic & very frightened my husband tried to get the one that had past away but we could not save her, the other 2 cats got badly shaken & a little beat up but where ok! well we finally got to the party & we were having a great time, but turned out there were people smoking pot & doing cocaine, we don't do any type of drugs anymore.

But when I couldn't find my husband I found him smoking a joint, I was very confused & ran away. When I found him again about an hour had passed & he had his head face down sniffing cocaine, he never said sorry & was even trying to get me do some. eventually i did & we ended up in bed sniffing cocaine all night, it turned out it was a secret party that all the cops knew about & supported & even gave us little treat bags of drugs to go home with, I ended up on a country road getting some more stuff when I realized it was the cops that were hosting these types of parties, because I had parked my husbands truck up on the road & walked down to a market in a field, but they were going by I got scared & grabbed the money & left the other people in the van & walked up to my truck, they just said be careful there was an accident. I wake up.

Mr Hagen's Reply; The Drug Industry -or- Requiem for a Dream

Many drug related and drug induced dreams have been sent to the IIDR, they usually lead down the road to the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".

Eric, 33

I was at a market and everything was really cheap. I asked the attendant how much was the shrimp he said they were $2.14 for two pounds of them. Everything was in baskets and the shrimp was huge. They had chicken and fish also.

Mr Hagen's Reply; The Fire Sale -or- Cash is King

In "fire sales" prices are usually drastically reduced when markets, industries and retailers are facing bankruptcy or financial distress as was seen in the last recession.

Norma, 37

The dream takes place in India. My husband and I are visiting, and staying near an Indian family (perhaps in their guest house??). I am walking around, alone, in a backyard type area. It is very lush, almost jungle like. I want to say I was looking for something, but may have just been exploring my new surroundings. There was a sense of curiosity though. I stumbled and fell, into a nest of cobras.

My husband seemed to think they were a threat and asked me if I would like to pop one of the cobra's eyes out!! (He had a knife in his hand) I was mortified/upset and said "No! What is wrong with you???" and left to try to find my way to a hospital, because one of the baby cobras had bit me. I found myself wandering in an open market type place. I was trying to head back to my husband again because I still needed to go to the hospital. I was feeling dizzy and disoriented and figured the poison was starting to affect me. But it wasn't making me sick, just confused. At that point, two police man approached me. They had been searching for me, and knew I had been bitten. They told me to come with them, that they would help me. And then I woke up.

Mr Hagen's Reply: Marketplace of India -or- Pick your Poison

The cultural marketplace in India is very different from the one in Europe of North America. Norma is not sickened by the snake bite, just confused. Health and decision making processes in India are most likely based on different cultural industry norms and values.

Helen, 35

The first part was 2 strangers (rather like electrical engineers) came to my home to do some kind of survey. I have dreamt about these 2 once before. Whilst they were here more strangers appeared in my house. It was like they had been invited to stay and made themselves very much at home.

I noticed a festival - with all the people I had seen in blue shirts and my unexpected guests playing musical instruments and dancing around fires. I walked to a supermarket where I saw 2 teenage girls drop a mobile phone on the floor and kick it. I picked it up and said it was mine - they tried to grab it from me when there was an announcement that there was a fight in aisle (I can't remember the number). The assistant got hold of me and I couldn't speak - I had lost my voice again. They released me & I went to checkout where my son asked for a comic book - I screamed "NO" at him making him sob then threw a £10 note at him. He didn't buy it - he followed me out of the shop. On the way out of the shop I saw a teenage boy throwing a customer's shopping bag on the floor. We started walking uphill toward home when we saw a large vehicle (like a crane) it was swerving all over the road then crashed into a shop window and exploded. I stopped a man who informed me it was happening all over town and as I walked further I saw it for myself - it was like the end of the world. Cars on fire everywhere - up side streets and in shop windows....

Mr Hagen's Reply; The British Market Survey -or- Business Vehicles on Fire

Thorsten Veblen's "The Theory of the Business Enterprise" explains the general operation of business vehicles and traffic in the marketplace. Again this dream was received shortly after the 2008 recession. In Britain we can see the "fire sale" in full force. A market survey of dreams at that time would most likely reveal the stresses on businesses, but also on the family as illustrated by the mother's (Helen) harsh disciplinary measures used on her son.

Shirley, 37

I am at a flea market. Its dark and dirty. I find the pets section and am disgusted and scared to see they only have snakes in cages made from chicken wire. Then I see brightly colored feathers in one cage but it moves like a huge snake. When I look more closely I see it is a feathered snake! I am amazed. I hate snakes but this is incredible and beautiful.

Mr Hagen's Reply; Pets -or- The Flea Market

Flea markets and bazaars are common for the most part worldwide. Many households have pets, the variety of pets people keep include snakes. According to the wikipedia article 63% of American households have pets.

Alex, 55

I am walking around in a flee market, shopping. Searching?  As I look down the rows, I see vegetable tables.  I look down the isles and it is black as night at the end of each row.  Then I have a man's shoe in my hand.  Now I am looking for a man, wearing only one shoe. Next I am in a place with many tables. I am talking to people I did not know. I look up and there is a blond haired man walking toward me with a big smile on his face.  I look and he only has one shoe and one bare foot. We give each other a big hug and I can feel how soft his coat is as I rub his back. Then he is gone.

Mr Hagen's Reply; All the Lonely People -or- Eleanor Rigby

As a University student, I worked part time in a grocery store. I was surprised how often older people would come into the store not really wanting to buy anything, instead they wanted to have a conversation. What Alex seems to be searching for is a companion, and someone to talk to. The social marketplace is full of lonely people. The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby" is one such song of loneliness.




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