明治大学 政治経済 ２０１８年度 第１問 問題
I had a friend who tried hard to remember more of her dreams. She’d write them down and then tell people about them. She stopped, though, because it started ( A ) with her social life. She’d start talking about her dreams and people would leave the room.
There are two major theories about why we dream. The first is the “activation-synthesis theory,” which holds that dreams are interpretations by our forebrains* of essentially random activity from the spinal cord** and cerebellum*** during sleep, especially REM sleep****.
( 1 ) Part of the explanation for why dreams can be so (a)weird is that they are interpreted from confusing information. The evolutionarily older parts of our brains are also the seat of our basic emotions. ( あ ) this theory, the emotion comes first and dreams are made to make sense of the emotion. Evidence of this comes from scene-changes that happen: when we have anxiety dreams, for example, they often switch from one anxious situation to a different one ― so rather than us feeling anxious ( い ) the content of our dreams, it could be that our feeling is causing an anxious narrative in the dream!
The other major theory of dreaming is the “threat-simulation theory,” which (b)holds that the evolutionary function of dreaming is for us to ( B ) how to behave in threatening situations. There’s a lot of evidence for this theory too.
( 2 ) First, most dream emotion is negative. People tend to dream of ancestral threats: falling, being chased, natural disasters, and so on. These ( C ) elements are over-represented in dreams ― that is, we see them in dreams much more than our experience in our day-to-day world would predict. Lots of people dream of being chased by animals, but how often does this actually happen to people? The over-representation of animals chasing us in dreams, especially for children, suggests that we have some (c)innate fear of them. ( う ), we don’t dream of modern threats, such as heart attacks, as much as you’d expect if dreams were based on the problems we actually face in today’s world.
These two theories of dreaming are presented as competing, but ( え ) I can tell they are ( D ) ― taht is, even if dreams are interpretations of chaotic input from the spinal cord, there is still a theory needed to describe how chaotic input is made into narratives that we experience as dreams, and it’s quite possible that the mind takes advantage of this opportunity to practice dealing with dangerous things.
( 3 ) If, as threat-simulation theory argues, dreams help us to deal with dangerous situations, perhaps discussing our dreams also helps us to deal with these threats. After all, “two heads are better than one.” We like to talk about dreams to help us prepare for how to act in dangerous situations in the future.
Which leads us to why we find our own dreams so interesting. There are three reasons based on known psychological effects, though all of them are hypothetical in terms of my application of them to dreams.
( 4 ) The first i negativity bias, (y)そして、それは私たちに、危険なものにたいして注意を向けさせるのだ. Because most dreams are negative (support for the threat-simulation theory) our bias ( お ) negative information makes them feel important.
The second reason has to do with the emotional bias of dreaming. Many dreams are so emotional that they feel important. However, people hearing about someone else’s dream, not feeling that emotion, might find the experience of the dream hard to relate to. Once I dreamed of a terrifying staircase. When I told my girlfriend about it, she laughed at me for being scared of such a harmless thing. In the dream it was scary, but clearly my audience couldn’t (d)appreciate that.
( 5 ) We tend to think of dreams as being really weird, but in truth about 80 percent of dreams (e)depict ordinary situations. We’re just more likely to remember and talk about the strange ones. Information we don’t understand can often rouse our curiosity, particularly in the presence of strong emotion. The emotional pull of dreams makes even the strangest contradictions seem meaningful and worthy of discussion and interpretation.
These reasons are why most of your dreams are going to seem pretty boring to most people.
But if you’re going to talk about some of your dreams, pick the ones in which you deal with a problem in some new way. The fact that you are ( E ) with a problem would make them more interesting than your happy dreams, and if you feel you learned something about how to deal with a threat, maybe your audience will too.
**spinal cord 脊髄
****REM sleep レム睡眠（身体は休息しているが脳は活動している睡眠状態）
（a） ① exciting ② strange ③ unstable ④ valuable
（b） ① brings ② contains ③ keeps ④ maintains
（c） ① inborn ② inward ③ tremendous ④ wild
（d） ① adopt ② evaluate ③ thank ④ understand
（e） ① appear ② draw ③ seem ④ show
問２ ( あ )～( お )に入れるものとして、最も適切な語句を①～⑤から選び、その番号をマークしなさい。ただし文頭にくる語であっても最初の文字は小文字にしてある。
① according to
② as far as
③ becuase of
④ in contrast
⑤ in favor of
Why do we feel the urge to talk about our dreams?
問４ 文中の（ A ）～（ E ）に入るものとして最も適切な語を、①～④から選び、その番号をマークしなさい。
（ A ） ① arguing ② assisting ③ denying ④ interfering
（ B ） ① acquire ② draw ③ practice ④ teach
（ C ） ① confusing ② disgusting ③ frightening ④ inspiring
（ D ） ① compatible ② conflicting ③ understandable ④ winning
（ E ） ① consulting ② dealing ③ preventing ④ solving
① attention ② dangerous ③ for ④ makes ⑤ pay ⑥ things ⑦ to ⑧ us ⑨ which
① Nightmare Are a Sign of a Healthy Brain
② A Brief History of Dreams
③ The Best Way to Have Good Dreams
④ Why Most of Our Dreams Are Scary
⑤ How to Talk to People about Your Dreams
① The writer would write down his dreams and tell people about them.
② According to the activation-synthesis theory dreams often cause anxiety.
③ The activation-synthesis theory holds that dreaming prepares people for future problems.
④ The activation-synthesis and threat-simulation theories appear to some people to contradict each other.
⑤ There are no possible psychological explanations for the fact that people find their own dreams interesting.
⑥ The writer’s girlfriend was concerned when she heard his dream about a scary staircase.
⑦ Most dreams are about ordinary events, but people have a tendency to talk about their strange dreams.
⑧ People find other people’s dreams interesting because all dreams are about emotions.
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