Dream interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. Although associated with some forms of psychotherapy, there is no reliable evidence that understanding or interpreting dreams has a positive impact on one's mental health.
In many ancient societies, such as those of Egypt and Greece, dreaming was considered a supernatural communication or a means of divine intervention, whose message could be interpreted by people with these associated spiritual powers. In modern times, various schools of psychology and neurobiology have offered theories about the meaning and purpose of dreams. Most people currently appear to interpret dream content according to Freudian psychoanalysis in the United States, India, and South Korea, according to a study conducted in those countries.
People appear to believe dreams are particularly meaningful: they assign more meaning to dreams than to similar waking thoughts. For example, people report they would be more likely to cancel a trip they had planned that involved a plane flight if they dreamt of their plane crashing the night before than if the Department of Homeland Security issued a federal warning.
However, people do not attribute equal importance to all dreams. People appear to use motivated reasoning when interpreting their dreams. They are more likely to view dreams confirming their waking beliefs and desires to be more meaningful than dreams that contradict their waking beliefs and desires.