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What Is Latent Content?


Latent Content

Latent content involves the symbolic meaning of a dream.

Image by Carla Peroni

According to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the latent content of a dream is the hidden psychological meaning of the dream. Freud believed that the content of dreams is related to wish fulfillment and suggested that dreams have two types of content: manifest content and latent content. The manifest content is the actual literal subject-matter of the dream, while the latent content is the underlying meaning of these symbols.

Freud believed that the latent content of dreams is suppressed and hidden by the subconscious mind in order to protect the the individual from thoughts and feelings that are hard to cope with. By uncovering the hidden meaning of dreams, Freud believed that people could better understand their problems and resolve the issues that create difficulties in their lives.


Freud, S. (1900). The Interpretation of Dreams.

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