When Science Explains Supposed Inaugural Dreams

Kgamy. Camille Joubert’s column is broadcast daily on the “C Game” program presented by Jimmy Gormaud from Monday to Friday at 5 pm on France 5.

You have this strange feeling that you actually dreamed about a situation… So, the phenomenal dream, the supernatural phenomenon or the cerebral delusion?

Three cognitive biases at work

According to science, the answer lies in our brains. He must make quick decisions every day when faced with complex situations. To get out of it, there is only one solution: you need automatic thinking. These mental shortcuts are called cognitive biases. In the case of putative anticipatory dreams, three cognitive biases are actually at work. The first is selection bias, which consists in choosing only information that works for us. So, if you dream that you are going to the ice rink in a polka dot skirt, and after a month you are already going to skate but in pants, then it is likely that you will feel as if you had a previous dream. However, the scene is not exactly the same!

The second cognitive bias is the confirmation bias: our brain tends to prefer information that confirms what it is already thinking. If you’re willing to believe that some of your dreams are past, once an event in your day matches one of your dreams, you’ll likely conclude that you predicted the future! Finally, there is retrieval bias. You don’t remember all the dreams you have every night, but you are more likely to remember them if there is a similar time in your day that reminds you of them.

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So many unfulfilled dreams!

But let’s not forget that we also have dozens of dreams every night that never come true… judging by the fact that there are dreams, it only makes sense that one of them would end up looking like a piece of reality. It’s just a coincidence!

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