Dreams are influenced by a combination of psychology, culture, and individual circumstances, reports The Cut.

“Since we share many symbols and metaphors, there are some general themes that are likely to mean similar things for dreamers,” says Harvard Medical School psychologist Deirdre Barrett, author of The Committee of Sleep. “Certainly a test-anxiety dream is likeliest to have something to do with a waking-life situation of feeling judged by authorities and worried about falling short. The naked-in-public dream is likely to have something to do with a sense of being exposed or failing to conform to social expectations.”

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