Many people claim that dreams can be "interpreted" to learn information about the dreamer and/or their future.

For example:

Dream Moods offer assistance with interpreting symbols found in dreams.

Nail Clipper

To see or use a nail clipper in your dream implies that you need to rid something that is holding you back. It is time to move forward and grow. [Source]

Is there any evidence that these interpretations are more valid than random associations?

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    Most dream interpretations like that aren't claiming that 'novel information' is obtained. The claim is that you subconsciously know that 'you need to get rid of something is holding you back', and the dream brings it to your conscious mind. Nov 18 '14 at 14:40
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    @DJClayworth: I'm pretty much responsible for the current wording because I did a significant rewrite to make the question in-scope. My intention was that having your conscious state learn about your subconscious state (which assumes the "subconscious mind" model works) counts as obtaining new information. I'd welcome further edits to improve before we get answers.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 18 '14 at 16:22
  • I do not think that this question can be answered in a way that would be satisfactory to you. On the one hand (unless you believe you can physically leave your body), it is logical that you cannot get any kind of "new" information, since all the information you have when you dream is already in your head. If we now add the subconscious into the mix, then you could argue that "new information" could be obtained by an interpretation, but that still leaves the problem that, as of yet, there is no scientifically established way to interpret the dreams you see. Nov 19 '14 at 11:27
  • Given that there are so many of those interpretations about what things that appear mean, the brain would have an awful lot to do to avoid them if it did not intend to have that meaning when reliving some situations in nightmare-ish dreams. Probably a dream that relives just a normal day without telling us something "new" would us standing around in a dark void. Unless of course, the dark void has a meaning too...
    – PlasmaHH
    Nov 19 '14 at 13:12
  • @Oddthinking A lot of the actual claims in the source are not related at all to having your conscious state learn about your subconscious, but are on the same level as astrology. Example: To see a meteor in your dream suggests that you will experience success in a project. You are on your way toward realizing your goals and desires. So there seems to be a discrepancy between the claim that is asked to be examined, and the claim that is sourced.
    – gerrit
    Nov 19 '14 at 16:22

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