Dreaming

Published by American Psychological Association
Online ISSN: 1573-3351
Print ISSN: 1053-0797
Publications
The authors hypothesized that representations of the Self (or the dreamer) in dreams would change systematically, from a prereflective form of Self to more complex forms, as a function of both age and sleep state (REM vs. non-REM). These hypotheses were partially confirmed. While the authors found that all the self-concept-related dream content indexes derived from the Hall/Van de Castle dream content scoring system did not differ significantly between the dreams of children and adults, adult Selves were more likely to engage in "successful" social interactions. The Self never acted as aggressor in NREM dream states and was almost always the befriender in friendly interactions in NREM dreams. Conversely, the REM-related dream Self preferred aggressive encounters. Our results suggests that while prereflective forms of Self are the norm in children's dreams, two highly complex forms of Self emerge in REM and NREM dreams.
 
We examined a series of twenty dreams—the last ten dreams recorded before 9/11/01 and the first ten dreams recorded after 9/11/01—from each of sixteen individuals in the United States who regularly record all their dreams. Blind scoring using established scales demonstrated that dreams after 9/11/01 were characterized by more intense imagery, but were not longer nor more dreamlike, compared to data before 9/11/01. The dreams after 9/11/01 did not contain significantly more content related to the attacks. The results show that traumatic events such as the attacks of 9/11/01 have a detectable effect on dreams—specifically an increase in dream image intensity—in a population of dream recorders. Whether this finding can be generalized to the entire population is not clear from this preliminary study. The results of this study are consistent with previous findings that dream image intensity is related to emotional arousal.
 
The present study examined whether the Most Recent Dream Method is a feasible choice for dream collection from children as young as 8 years old. A quantitative analysis of 30 Most Recent Dreams from 8–11 year-old girls and 32 Most Recent Dreams from 8–11 year-old boys reveals that the method seems feasible as indicated by children''s ability to respond. The basic findings for recency, length, types of characters, and other content categories show the same overall pattern of gender similarities and differences by age 10–11 as found with 12–13 year-olds and young adults. Girls'' dream reports especially begin to resemble those of older girls and young women by age 10–11. These results, if confirmed by follow-up studies with larger numbers of children, suggest that reasonably representative samples of the dreams of girls from age 10 onward can be collected using the Most Recent Dream method.
 
This essay reexamines the encounter between Odysseus and Penelope in Book 19 of Homer''s epic poem The Odyssey, focusing particular attention on the dream of the 20 geese Penelope describes during that encounter. Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, says the dream is a favorable omen which indicates the real Odysseus will return soon to rid his palace of the hated suitors who have occupied it in his long absence. Although generations of scholars have agreed with the hero''s interpretation, the present essay offers a different understanding: Penelope, having recognized who this beggar really is, has fabricated her dream of the 20 geese to test her husband and determine whether he is more interested in renewing their marriage or satisfying his vengeance against the suitors. The essay offers an appreciation of Penelope as one of our earliest and wisest dreamers, who understood how easily people''s wishes and desires could lead them to misinterpret their own dreams and the dreams of others.
 
Reviews the book, The Unconscious and Its Narratives by Zvi Giora (see record 1991-98281-000). In The Unconscious and its Narratives, Zvi Giora converses with Freud, not the "Freudian" Freud with whom we are familiar through the theoretical work of Jones and Rapaport and not the "post-modem" Freud whom we encounter through Lacan and Derrida, but Freud as he is manifest in his own self-interpreted career. Giora concretely reveals Freud's hesitations and ambivalences within three domains: dreaming, therapy, and literature. And, in a series of essays, he presents his own perspective. Dreaming (the first essay) is his primary focus, although his conception of therapy (the second essay) and literature (the third essay) cannot be understood independently of his discussion of dreaming. In this respect, Giora honours Freud, who also gave dreaming theoretical primacy. But Giora is as critical of Freud as he is appreciative. He begins his volume by challenging the evidence that dreams are narratives whose interpretation reveals the primary process form and the autobiographical content of unconscious thought. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Reviews the book, Dreams and Nightmare: The New Theory on the Origin and Meaning of Dreams by Ernest Hartmann (1998). In this book, Hartmann addresses a broad spectrum of topics ranging from basic assumptions about dreaming to clinical work with dreams. It is remarkable how Hartmann covers such a broad range of topics (from the biology of dreaming to practical dreamwork) in one book. Despite the fact that several themes are necessarily dealt with very briefly, Hartmann succeeds in emphasizing the basic aspects of dream theory in a clear manner, e.g., by using metaphors such as "waking is a hunt, dreaming is an exploration." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Contemporary cognitive and neuropsychological approaches to dreaming show striking methodological and conceptual similarities with the scientific dream literature of the last century. The use of introspective dream reports and the emphasis on dream phenomenology are characteristic of both periods but were bannished during the first half of this century, the former by behaviorism, the latter by psychoanalysis. Three main common axioms of 19th century and contemporary dream research are described: (a) dream experience results from cognitive syntheses realized in the absence of external constraints; (b) dream narrative or dream coherency involves mental associative mechanisms; (c) dream bizarreness emerges from a cerebral state characterized by functional dissociation. According to these three axioms, the observation of dream phenomena reveals that distinct cognitive processes might function in a partly autonomous, automatic, and dissociated way, making dreaming a unique model of these cognitive processes.
 
This study asked the question, Are there significant content differences between male and female dream reports obtained in dream seminars conducted in Brazil? Each of the 240 (137 female, 103 male) research participants volunteered recent dream reports (one per person) during dream seminars that he or she attended between 1990 and 1998. Dreams were scored according to Hall-Van de Castle criteria. Comparative Cohen h-statistics revealed several gender differences. Further study is recommended because the dream reports did not represent Brazil''s social-economic diversity, and may not have been characteristic of the totality of participants'' dream lives.
 
Notes that a contextualizing image (CI) is a powerful central image in a dream which can be seen as picturing, or providing a picture-context for, the dominant emotion of the dreamer. Two sets of dream data were studied. One "most recent dream" was obtained from each of 306 students (aged 18–52 yrs). The CI score measuring presence and intensity of a contextualizing image, scored on a blind basis, was higher among Ss who reported any abuse (physical or sexual, childhood or recent) compared to those who reported no abuse. Second, dreams were collected from 10 Ss who had experienced a variety of acute traumas. In 4 of the 10 cases, the CI score was higher after trauma than before, but the difference was statistically significant in only 1 case. The CI scores in the 10 trauma Ss overall were found to be significantly higher than the CI scores in the overall student group. CI scores in the trauma group were also significantly higher than in an age and gender matched control subgroup of the students. The emotions rated as contextualized by the dream images tended towards more negative than positive emotions. However, this was true in the dreams of students who reported no abuse, as well as those of students who reported abuse and the dreams of the group who had experienced trauma.
 
Somatosensory stimulation of the leg muscles in REM sleep appears to perturb virtual orientation in dream experiences. According to our model of vestibulomotor adaptation (Sauvageau, Nielsen, & Montplaisir, 1996), the dreaming mind attempts to compensate for such destabilizing stimulation by increasing eye movement activity or by modifying dream content, among other possible reactions. Effective compensation may be more easily achieved by participants who are adapted to the disruptive stimulation or who possess highly developed vestibulomotor skills. To examine this possibility, we studied the effects of Somatosensory stimulation on the dreams of 6 gymnasts and 6 control participants aged 9 to 16 years. Results provide some support for the expectations that 1) imposed Somatosensory information is processed by the central nervous system in REM sleep, 2) unilateral stimulation induces an upset in virtual orientation, 3) gymnasts are more resistant to these disruptive effects of stimulation than are control participants, and 4) because of long-term adaptation, the dream content of gymnasts does not differ markedly from that of controls. Though preliminary and in need of replication, the findings are compatible with the notion that the developed vestibular skills of gymnasts protects them to some extent from the effects of a disruptive Somatosensory stimulus during sleep.
 
We report a reanalysis of the original codings of dream reports collected at home and in the sleep laboratory from the same participants studied by Hall and Van de Castle in 1964. We used Cohen''sh statistic for effect sizes to argue that, even when statistically significant, most of the differences between the two samples are small to medium in magnitude. This finding suggests that past arguments over the relative usefulness of the two types of samples might not have occurred if the magnitude of effect sizes had been taken into account. The one exception concerns aggressions of various kinds, which also show the greatest variability with age, gender, and culture. It is concluded that useful dream samples for studies using the Hall and Van de Castle coding system can be collected in the laboratory or from normal recall at home and that effect sizes should be calculated in all dream content studies.
 
This research detects the most common words recurring in 326 adolescents'' dream language. The analyzed dreams have been previously recorded and then transcribed. Grouping words, we obtained the frequency of the main parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns). Among the nouns, far more frequently represented are terms that refer to important objects of an affective relation. Other significant nouns relate to objects linked to both familial and extra-familial environments. Words related to family relations declined in frequency as age increased and were substituted by terms that refer to relations among friends and to the external world and its objects. Some of these results can be usefully compared with the conclusions derived from the application of other methods of content analysis. This method using dream language analysis could be applied to research concerning dream content, also through specific dictionaries (groups of words defined and classified in relation to a certain theme).
 
In this longitudinal developmental study, 12 boys and 12 girls provided home dreams and waking fantasies at 3 age levels: 9–11, 11–13, and 13–15. A total of 299 dreams and 286 fantasies were coded by 2 independent raters using Hall and Van de Castle (1966) content categories. In addition, word counts and bizarreness ratings were completed. There were very few changes in the dreams or waking fantasies of either boys or girls, but dream reports were longer at ages 13–15, the aggression/friendliness percent increased over the course of the study, joint-sex peer groups became more frequent, and girls showed a decline in animal percent. The tendency in a wide range of societies for men to dream mostly about other men and for women to dream equally of women and men was found in both the dreams and waking fantasies. Dreams and fantasies differed markedly, with dreams containing more outdoor and unfamiliar settings, and more bizarreness. In dreams the children tended to portray themselves as victims of aggression and recipients of friendliness, but in fantasies they took a more active role as aggressors and befrienders. It is suggested that the children in this study portrayed themselves in their dreams as they conceived of themselves in everyday life, while in their waking fantasies they imagined themselves as they would have liked to be.
 
My response to Allan Hobson makes several points. Primarily, I argue that the coherence of any dream cannot be determined by the recall of the dream events alone. Rather, coherence must surely reside in the dreamer''s felt involvement in those dream events, and this is virtually impossible to determine from a dream report. Second, in response to Hobson''s claim that a purely associative thought process neglects the role of dissociation, I argue that metaphor (analogical thinking in general), in all its forms, consists of a tension between resemblance and dissociation (a shift from one domain to another) and that the function of metaphor is, precisely, to free us from the gravity of received understanding. I suggest ways in which this process operates in all speculation, including art and science. Finally, I discuss the nature of dream orientation in connection with the specimen dream that Hobson provided.
 
Studies have demonstrated that general dream characteristics, such as gender ratio and familiarity of dream characters, frequency and type of social interactions and settings, and gender differences (e.g., heightened physical aggression in men''s dreams), are very stable over time and across different populations. The present study included 537 dreams of 106 women and 39 men (German students). The results confirmed earlier findings regarding the stability of general dream characteristics and gender differences. Only the gender difference regarding the gender ratio of dream characters has not been replicated; this finding might be explained by the relationship status (single vs. stable partnership) of the dreamers. The comparison of large dream samples may shed light on the similarities and differences between the inner worlds of people of different countries and cultures.
 
Dream interpretation was regarded by ancient peoples in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome as an art requiring intelligence and, sometimes, divine inspiration. It became a motif in literature. It was treated as a science by philosophers and physicians. Dreams were thought to come either as clear messages, or as symbols requiring interpretation. In a method called incubation, the dreamer could sleep in a sacred place in expectation of a dream that would elucidate a problem for which the dreamer desired guidance. Dream-books listing images and their meanings were popular. Historians reported leaders'' famous dreams that affected the course of events. Very few ancient writers were skeptical of dreams; Cicero was one. Dream interpretation was an honored profession with exponents such as Artemidorus of Daldis. Ancient dream traditions and beliefs can provide perspective for consideration of more recent theories of dream interpretation.
 
The relationship between the cultures to which persons belong and their internalized object representations as revealed by manifest dream content was investigated. It was hypothesized that because Chicanos are from a more nurturing culture than Anglos, they would represent persons in their dreams as more differentiated, articulated, and integrated, with more benevolent interactions. 50 Chicano and 50 Anglo university students (25 of each gender in each culture) reported a total of 555 dreams that were scored according to the Concept of the Object Scale (Blatt, Brenneis, Schimek & Glick, 1976). The Scale applies developmental principles concerning the three dimensions of differentiation, articulation, and integration to the study of human responses given to the Rorschach. This research applied the Scale to the manifest content of the subjects'' reported dreams. The cross-cultural hypothesis was disconfirmed; however, there were strong findings concerning gender. Gender differences across culture were statistically significant in each developmental dimension, ranging from females representing more humans, who are better articulated and more benevolently interactive (p < .01)="" to="" females="" reporting="" more="" intentional,="" congruent="" actions="" and="" more="" interactions="" (p="">< .05).="" the="" only="" cross-cultural="" finding="" was="" that="" anglos="" represent="" more="" action="" in="" their="" dreams="" than="" chicanos="" (p="">< .05).="" within="" the="" sample="" of="" acculturated="" chicano="" subjects,="" genders="" were="" polarized="" to="" a="" much="" greater="" extent="" than="" in="" the="" anglo="" sample.="" implications="" of="" the="" findings="" for="" theoretical="" understanding="" of="" gender="" and="" cultural="" differences="" in="" object="" representations="" are="">
 
This study finds that dream valence and the frequency with which several types of dreams were experienced are related to arousability. Specifically, compared to 214 university students who were classified as low in arousability, 182 university students who were high in arousability reported more frequent dreams for all seven types of dreams measured. This relationship between arousability and dreaming was especially salient for the three types of nightmares, (i.e., Fantastic Nightmares, Posttraumatic Nightmares, and Night Terrors) that were measured.
 
This article explores nonrepresentational, multidimensional lucid dreaming and its parallel imagery in modern art paintings. Developed from a series of successive qualitative experiments on art and lucid dreaming, the study brings together phenomenological and narrative approaches to reveal a relationship between imagery in a particular lucid dream experience (Hyperspace Lucidity) and a particular type of modern art painting (Lucid Art). This article attempts to open new dialogues for investigation of the interconnection between the dreaming mind and art.
 
This essay identifies translation both as an historically core metaphor in Euro-American dream theory and as a contemporary ally for dream teaching and research. It also traces the mutuality of translators'' reliance on Freud, Jung, and other dream theorists in their metaphorical expression of the art and craft of translation. The sustained interaction of oneiric and linguistic metaphor-making stems from the fact that virtually all of our knowledge about dreams has been mediated through language and that all dream reporting is itself an act of intersemiotic translation. In an attempt to stimulate further comparative inquiry, the overlapping concerns and often uncanny affinities between language/translation studies and dream/interpretation studies are presented.
 
Despite the fact that a handful of modern dream researchers have called attention to a link between language and dreaming, beginning with Freud (1900) and Kraepelin (1906), and continuing to the present (e.g. Heynick 1993), much remains to be understood about the role of language in dreaming. Certain commonly reported phenomena may be taken as evidence that the linguistic system is active during dreaming. Four categories of dream phenomena are described and illustrated to support the claim that verbal thought is an important component of dream formation and content.
 
Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is a pervasive developmental disorder whose continuity with High-Functioning Autism is still a matter of debate. Clinical observations suggest that patients with AS may present the same sleep disorders as autistic patients, including difficulties in initiating and maintaining sleep as well as poor dream recall. We recorded the sleep of a 25-year-old male patient with AS for two nights using a full EEG montage and compared the second night to that of a group of normal participants. We found low levels of slow wave sleep (SWS: stages 3 + 4), high levels of stage 1, and a large number of awakenings. The organization of REM sleep was unremarkable, including normal REM density. Analyses of phasic EEG events revealed a very low incidence of sleep spindles and a normal number of K-complexes over bilateral frontal and central EEG leads. In order to collect dream reports, the patient was awakened three times over two nights following at least 15 minutes of REM sleep in each case. On each occasion the patient was not aware of any mental activity happening just prior to awakening. These observations are discussed with regards to the connections that may exist between EEG sleep spindle activity, selective attention, and the capacity to generate a dream report.
 
During single 20-40 minute sessions, 51 volunteer clients were given instructions to either describe their dream images in rich detail, to provide associations to the dream images, or to combine these descriptive and associative activities. Volunteer clients in the association condition reported significantly more exploration/insight gains (e.g., becoming involved while working on the dream, making previously unobserved connections between the dream and waking life) than did volunteer clients in the description condition. No differences were found among conditions on clients'' ratings of session depth (e.g., valuable, powerful), judges'' ratings of the cognitive complexity of client''s dialogue during the session (e.g., clear, elaborative), judges'' ratings of how insightful clients were in their written dream interpretations, and judges'' ratings of the quality of clients'' written action plans. Implications for dream interpretation are discussed.
 
Verbal data files including dream reports and associations with the report items were subjected to automatic analysis aiming at the recognition of word recurrences. The research was based on the following assumptions: the associations can provide information about the dream sources; the recognition of word recurrences in text files can be a useful tool for the study of dreaming; the identification of links between different dream sources can provide an interesting insight into the phenomenon of dreaming. The principal result obtained was that word recurrences often evidence possible significant links between dream sources. A number of the possible links evidenced by the automatic analysis not only escaped the subject''s notice, but might also be unexpected for an analyzer not assisted by a computer.
 
Event descriptions (ED) from 6 different days and 6 corresponding morning dream reports (DR) were obtained from 13 participants. In a within-participant matching task, 14 untrained undergraduate student judges attempted to pair 6 EDs to 6 corresponding DRs for each of 6 participants. In a between-participant matching task, the same judges attempted to match 6 EDs from different participants to their respective DRs. For the within-participant task, a significance test for a single mean indicated that judges were unable to match dreams to their corresponding daily events at better than chance levels. For the between-participant matching task, however, it appears that judges were able to make pairs at significant levels but were still making on average less than 2 out of the possible 6 pairs per item. In a ranking task, two different judges read 1 ED and 6 DRs and then ranked the dreams from 1 to 6, 1 being most likely to be related to the ED and 6 being the least likely. Statistical tests revealed that dreams did not obtain better ranks (closer to 1) when they were the correct match than when they were not. These data appear to demonstrate that independent observers are unable to detect a clear resemblance between participants'' daily events and manifest dream content.
 
Many studies investigated how personality, behavior, and attitude mediate dream recall, but few distinguish between measures of dream recall frequency: the number of dreams experienced in a specified time frame and dream detail: individual ratings of vividness or detailed content of dreams. This study compared undergraduates'' (n = 173) self-reported dream recall frequency, and dream detail, with behaviors, attitude toward dreaming, and scores on scales of Extraversion/Introversion and Type A/B. Dream recall frequency and dream detail manifested different patterns of association in relation to behaviors, attitude and personality. Dream recall frequency was associated with the frequency of experiencing emotionally disturbing dreams and trying to interpret dreams, while detail of dreams was associated with positive attitude toward dreaming and Type B personality. Although males and females both held positive attitudes toward dreaming, females experienced more emotionally disturbing dreams and felt unable to control their dreams. Interactions between personality and gender emerged for behaviors associated with dreaming. Researchers are encouraged to differentiate between dream recall frequency and dream detail.
 
The question whether personality dimensions explain the interindividual differences in dream recall frequency has often been investigated by dream researchers. The present findings confirm previous research which has shown that traits such as openness-to-experience and thin boundaries correlate substantially with dream recall frequency. However, correlation coefficients are small and are much larger if attitude towards dreams or a scale measuring different aspects of dream recall are considered. Thus, future studies should consider the differentiation between items measuring dream recall and related aspects and items measuring attitudes towards dreams. Schonbar''s life-style hypothesis should be revised slightly: not dream recall frequency but attitude towards dreams and the way to deal with dreams are part of a broader life style.
 
This study was based on a survey of a representative sample of 1000 Austrians who were questioned about their sleep and dream behavior. About two-thirds of the respondents reported that they generally recalled at least one dream per month. Dream recall frequency decreased with advancing age, but did not differ between men and women. Fifty-five percent of the respondents characterized the affective content of their dreams: 29% reported neutral, 20% positive, and 6% negative dreams. Four percent of the sample reported suffering from nightmares. These respondents more frequently reported snoring, interrupted sleep, daytime somnolence, anxiety and nervousness, depression, high dream recall, recurrent dreams, and dreaming in color. Twenty-six percent of the total sample reported that sometimes they realized during their dreams that they were dreaming. These respondents more frequently reported family problems, high dream recall, positive dream content, recurrent dreams, dreaming in color, and nightmares.
 
Creative problem-solving dreams virtually always occur only after the dreamer has done extensive work on the issue awake. Most typically, a person is stuck at one particular step of a multiple phase process and the dream solves that step. The dream of Dmitri Mendeleev about The Periodic Table of the Elements is no exception. All accounts of this event agree that he''d worked for years on the Table, produced other drafts, but that he attributed the version he was most satisfied with to a dream. It is less clear whether Kedrov is correct in his reconstruction that it was the reversal of columns vs. rows which the dream provided. Accounts of dreams from contemporary scientists and inventors are a richer source for the detail required to generalize about the role of dreams in problem solving.
 
Factors affecting or inducing nightmares have been investigated repeatedly. However, little research is carried out on the behavioral consequences of nightmares. The present study thus served to investigate behavioral effects of nightmares in correlation to personality variables. 41 non-clinical participants, who suffer from about 2 nightmares per month recorded their dreams and nightmares over a 4-week period. A nightmare was defined as a dream that frightens the dreamer and could be recalled in detail on awakening. Anxiety and mood were monitored every morning. All nightmares and their behavioral consequences were noted on a questionnaire. Personality traits and life events were assessed at the beginning of the investigation. 100 nightmares were reported by the subjects over the 4-week period (range: 0–8). Following a nightmare, the subjects were significantly more anxious and were of a less stable mental condition compared to nights without nightmares. Additionally, nightmares induced physical complaints. This was considered to be an indicator that something was wrong in their lives and induced them to solve personal problems. The behavioral effects were most pronounced in subjects scoring high on neuroticism and on the number of physical complaints and low on achievement orientation and openness. The results suggest that sufferers of nightmares intend to change their lives, especially those with a neurotic-like personality.
 
Replies to B. O. States' comments (see record 1998-12333-001) on J. A. Hobson's "Dreaming as Delirium" paradigm (e.g., 1994). Hobson states that REM sleep dreaming evinces all 4 of the cardinal defining features of delirium: visual hallucinosis, disorientation, memory loss, and confabulation. This new formulation is supported by neurobiological findings at the level of neurones and neuromodulators. Convinced that all the symptoms and signs of delirium could be the natural manifestations of hyperassociation, B. States challenges both the validity and heuristic value of this paradigm. Arguing that no natural process like dreaming can be dysfunctional, and wishing to advance the thesis that all naturally determined mental content obeys the law of associativity, States commits himself to a paradigm of interpretability which is linked to a metaphorical-analogical function of memory. He does not accept the claim that discontinuity and incongruity are in a dialectical and oppositional struggle with associativity. The 1st author urges States to recognize that both associativity and dissociation are hard at work in REM sleep dreaming and other autocreative states of mind.
 
Drawing on a sample of 372 dreams from 15 blind adults, we present two separate analyses that replicate and extend findings from previous studies. The first analysis employed DreamSearch, a software program designed for use with dream narratives, to examine the appearance of the five sensory modalities. It revealed that those blind since birth or very early childhood had (1) no visual imagery and (2) a very high percentage of gustatory, olfactory, and tactual sensory references. The second analysis found that both male and female participants differed from their sighted counterparts in the same ways on several Hall and Van de Castle (1966) coding categories, including a high percentage of locomotion/transportation dreams that contained at least one dreamer-involved misfortune. The findings on sensory references and dreamer-involved misfortunes in locomotion/transportation dreams are interpreted as evidence for the continuity between dream content and waking cognition.
 
In the growing literature on significant dreams, relatively little attention has been given to the enduring, even life-long, influence some dreams have on dreamers'' lives. This article describes an ongoing research project on significant dreams by way of an illustrative case of a young woman whose 20-year-old dream still resonates in her psychic life. We suggest that such dreams might be better understood in terms of the aesthetics of & #x201C;image rather than the interpretation of dreams as & #x201C;text.
 
Using dream diary procedures and statistically controlling for age and gender, the present study investigated the relationship between Hartmann''s (1991) boundary concept and various aspects of dreaming. Results with a sample of young adults confirmed earlier findings that persons with thin boundaries recall dreams (including nightmares) more often, report dreams that are more negative and emotionally intense, regard their dreams more favorably (i.e., as more meaningful and creative), and dream more frequently of verbal interaction with others.
 
According to the boundary concept of Hartmann (1991), the occurence of nightmares was repeatedly shown to be correlated to thin personal boundaries. The present study investigated the relationship between boundary thinness and emotional, cognitive, and behavioral consequences of nightmares in frequent nightmare sufferers. Occurence of nightmares and their respective consequences were recorded daily during a 4-week period by diaries and questionnaires. Confirming previous results, frequent nightmare sufferers had significantly thinner personal boundaries than occasional nightmare sufferers, and nightmare frequency was positively correlated to boundary thinness. In frequent nightmare sufferers, the emotional and cognitive consequences of a nightmare as well as its possible explanations were correlated to boundary thinness; mainly the personal total score and the Boundary Questionnaire scales sleep/wake/dreams, thoughts/feelings/mood and sensitivity. The results indicate that although nightmare frequency is positively correlated to thin personal boundaries, only particular aspects of the concept of personal boundaries are correlated to emotional and cognitive consequences of the nightmares.
 
Prior studies indicate that a personality dimension reflecting thin versus thick boundaries is related to global ratings of dream vividness, amount of emotion, and amount of interaction. In the present study, these relationships were examined by relating scores from the Boundary Questionnaire ( Hartmann, 1991) to dream content among 80 patients seen at a sleep disorders center. Thinness of boundaries was significantly correlated with dream length, vividness, amount of detail, and amount of emotion, and showed a trend towards correlation with aggressive interaction and nightmare-likeness. When dream length was statistically controlled, the relationships between boundary structure and dream content were no longer statistically significant, although amount of emotion and amount of detail showed a trend in the original direction. A principal components analysis was used to identify three factors in the dream content data (eigenvalues > 1.0). The first factor involved dream length, vividness, detail, and emotion; the second involved love/tender interaction and sexual interaction; and the third involved aggressive interaction. Thinness of boundaries showed a significant correlation with only the first factor. We suggest that the trait continuum ranging from thick to thin boundaries is similar to the state continuum running from focused waking thought to dreaming, and that both continua refer to the same aspects of cortical activity.
 
The Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire was administered twice, with six months in between, to 61 Swiss subjects over 60 years of age taking part in an investigation into the effects of dream-telling on five variables: well-being, sleep quality, sleep duration, dream recall and dream tone. In addition, dream epoch, i.e., the age of life of the dreamer as perceived in the dream, was recorded for those who told dreams. In addition to this study group in which the members told dreams there were two control groups. Those in the first control group were asked about well-being and sleep quality but not about dreams or dreaming, while those in the second control group were additionally asked how many dreams they had retained, how frequently they had occurred and about the dream tone (pleasant/unpleasant). All study participants were given the Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire at the beginning (pre-test) and again at the end of the six month study period (post-test). The retest reliability was high (r = 0.872 for the whole sample). We report here the relationships obtained between the questionnaire scores and age, group membership, gender and the number of dreams that were retained over a 26 week testing period. No significant correlations were found for age, group membership or dream recall. There was, however, a small, significant boundary score difference between women and men for the pre-test, indicating thinner boundaries for women, but this difference was no longer significant in the post-test.
 
Percent of participants reporting presence of each of 55 TDQ themes (white bars) and percent reporting each theme as their earliest remembered (black bars). Participants were free to endorse the presence of any of the 55 themes, but could specify only one as their earliest. Prevalence and age of recall are related for only some themes. Item 1, Chase/pursuit without injury was both most prevalent (81.5%) and most often selected as the earliest (21.6%). Similarly, Item 12, Falling , was third most prevalent (73.8%) and second most often selected as earliest (16.8%). In contrast, item 32, Sexual experiences , was second most prevalent (76.5%) but only rarely selected as earliest (1.3% or 20th). Numbers preceding themes refer to their order of appearance in the questionnaire. 
Frequency distribution of responses ( N = 888) to question about participant ’ s age when earliest TDQ theme was recalled. A substantial proportion (13.3%) estimated their earliest recall to occur at age 4 or younger. However, the majority occur at ages 5 – 6 (32.5%), 7 – 8 (26.8%) and 9 – 10 (16.6%). 
Principal components average factor scores for 16 factors by gender
To investigate the dimensional structure of dreams, the Typical Dreams Questionnaire (TDQ) was administered to 1181 first-year University students in three Canadian cities. A profile of themes was found that varied little by age, gender or region; however, differences that were identified could be interpreted as due to developmental milestones, personality attributes or sociocultural factors. Factor analysis produced a solution consisting of 16 coherent factors that were differentially associated with demographic variables and that accounted for 51% of the variance. Women loaded primarily on negative factors (failure, loss of control, snakes-insects), men primarily on positive factors (magic-myth, alien life). Results support the concept of typical dream themes as consistent over time, region and gender and as reflecting the influence of fundamental dream dimensions that may be influenced by sociocultural, personality, cognitive or physiological factors.
 
Although sleep paralysis had been treated as one of the symptoms of narcolepsy, recently it has become recognized as occurring frequently in normal individuals. However, among the few published studies that have examined sleep paralysis, there are great discrepancies in its reported prevalence. These discrepancies could be attributed to differences in survey methods, to the description of the symptom employed in each study, or to the race or culture of the research participants. We administered a questionnaire, with equivalent Japanese and English forms, to 86 Canadian and 149 Japanese university students. Although the reported prevalence of sleep paralysis was almost the same (Canada: 41.9%, Japan: 38.9%), the characterization of the phenomenon differed greatly between the two samples. Over 55% of the Canadian and only about 15% of the Japanese students regarded the experience as 'a kind of dream.' This difference may be one of the reasons for the varying prevalence noted in previous studies. Although many Japanese students (40.5%) and a very small number of Canadians (3.5%) usually prefer the supine position while sleeping, the majority of both groups (Canada: 57.9%, Japan: 83.8%) reported that, during the episodes of sleep paralysis, they found themselves in the supine position.
 
Both methodological and statistical innovations add to the usefulness of the Hall and Van de Castle system for the content analysis of dream reports. In addition, there are weaknesses in most rating scales for the study of dream content, and numerous methodological and statistical problems call into question many past studies of dream content. In an introduction to this special issue, these possibilities and problems are discussed and then demonstrated through a critique of the literature on gender and dream content.
 
Examined how mood changes from night to morning, and how dysphoric dream contents associate with this change among children who live in traumatic environment and their controls from peaceful area. The sample consisted of 413 Palestinian boys and girls (aged 6–15 yrs). Ss filled in a 7-day dream diary in which they recorded their recalled dreams every morning. First, the results, confirmed that mood change from evening to morning is a general dream function. The mood chance was rather associated with what and whom the children dreamt about. Second, the hypothesis of the trauma group showing less change in dysphoric dream content and in the intensity of negative morning mood across a period of time of 7 days was not confirmed. Third, it was hypothesized that there is a stronger association between presleep negative mood and dysphoric dreams, as well as between the dysphoric dreams and negative morning mood among children living in traumatic environment than among children from peaceful area. Contrary to the hypothesis, results for the trauma group revealed a reverse association between evening mood and dream contents.
 
Children''s understanding of dreams as mental states was examined as an instance of their development of a theory of mind. Thirty-five children between the ages of three and seven were interviewed to determine how well they understood the reality, location, privacy, and origin of their own dream, versus that of a fictional character, matched for emotional valence. Theory of mind developments in understanding appearance vs. reality and perspective-taking were evaluated as predictors of dream understanding. Results revealed significant age increases in dream understanding that occur in a logical sequence predicted by Kohlberg. Theory of mind developments were correlated with children''s understanding of the reality and the privacy of dreams. These findings suggest that children as young as five, although their own dreams may be rare, are beginning to understand that Western culture deems dreams to be non-real, private, psychological occurrences.
 
This essay explores the influence of dreams and dreaming on the filmmaking of DavidLynch. Focusing particular attention on Mulholland Drive (2001), Lost Highway (1997), Blue Velvet (1986), and the television series Twin Peaks (1990–91), the essay will discuss the multiple dream elements in Lynch''s work and how they have contributed to the broad cultural influence of his films. Lynch''s filmmaking offers an excellent case study of the powerful connection between dreaming and movies in contemporary American society.
 
The authors characterize the filmed dreamscapes of John Sayles though a structured interview with the screenwriter/director and an analysis of cinematographic and story line techniques utilized in creating dreamscapes in two of his films. The filmmaker uses complex techniques to produce believable dreams in otherwise naturalistic films by isolating the dream sequence and altering sound, color, cinematography, story, time, visual perspective and physical properties of the perceived external reality of the dream. This perceptual and orienting framework required to produce a believable dream on film may reflect innate characteristics of the dream state.
 
This partial replication study investigated whether individual versus small group consensus target judging procedures, and/or the emotionality of dynamic target video clips, would affect the frequency of correct identification of the target in a free-response dream ESP study. Two people located in Edinburgh (Scotland) and a third person located in Derby (England) acted both as experimenters and as participants and slept at their respective homes. On each of the 28 trial nights, a randomly-selected video clip was shown repeatedly between 3.00–4.30 am. The following morning the participants viewed four video clips (i.e., 3 decoys plus the target) and then judged the correspondences between the clips and records of their dream mentation. The Edinburgh participants obtained a greater number of direct hits using consensus as opposed to individual judgements. A discussion consensus procedure was marginally more successful than a more objective consensus procedure (12 hits, p = .0294, ES(h) = 0.38 vs. 11 hits, p = .0679, ES(h) = 0.30). Participants, both as a group and as individuals, obtained a greater proportion of direct hits when the target was emotionally negative than when it was either positive or neutral.
 
105 volunteer clients completed single sessions of dream interpretation using the Hill (1996) model, with half randomly assigned to waking life interpretation and the other half to parts of self interpretation in the insight stage of the Hill model. No differences were found between waking life and parts of self interpretations, suggesting that therapists can use either type of dream interpretation. Volunteer clients who had positive attitudes toward dreams and presented pleasant dreams had better session outcome; in addition, volunteer clients who had pleasant dreams gained more insight into their dreams. Results suggest that therapists doing single sessions of dream interpretation need to be cautious about working with dreams when volunteer clients have negative attitudes toward dreams and present unpleasant dreams.
 
In Experiment 1, 96 frequent dreamers were randomly assigned to Control or Experimental conditions. All participants rated waking and dream moods over ten days and recorded their most vivid dream for each night. On the first and tenth day they rated the levels of distress and solvability of up to eight specific personal problems. After ten days they also rated degree of improvement and problem-solving effort for each nominated problem. All Experimental participants also cognitively reviewed one particular focal problem each day. Experimental participants were also randomly assigned to use either a dream incubation technique (Delaney, 1996) for this focal problem either just before sleep or just after morning wakening, or to use a simple relaxation technique either just before sleep or just after wakening. Night dream incubation participants were particularly likely to report reduced problem distress, greater problem solvability, and improvement in their focal problem. Daytime anxious and depressed moods of the night dream incubation participants decreased over ten days relative to Controls. In Experiment 2 participants predicted how they would have been affected by either night or morning incubation instructions used in Experiment 1. Results did not support an expectancy interpretation of Experiment 1.
 
We hypothesized that counterfactual (CF) thought occurs in dreams and that cognitive operations in dreams function to identify a norm violation or novel outcome (recorded in episodic memory) and then to integrate this new content into memory by generating counterfactuals to the violation. In study 1 we compared counterfactual content in 50 dream reports, 50 pain memory reports and 50 pleasant memory reports (equated for word length) and found a significantly greater number of CFs in dream and in pain memory reports relative to pleasant memory reports. In study 2 we used a more liberal method for scoring CF content and analyzed 34 dream reports obtained from elderly individuals engaged in an ongoing study of neuropsychologic, health and religiosity variables. Study 2 also examined neuropsychologic associations to CF content variables. In the elderly sample and with our more liberal scoring procedures we found that norm violations along with counterfactual-like attempts to correct the violations occurred in 97% of reports. In 47% of these cases (roughly half of all reports), attempts to undo the violation obeyed at least one constraint on mutability typically observed in laboratory studies of CF processing. Cognitive operations associated with attempts to undo the norm violation (e.g. transforming focal actors or the most recent causal antecedent of the violation) were significantly correlated with measures of right frontal function. We conclude that dreaming may involve a process of learning from novel outcomes (particularly negative outcomes) by simulating alternative ways of handling these outcomes through counterfactual cognitive processes.
 
The present study investigated the relationship between both state and global measures of phenomenal qualities of nightmare experience and nightmare prevalence as measured prospectively by dream logs. Sixty three frequent nightmare individuals and 53 controls completed a retrospective measure of their sleep and dreaming processes and kept a dreaming and nightmare log for 21 consecutive nights. Nightmare prevalence was unrelated to all three state-based rating dimensions including a concurrent rating of how distressing the actual nightmare was but was significantly associated with a global measure of nightmare distress. Similarly, global ratings of dream and nightmare saliency showed greater predictive validity than ratings of the same dimensions rated concurrently. The results suggest that whether a person reports having a nightmare on any given night is more associated with how they view their global dreaming processes than with the phenomenal qualities of the actual nightmare itself.
 
Top-cited authors
Michael Schredl
  • Central Institute of Mental Health
Lynne Levitan
Daniel Deslauriers
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
Josie E. Malinowski
  • University of East London
Caroline L Horton
  • Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK