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Dreaming is a multidisciplinary journal, the only professional journal devoted specifically to dreaming. The journal publishes scholarly articles related to dreaming from any discipline and viewpoint. This includes biological aspects of dreaming and sleep

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:00:08 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association

Mutual dreaming.


We seek to open a discussion on the phenomenon of shared or mutual dreams. We provide a descriptive content analysis of a nonrandom sample of reports of mutual dreaming. Bracketing claims that mutual dreams are veridical, we assess the hypothesis that mutual dreams are associated with attempts to enhance emotional attachment relationships. Content analyses of 102 mutual dream narratives are studied. Mutual dream reporters were 24% male, 37% female, and 38% unspecified. Mutual dreamers (person reported to have shared the dream with the primary reporter) were 36% male, 57% female, and 7% unspecified. Ninety-two percent of mutual dreams were between 2 people. Twenty-seven percent of these were between friends, 42% relatives, 27% significant others, and 4% nonfamiliar people. Dreamers did not typically speak together during the dream and 48% had the dream while in different locations. Mean similarity ratings for dream settings, themes, characters, events, and objects were all above 4.0 where 5.0 indicated identical content. Mean intimacy ratings between the 2 dreamers was 3.16 where 6 indicated the highest intimacy. The most frequent themes concerned family and friendship relationships. Mutual dreams tend to occur in close dyadic relationships, be very similar in content, and occur when related dreamers are separated and not feeling very intimate. “Noticing” or constructing mutual dreams may therefore be related to a need for emotional closeness or attachment in relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Such stuff as dreams are made on: Dream language, LIWC norms, and personality correlates.


We describe the language features of dream narratives from 3 large samples of normal persons using Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC), a computer text analysis program. Compared with LIWC norms from waking narratives, LIWC dream narratives showed more use of function words in general, common words, past tense verbs, relativity (particularly space), inclusion, leisure, friend, and home words, and less use of second-person pronouns, present and future verbs, causation words, large words, and assent words. Dream narratives did not contain more negative emotion words. These patterns were consistent across investigators, samples gathered at different times from student and online sources, and instructions for dream reports (i.e., recent dream vs. important dream). Statistically significant correlations between dream language features and personality (as measured by the Ten-Item Personality Inventory and the Big Five Inventory) were few in number and small in effect sizes. We conclude with discussing the implications of computer text analysis of dreams in more systematic studies comparing linguistic features with dream themes in cross-cultural clinical populations, and the implications of these features for scientific understanding of the continuum of consciousness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

When was your earliest dream? Association of very early dream recall with frequent current nightmares supports a stress-acceleration explanation of nightmares.


The stress-acceleration hypothesis of nightmares (Nielsen, 2017) stipulates that individuals with frequent nightmares have better access to memories—including dreams—originating in the infantile amnesia period than do individuals without nightmares. This was tested on an available sample of 17,014 participants who estimated their current nightmare frequency and dated their earliest remembered dreams. One-way analyses of variance with 10 levels of Dream-Age (1–10 years) as independent variable and log nightmare recall as the dependent measure were computed for all early dreams combined and, separately, for those who remembered only positive or negative early dreams. An earliest dream from the infantile amnesia period was recalled by 4.63% of participants. A main effect for Dream-Age (p < .0000001) confirmed that these participants had more current nightmares. The effect was also seen for both emotionally positive and negative early dreams, suggesting a general change in early memory access. Four themes accounted for most (40.2%) of the earliest dreams recalled—being chased (14.0%), falling (11.4%), flying (9.4%), and encountering an evil force (5.3%)—and were interpretable as consistent with Freud’s claim that such dreams arise from early infantile experiences. Results support the stress-acceleration hypothesis of nightmares, which stipulates that a foreshortening of the infantile amnesia period contributes to nightmares by increasing access to intense primordial feelings and memory fragments that are normally forgotten because of infantile amnesia processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Experiences of nursing students regarding sexual dreams.


The aim of this study was to describe the experiences related to sexual dreams in a sample of nursing degree students from the University of Almería, Spain. The research instrument used was an adapted version of the Sexual Dream Experience Questionnaire. This questionnaire is composed of 32 items, divided into 4 dimensions: Joyfulness, Aversion, Familiarity, and Bizarreness. The main results highlighted differences in relation to sex—men have more sexual dreams than women and place more importance on them. While foreplay is involved in the erotic dreams of both men and women, regular partners rarely appear in them. Male dreams tend to include more sexual partners than female dreams and the percentage of men or women who had dreamed about being raped or abused in their sexual dreams was very low. Ultimately, students showed a strong desire to have sexual dreams. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

“History...Is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake”.


Philosophers of history have posited a class of concepts known as colligatory concepts (CCs) that causally link a series of past events into a meaningful pattern that is evaluated as significant for historical knowledge and that contributes to historical consciousness. We tested the hypothesis that these colligatory concepts occurred frequently in dreams and nightmares relative to waking narratives and that they exhibited properties that plausibly allowed them to mediate historical consciousness. In our content analysis of 100 nightmares, 100 unpleasant control dream narratives, and 50 waking narratives (diary entries), colligatory concepts appeared in 75% of nightmares and 46% of ordinary dreams compared to 2% of diary entries. In 36 out of 75 (48%) nightmares, 13 out of 46 (28.3%) unpleasant dreams, and 0 out of 1 diary entries the causal reference invoked by the CCs referred to group or social collective effects of some kind. In slightly more than half (56%) of the nightmares, 7% of unpleasant dreams, and 0% of diary entries containing CCs, the evaluative emotion was fear or terror. Colligatory concepts occur frequently in nightmares and dreams and most often refer causes of events in dreams to group or collective effects that are experienced as terrifying or disturbing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Dreams, myth, and power.


All cultures have studied dreams. Many theories have been developed on the subject and scholarship continues to uncover more. Three of the most well-worn dream theories are the following: dreams as divine communication, dreams as conduits for the soul’s conveyance, and dreams as quotidian human occurrences. This article examines the first and third of these theories, and links both of these understandings of dreams to myth. A myth is a narrative freighted with cultural understanding, conceived such that a whole society lives a myth’s importance. Put differently, myths are meaning-making processes that describe and explain phenomena. Dreams often work to bring myths into focus; this focus sometimes powers political change. The influence of dreams on Hindu, Hebrew, Christian, Islamic, and scientific myths details this phenomenon. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)