The Quantitative Study of Dreams: www.dreamresearch.net. By Adam Schneider & G. William Domhoff, UC Santa Cruz.

About dreamresearch.net

This Web site contains everything needed to conduct scientific studies of dreams using a system of content analysis.

Researchers or college/graduate students interested in doing quantitative research should check out the Resources for Scientists page.  If you'd like an multimedia overview of some of our methods and findings, you can watch Bill Domhoff's lecture entitled "The Awesome Lawfulness of Your Nightly Dreams" on YouTubeJournalists might be interested in a paper of ours that points out how the media sometimes go a little wrong in their coverage of dream research.

Also of note is our companion site, DreamBank.net, where you can do keyword searches on thousands of dream reports.

What's New

12/14/13: This page has been reorganized and updated a bit.
10/10/13: Bill Domhoff is a co-author of "Dreaming as mind wandering: Evidence from functional neuroimaging and first-person content reports" in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (download PDF).
05/20/12: A paper has been posted (Domhoff, 2011): The neural substrate for dreaming: Is it a subsystem of the default network?. The paper updates Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams.
09/15/10: Read Bill Domhoff's working paper entitled The Case for a Cognitive Theory of Dreams.
12/18/08: Bill Domhoff and Adam Schneider have a paper in Consciousness and Cognition, describing the many findings that have been developed using the thousands of dreams and search engine available on DreamBank.net.
12/18/08: We've also published another paper, in the same issue of Consciousness and Cognition, showing that activation-synthesis theorists J. Allan Hobson and David Kahn are wrong when they say based on a study with a small sample size and a weak methodology that individual differences are not very salient in dreams. Our review of the literature and an analysis of necessary sample sizes for detecting differences shows otherwise.
04/10/08: Bill's latest analysis of findings on the realistic nature of dreams, challenging the stereotype that everything about them is bizarre, appeared as a chapter in a recent book entitled The New Science of Dreaming; it's also available in the Library.
04/09/08: On April 9, 2008, Bill Domhoff gave a lecture entitled "The Awesome Lawfulness of Your Nightly Dreams" at UC Santa Cruz's Music Recital Hall; the entire lecture is now available on YouTube, or on DVD via UC-TV.
11/27/07: An excellent article in the Washington Post contains two quotes from Bill's 2003 book, on the topic of the apparent purposelessness of dreams.
07/03/07: Bill Domhoff is quoted extensively in an article about "Big Dreams" in the Science section of the July 3 New York Times. The dream series mentioned in the article, "Ed," is available in the DreamBank, and you can also read the paper Bill wrote about the series.
05/19/07: Bill Domhoff has a paper out on how journalists sometimes go a little wrong in their coverage of dream research; you can read it in our on-line Library.
12/15/06: Posted in the Library: Dreams as the expression of conceptions and concerns: A comparison of German and American college students.
12/01/06: "Barb Sanders" is our most detailed case study; a long article outlining some of the most interesting results of our studies about her is now available in the Findings section.
02/06/06: A review of Domhoff's 2003 book appears in the Spring '06 issue of the American Journal of Psychology.
01/12/06: There are two new articles in the Library: "The content of dreams: Methodologic and theoretical implications" and "Refocusing the neurocognitive approach to dreams: A critique of the Hobson versus Solms debate."
08/12/04: An article about Bill Domhoff and a cognitive framework for dream theory appeared in the August issue of the APS Observer.
08/02/04: Our DreamBank is prominently featured in the cover story of the August 9 issue of Newsweek. Unfortunately, the article is not scientifically sound and merely reinforces existing stereotypes.
06/10/04: An article in The Guardian, "Field of Dreams," features several quotes from Bill about cognitive theory.
10/07/03: The full text of Bill Domhoff's 1996 book, Finding Meaning in Dreams, is now available in the Dream Library.
04/07/03: A skeptical review (by Bill) of Allan Hobson's book on "The Science of Sleep" appears in the March 28 issue of Science. A link to the article is available in the Dream Library.
03/27/03: Bill's updated critique of "Senoi Dream Theory" is now available in the Dream Library.
01/01/03: Domhoff's book with APA Press, The Scientific Study of Dreams, is now available from Amazon.com. A sample chapter, "Toward a Neurocognitive Model of Dreams," is available in our site.
11/02/02: A June 2002 interview with Charity Nebbe of Michigan Public Radio is now available on-line! [2.7MB .mp3 file]
02/22/02: An interview with Bill Domhoff appears in the March 2002 issue of Discover magazine. The article is also available on-line.
11/17/01: We've added Domhoff's 2001 paper entitled "A New Neurocognitive Theory of Dreams" to the Dream Library.
09/18/00: The Dream Library is now on-line. The Library includes reprints of many scientific articles that are of use to dream researchers.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

(longer list of FAQs also available)

Q: I had a really interesting dream; can you interpret it?
I'm having problems with nightmares; can you help?
A: No and no; that's not what we do. Sorry.
Q: Why do we dream? Do dreams have a purpose?
A: No one knows for sure, but right now it looks like dreaming has no adaptive function.
Q: Do you have any general information about dreams in your site?
A: We're mostly geared toward research — and specifically content analysis — but we have put together a longer list of FAQs that you may find useful.
Q: I'm a student; can you help me with my project?
A: Based on several years of responding to queries about dream projects for school, we've found that our method of quantitative content analysis doesn't work very well for middle-school or high-school science projects because it is not an experimental method.
Q: How do I cite these pages as a reference in my research paper?
A: Here's what we recommend for an APA-style reference:
Schneider, A., & Domhoff, G. W. (2014). The Quantitative Study of Dreams. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from http://www.dreamresearch.net/

Contents of This Site

Resources for Scientists

For people doing their own studies

Dream Library

Published and unpublished articles, books, and lecture notes about dream research

DreamSAT for Excel

A spreadsheet for entering and analyzing dream coding data

Interesting Findings

Established results and recent projects

About Us

More about Bill and Adam

Contact Information

E-mail and postal addresses

This Web site was created by Adam Schneider. This file was last updated 04/07/14.