A Brief Biography of G. William Domhoff

G. William Domhoff, who goes by "Bill," studied dream research with Calvin Hall at the University of Miami, where he received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1962. Before that, he attended Duke University in North Carolina and Kent State University in Ohio (M.A., 1959). He has been teaching at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1965. In 1993 he was promoted to Distinguished Professor of Psychology; in 2007 he received the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award, which honors the post-retirement contributions of UC faculty.

Bill has published several articles on dreams in academic journals, some as a co-author with Hall. He wrote a book called The Mystique of Dreams (University of California Press, 1985) that debunks the widespread belief that the Senoi people of highland Malaysia practice dream control and have extraordinary mental health. He shows through anthropological evidence that "Senoi dream theory" -- as Americans know it through best-selling pop psych dream books -- is really American "we-can-do-and-control-anything" ideology. The dream control myth was projected onto the Senoi by an American adventurer who happened on them accidently, didn't know the language, and spent only a few weeks with them. (An updated version of Mystique is available in this Web site.)

Bill's latest (2003) book on dreams is entitled The Scientific Study of Dreams: Neural Networks, Cognitive Development, and Content Analysis.

Bill's 1996 book, Finding Meaning in Dreams: A Quantitative Approach (Plenum Publishing Company) was the original basis for this Web site. It relies heavily on quantitative studies done earlier by Hall and more recently by Adam Schneider. The material in the book on cross-cultural findings (Chapter 6), the consistency of dream content over years and decades (Chapter 7), and the relationship between dreams and personal concerns (Chapter 8) are still the most comprehensive and up-to-date summaries of these literatures that are available. The complete text of the book is available on-line in the Dream Library on this Web site.

For a list of all of Bill's published works about dreams, click here.

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