Findings from Our Research

The following material provides examples of our findings, some published, some not. (A longer list of published findings is available in the Dream Library.) If you have further questions about any of the studies listed here, let us know.

By the way, many of the following pages contain graphs called "h-profiles." If you want to learn more about what they mean and how the numbers are calculated, be sure to read the page about our statistical approach.

Our Best Case: Barb Sanders
This is our best and most detailed case study to date, based primarily on the first 3,116 dreams in a lengthy dream journal. It shows how consistent dreams are over time and how revealing they are about our conceptions and concerns. If you are looking to do a research project and one of your motivations is to contribute to ongoing dream research, then it would be very helpful if you did studies that added to our understanding of this amazing dream series, where our work barely scratches the surface. In addition to the dreams themselves and our codings of them, we also have quite a bit of supplemental information about Barb Sanders that is available to researchers.
Gender Similarities & Differences
This study of differences and similarities between the dreams of American men and women is supportive of the idea that there is a "continuity" between the content of dreams and waking life because they are in many ways what we might expect based on what is known about the autobiographical memories, interests, and living situations of men and women in waking life.
Cross-Cultural Physical Aggression
The content of dreams from cultures around the world tends to be fairly similar, with the notable exception of physical aggression. Our table compares physical aggression data from several industralized and non-industrialized societies.
The Engine Man
This natural scientist wrote down hundreds of his dreams during the summer of 1939, and the results speak volumes about his life and about the consistency of dreams in general.
Mark: The College Student
Much can be learned from young, "normal" subjects. Mark's dreams from his high school and college years show us how certain salient features of a person's life can be clearly reflected in a quantitative analysis of that person's dreams.
Lucile is a woman who wrote down more than 500 of her dreams between the ages of 57 and 64. These dreams show impressive consistency over that time period, and Calvin Hall's correspondence with Lucile confirmed a great deal of continuity with her waking life, including details about her relationships with various loved ones.
George Weldon
This is a man who has given us thousands of dream reports, from 1981 through 1996. We coded the dreams on a few select categories, and we're measuring the consistency in those categories over the 15-year period.
We obtained a set of dreams from psychiatric patients; some of them were schizophrenic, some were alcoholic, some were both, and some were neither. The graph on this page shows the schizophrenics' dreams compared to the norms; they have comparatively little friendliness or striving, and few friends.
Freud and Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung -- arguably the two most famous psychologists in history -- included their own dreams in some of their published works. We applied our coding system to these two short series and compared them to the male norms.
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