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Dreams In Social Psychology Essay

2305 words - 9 pages

I chose to research a topic that can relate to anybody: dreams. It is something people are less inclined to think of as socially applicable; rather, they think dreams are personal. Perhaps through further analysis and study, more applications for dreams in social life can be found. Dreams may tell a lot more about how a person functions in society than might be originally thought. In this paper, I will review some of the ways people interact with others in and through dreams.
Overall, the articles supported the idea that people use dreams, whether during or after dreaming, to relate how they feel or think about other people. How they act in real situations can be mirrored in how they act in dreams (Domino, 1976). Some societies place a greater emphasis on what they think in their dreams than when they consciously make judgments and decisions. Gender and age also play a role in applying and sharing dreams (Morewedge & Norton, 2009). There may be a gender difference in the number of dreams a person shares. Who a dreamer shares their dreams with may indicate how closely they feel to a person (Szmigielska & Holda, 2007). Lastly, the gender of the dreamer may determine which sex they dream about more (Hall, 1984).
Predicting Behavior in Dreams
Domino (1976) assessed Jung’s theory that when people dream, their behavior is opposite what they usually show in an awakened state. His study included seventy-three men, ages 18-25, from a single university. They were asked to keep a dream journal for two weeks, and after the two weeks they were given multiple psychological tests. Since a majority of the participants had at least three dreams over the course of two weeks, only three dreams from each participant were used.
Domino used two basic instruments to gather data from the participants, the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) and the Adjective Check List (ACL). They were chosen because they used the same 15 need scales: achievement, deference, order, exhibition, autonomy, affiliation, intraception, succorance, dominance, abasement, nurturance, change, endurance, heterosexuality, and aggression. This made it easy to compare them with each other. When both tests are used together, they can give an idea of how a person would behave in a real situation.
Five psychologists with at least one year of postdoctoral experience rated the dreams. In order to keep ratings consistent, each psychologist was given twenty dreams to train with. They rated the dreams in a random order using the 15 dimensions. A six point scale (0 for no material to rate in dream and 5 for a very strong amount of material in dream) was used for each of the 15 dimensions. The psychologists were given definitions of each of the 15 dimensions to refer to when rating the dreams.
The results that Domino gathered showed a strong correlation between dream rating and eleven of the combined EPPS and ACL dimensions. Having a positive correlation for so many dimensions does not...

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