Article

Dreaming

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 211-235

The Typical Dreams of Canadian University Students

  • Tore A. NielsenAffiliated withSleep Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de MontréalDepartment of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal Email author 
  • , Antonio L. ZadraAffiliated withSleep Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de MontréalDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • , Valérie SimardAffiliated withSleep Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de MontréalDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • , Sébastien SaucierAffiliated withSleep Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de MontréalDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • , Philippe StenstromAffiliated withSleep Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de MontréalDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • , Carlyle SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Trent University
  • , Don KuikenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Alberta

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Abstract

To investigate the dimensional structure of dreams, the Typical Dreams Questionnaire (TDQ) was administered to 1181 first-year University students in three Canadian cities. A profile of themes was found that varied little by age, gender or region; however, differences that were identified could be interpreted as due to developmental milestones, personality attributes or sociocultural factors. Factor analysis produced a solution consisting of 16 coherent factors that were differentially associated with demographic variables and that accounted for 51% of the variance. Women loaded primarily on negative factors (failure, loss of control, snakes-insects), men primarily on positive factors (magic-myth, alien life). Results support the concept of typical dream themes as consistent over time, region and gender and as reflecting the influence of fundamental dream dimensions that may be influenced by sociocultural, personality, cognitive or physiological factors.

dreaming typical dreams sex differences personality factors