Dreams and Waking Fantasy

  • Steven Starker
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


Attempts to investigate the relation of the nocturnal dream to other types of fantasy have been more intriguing than conclusive. Early studies compared morning-after dream reports of individuals with their Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) stories and observed significant thematic resemblance between them (Sarason, 1944; Gordon, 1953; Shulman, 1955). More recent studies employing the sleep laboratory technique of dream collection, however, indicated negligible or inconsistent relations between dreams and TAT stories regarding thematic content, and noted instead some stylistic and structural similarities (Eagle, 1964; Foulkes and Rechtschaffen, 1964; Ben-Horin, 1967; Cartwright, 1969). Reliance on the relatively structured, volitional TAT story as the sole sample of waking fantasy, moreover, has limited the applicability of these research efforts regarding broad questions about the nature of fantasy in waking and sleeping. Upon completing an extensive review of the relevant literature, Klinger (1971) concluded ” . . . the degree of relationship in thematic content between dreams and fantasy is highly dependent on the kind of fantasy. Clearly there is a pronounced need for the study of samples of normal waking fantasy to compare with samples of dreams.”


Positive Mood Visual Imagery Affective Disposition Auditory Imagery Dream Recall 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Starker
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.West Haven Veterans Administration HospitalNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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