Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain

pp 221-259

Individual Differences Associated with Lucid Dreaming

  • Thomas J. SnyderAffiliated withDevelopmental Disabilities Center, University of Alberta
  • , Jayne GackenbachAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa

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Lucid dreaming has been said to be within the capability of all individuals (LaBerge, 1985). Based on analyses of the incidence of this dream experience among university students and among persons with an expressed interest in dreaming, a majority have reported experiencing at least one lucid dream during their lifetime, and about 20% have reported experiencing lucid dreams with relative frequency. Our goal in this chapter is to describe and to integrate what has been learned through research about individuals who experience lucid dreams. To this end we will present data derived from the study of four separable but not unrelated functional domains for which subject differences associated with lucid dreaming, or lucidity, have been found. These functional domains are (1) oculomotor/equilibratory; (2) visual/imaginal; (3) intellectual/creative, and (4) personal/interpersonal. The extent of individual differences in lucid dreaming and the methods by which these differences have been investigated will also be discussed. Because methodology is an integral part of research into individual differences, methodological considerations will first be presented.