The Quality of the Data
There are serious obstacles to systematic studies of dream content. First, as noted in the first chapter, it is not possible to introduce stimuli that regularly produce predictable variability in dream content, so an experimental approach is not very useful. Second, not all subjects are willing or able to report dreams, raising questions about the representativeness of those subjects who do report dreams. Third, even high dream recallers do not report dreams every morning at home or every time they are awakened in a laboratory setting, raising questions about the representativeness of the dreams recalled by subjects. Fourth, variability in how dreams are collected may affect the content of the reports. Finally, there are no independent checks on the accuracy of the reports provided by subjects; elements of the dream could be omitted or changed, or the entire “dream” could be a made-up story. Given these problems, it is not surprising that many psychologists raise questions about the quality of the data used in studies of dream content.
KeywordsSleep Laboratory Dream Content Artificial Report Dream Recall Dream Report
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