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Thematic, literal and associative dream imagery following a high-impact event


Davidson, J and Lynch, S, Thematic, literal and associative dream imagery following a high-impact event, Dreaming, 22, (1) pp. 58-69. ISSN 1053-0797 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 American Psychological Association

DOI: doi:10.1037/a0026273


The present study investigated the effect of a high-impact waking stiumulus on adults'dreams. Sixty-seven participants rcorded dreams following viewing of a traumatic digital video disc (DVD); September 11 media coverage) and an education DVD (a Psychology 1 lecture). There was significantly more intense central imagery (Hartmann, 1998, 2011) and negative emotion in the dreams following viewing of the stressful DVD. Scales were developed to assess imagery related to th content of the DVDs. A set of scales loosely based on Garfield's (2001) common dream themes measure thematic content. Significantly higher ratings were obtained for six out of the nine themes identified as relevant (e.g. chased, attached, or threatened) in dreams following viewing the September 11 DVD. The results provided experimental support for connectionist processes in dream production as postulated in Hartmann's (1998, 2011) theory, and other theries prdicting metaphoric dream imagery related to waking concerns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dream imagery, metaphor, associative imagery, thematic imagery, dream emotions, central image
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Davidson, J (Dr John Davidson)
UTAS Author:Lynch, S (Ms Shayne Lynch)
ID Code:79910
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-10-11
Last Modified:2014-12-13

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