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Measuring Emotions in Dreams: Methodological Challenges
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Although emotions are a natural component of dream experiences, a lack of consensus prevails in research literature concerning the specific characteristics of emotional dream experiences. The aim of this study was to investigate if and to what extent this lack of convergence among studies stems from whether dream emotions are self- or externally rated - forty-four healthy participants (16 males and 28 females; mean age = 26.93, range = 19 - 40) kept a home dream diary for three consecutive weeks, and daily rated their emotional experiences in dreams with the Swedish modified Differential Emotions Scale (smDES; Fredrickson, 2013). Two external judges rated emotions in the same 552 home dream reports using the same scale. Results obtained with the two methods differed in that the self-ratings, compared to external ratings, revealed: (a) more emotional dreams; (b) more positive than negative emotions per dream (with the ratio being relatively balanced); (c) a relatively more balanced proportion of positive and negative emotions, while the external ratings revealed more negative than positive emotions per dream. The results suggest that this is mostly due to the underrepresentation of positive emotions with external ratings. Thus, the results continue to question the extent of convergence between self- and external ratings when investigating emotional dream contents, and bring to attention the importance of methodological aspects when investigating dream emotions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
dream emotions, positive and negative emotions, content analysis, modified Differential Emotions scale
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11294OAI: diva2:840466
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
2015-05-21, G211, Högskolan i Skövde, Skövde, 15:30 (English)
Available from: 2015-08-10 Created: 2015-07-08 Last updated: 2015-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Feilhauer, Diana
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