Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researcher’s dreams inspire study showing women have more nightmares than men

29.01.2009
A researcher from the University of the West of England was inspired by her own nightmares and a chance encounter at a lecture to examine more closely the stuff that dreams are made of. Her PhD study has focused on an astounding discovery that women suffer more nightmares then men.

As a mature student Dr Jennie Parker was interested in looking at some aspect of psychology for her PhD study and it was at a lecture about dreams, given by former UWE researcher Dr Susan Blackmore that she had a moment of epiphany.

Dr Parker explains, “My own nightmares had two reoccurring themes, one concerned standing on the beach at Weston Super Mare, my home town, when the tide suddenly goes out very fast and returns as a huge tidal wave that is about to engulf me. The other dream includes a dinosaur roaming the streets at night and looking in at my window. I wondered if my experience was common amongst women.”

Several years on and Dr Parker has completed a study that looks set to turn Dream Research on its head and expand its potential as a subject with multi faceted possibilities hitherto unrealised. In the course of her work she found that research into sleep and dreams had used data collection techniques that discounted entirely the role of emotions in dreams. She believes that this ‘discovery’ opens up a whole new raft of research possibilities into the psychology of dreaming.

Dr Parker explains, “My most significant finding is that women in general do experience more nightmares than men. An early study into dreams lead to my discovering that normative research procedures into Dream Research often considered the structure of dreams but that there is a gaping hole in terms of academic study that investigates emotional significance in the analysis of dreams.

“To discover more about women’s dreams I asked participants in my project to fill out a structured dream diary. The evidence was collected in a very different way to that used in previous dream analysis projects that largely depended on recall after the dream has happened. The participants in my study were all primed to record their dreams before the dreams happened. I took a sample of 100 women and 93 men. They were aged between 18 and 25 and were predominantly Year 1 Psychology students at UWE.

“I found that women’s nightmares can be broadly divided into three categories, fearful dreams – being chased or life threatened, losing a loved one or confused dreams.

By corroborating dreams with actual life experiences for each participant it became evident that the anxieties about things that have happened in the past can reoccur many times as ‘emblem’ dreams.” Dr Parker continues, “It is these emblem dreams that are particularly significant. If women are asked to report the most significant dream they ever had they are more likely than men to report a very disturbing nightmare. Women reported more nightmares and their nightmares were more emotionally intense than men’s.

“We explored the dream reports by whether they were pleasant or unpleasant and this significantly changed findings. Both men and women were more likely to be the victim of aggressive interactions in unpleasant dreams. In pleasant dreams the dreamer was more often the aggressor. Women had more unpleasant dreams than men and unpleasant dreams contained more misfortune, self-negativity and failures.

“Women’s dreams contained more family members, more negative emotion, more indoor settings and less physical aggression than men’s dreams.

The research discovered that when the natures of these categories were explored more interesting differences in reported behaviour during dreaming emerged. Men made more references to attacks, or serious threat but reported fewer verbally aggressive or covert acts of aggression. Men and women’s friendly behaviour in dreams was the same; most often they reported helping other dream characters.

Men’s dream contained more references to sexual activity. Differences between men and women’s sexual behaviour were that men reported more actual intercourse, while women reported more kissing and sexual fantasies about other dream characters.

Dr Parker concludes, “Each of these dream types has its own distinct subjectivity. It would not have been possible to identify this complexity using traditional approaches to dream investigation. The implication of these findings are far reaching for dream researchers and suggest that we need to think in more complex terms when describing dream report content.”

Jane Kelly | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uwe.ac.uk
http://info.uwe.ac.uk/news/UWENews/article.asp?item=1415&year=2009

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

27.02.2017 | Information Technology

Fraunhofer IFAM expands its R&D work on Coatings for protection against corrosion and marine growth

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>