Are the Effects of Dream Interpretation on Session Quality, Insight, and Emotions Due to the Dream Itself, to Projection, or to the Interpretation Process?

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Abstract

We tested whether interpreting one’s own dream was more effective in terms of subject-rated session quality (Depth), insight, and positive and negative emotionality than either interpreting another person’s dream as if it were one’s own or interpreting a recent event of one’s own. Sixty undergraduate volunteers participated, 20 in each of the three conditions. Results indicated that interpreting one’s own dream led to greater depth and insight than interpreting another person’s dream or interpreting one’s own event. Thus, the effects of dream interpretation cannot be attributed solely to projection or to the interpretation process. Rather, dreams seem to provide a stimulus that helps subjects gain self-understanding.

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