Effects of hypnotically induced dreams on creative problem solving

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Abstract

A wealth of anecdotal evidence supports the age-old notion that the nocturnal dream is a source for creative inspiration. Unfortunately, scientific research on so-called creative dreaming has not been forthcoming. Using hypnosis in an effort to bring the phenomenon under experimental control, the present investigation induced dreams in 24 undergraduates representing a number of occupational and educational backgrounds. Each S was at an impasse in the course of working on an academic, vocational, avocational, or personal problem or project at the time of participation in the experiment. As hypothesized, when compared with a rational-cognitive treatment group that emphasized a linguistic and logical approach to creative problem solving, a significantly greater number of Ss who were administered the hypnotic dream treatment were able to overcome their creative blocks within 1 wk of treatment. Treatment success was assessed in accordance with criteria derived from an operational definition of creativity developed in the introduction. The hypothesis is considered to have received conditional support, pending the outcome of suggested research. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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