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Dreaming as a mechanism for emotional handling : did dreams become more emotional after 9/11?

by Palmenfelt, August

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigates the effects of traumatic experiences on emotional content of dreams. The theoretical framework of the present study is both the threat simulation theory and Hartmann’s theory of dreams as a mechanism for handling emotions after traumatic events. Both theories predict an increase in negative emotions after trauma but assign a different function for this increase. The subjects in this study (N = 16) were regularly writing dream diaries which after the 9/11 attack gave the researchers an unique opportunity to study the exact impact of events on dream content. Each subject’s ten last dreams before 9/11, and ten first dreams after 9/11, were analysed according to the emotional content. The results showed no significant differences in the number or tone of emotions in the before dreams compared to the after dreams. Possibly because none of the subjects experienced the event first hand.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:dreams trauma emotional handling threat simulation theory

ISBN:

Date of Publication:06/08/2007

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