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Free Content Factors of home dream recall: a structural equation model

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Previous research has indicated that personality factors such as openness to experience, creativity, visual memory, attitude toward dreams, and sleep behavior is related to home dream recall frequency (DRF). However, a study investigating all areas simultaneously within one sample in order to determine the percentage of variance explained by all variables and to take intercorrelations between the influencing factors into account has not been performed till now. The present study with 444 participants fills this gap. Using several indicators for each of the variables mentioned above, a structural equation model was tested. Although the model fit was satisfying, the four factors which were significantly related to DRF: personality (openness to experience, thin boundaries, absorption), creativity, nocturnal awakenings, and attitude toward dreams, explained only 8.4% of the total variance. As this value is considerably lower than those of studies investigating a single influencing factor and using similar measurement instruments in similar samples, one might speculate about possible expectancy effects in these previous studies, an effect which has been demonstrated for DRF in the laboratory setting. In addition, the small percentage of explained variance of each single factors (<3%) may indicate that other, in this study unmeasured, variables such as sleep duration (state aspect), introspection, and cognitive functioning immediately upon awakening (sleep inertia) show substantial covariance with the interindividual differences in DRF. Future studies should focus on longitudinal aspects in order to differentiate between state versus trait factors (although methodologic issues, e.g. the effect of the measurement technique on DRF itself, have to be clarified) and investigate additional variables which might be associated with DRF (see above).
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Keywords: attitudes toward dreams; creativity; dream recall frequency; personality; visual memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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