Emotional responses to dream sharing: A field study
Despite their private nature, dreams are often shared with spouses, family, friends, and colleagues. Whereas different aspects of dream sharing like its associated motivations have been investigated, it has not yet been systematically studied how the listener reacts to a dream account, i.e., what emotional responses persons have while listening to dreams or what the dreamer experiences as other persons react to his or her dream telling. The sample of 85 participants received a questionnaire eliciting situations where they told another person a dream and situations where they heard a dream told by another person. Reactions to dream accounts are more positively than negatively toned and several times sharing the dream had a positive effect on the relationship between the dreamer and the listener. Negatively toned emotions experienced while listening to a dream should be followed up because this topic hasn’t been studied yet. It would be desirable to use diaries to validate the findings of this retrospective approach and to study dream telling situations under controlled laboratory conditions , which also might include brain imagining.