The Effects of Emotional Salience on the Day-Residue and Dream-Lag Effects
TThere are two temporal delay effects used to describe the reoccurrence of day events in dreams. The day-residue effect is the reflection of events in dreams 1-2 nights after its occurrence and has been observed in typical and unusual day events. The dream-lag effect is the re-surfacing of daily events approximately a week after and more likely to occur when personally significant events are encountered. Further, degree of emotional intensity affects likelihood of day incorporation. The current study explores the temporal pattern of incorporation of emotionally salient day events. A sample of undergraduate psychology students (N = 45) completed a daily journal of events containing emotional importance. Nightly dream journals were also maintained for one week and were required to include as much detail as possible. Independent judges rated the number of correspondences between day events and the subsequent 7 dreams. Analysis revealed a main effect of day, main effect of emotion; negative emotions (p < 0.05) and neutral items (p < 0.01) were much more likely to be incorporated in dreams than positive emotions. In addition, there were significantly more incorporations on day 1 versus day 5 (p < 0.05) and day 7 (p < 0.05) for both negative and neutral correspondences. Overall, correspondences indicated a day-residue effect, but no dream-lag effect.