The public perception of lucid dreaming and its research

Katharina Johanna Lüth, Kristoffer Appel, Gordon Pipa, Michael Schredl


A Lucid dream (LD) is a dream in which the dreaming person knows that he or she is dreaming. Being neglected by scientific researchers and viewed as esoteric or paranormal for many decades, nowadays LD is an acknowledged research field, which also has practical clinical implications. However, the public’s perception of LD has not yet been studied. This online study investigates the public’s perception and evaluation of LD and its research with respect to eventual paranormal features. The underlying research question was whether the popular view reflects the change from scientific ignorance to scientific acceptance. 270 participants took part, 55 of which were members in LD internet forums. Main findings: 1. Lucid dreaming is generally viewed as a positive, non-paranormal phenomenon. Lucid dreaming forum members have an especially positive view. 2. LD research is accepted as being scientific and no longer seen as esoteric. 3. Regarding exceptionality, LD is classified as a phenomenon comparable to hypnosis, and more exceptional than normal dreaming and meditation, but less exceptional than paranormal abilities such as telepathy. 4. Applications of LD are estimated differently regarding their possibility and provability. Generally, fewer applications are evaluated as being possible than LD research has already been able to show. Several significant effects of demographic variables such as age on several dependent variables were found. The present findings show a generally positive view of the public on LD and its research and support the use of LD for scientific, personal or therapeutic purposes.


Lucid dreaming, science of lucid dreaming, perception of lucid dreaming

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