Attitudes towards dreaming: Effects of socio-demographic and religious variables in an American sample
This paper reports the findings of an analysis of an online survey of a large, demographically diverse group of American adults answering questions about their attitudes towards dreaming (N=5,255), with the goal of exploring factors like dream recall, age, gender, ethnicity, education, and religious orientation in relation to people’s positive and negative attitudes towards dreaming. In addition to confirming or disconfirming previous research regarding the effects of dream recall, age, and gender, this study examines three demographic variables that have not been previously considered in detail—ethnicity, education, and religious orientation—for possible connections with people’s attitudes towards dreaming. The results of the analysis confirm earlier findings that people with high dream recall tend to have more positive attitudes towards dreaming than people with low dream recall; women tend to have more positive attitudes towards dreaming than men; and younger people tend to have more positive attitudes towards dreaming than older people. Regarding ethnicity, blacks had more positive attitudes towards dreaming than whites, with Hispanics having aspects of both. People who are most opposed to religion (atheists) had the most negative attitudes towards dreaming, and people who follow an alternative religious path had the most positive attitudes towards dreaming, with Protestants and Roman Catholics in between. Education seemed to have less of an effect, with slightly more negative attitudes towards dreaming associated with higher levels of education.