“It’s raining again” – Bad weather in a long dream series
The cognitive theory of dreams, proposed by Calvin Hall in 1953, postulated that dream images serve to picture conceptions the dreamer has in his or her waking life. Dream settings, like stormy weather, might reflect the dreamer’s emotionally influenced conception of the world. In a long series (N = 11,777 dreams) rain dreams (about 1.40% of the dreams) were analyzed to study how rain in dreams affect the dream ego. Although rain had an effect on the dreamer in two thirds of the dreams and is often not accompanied by explicitly mentioned emotions, the negative emotions (48 dreams) outweighed the positive ones (4 dreams) indicating that rain dreams may picture negative conceptions of the world, i.e., the emotionally negative perceptions of their world experiences. However, the large variety of topics in rain dreams also support the idea that rain in dreams might depict a variety of different world-conceptions, from obstacles in waking life to “real” danger. Future research could link rain dreams to waking life events of the dreamer, e.g., loss of a friend (cf. the song “It’s raining again” by Supertramp) and provide empirical evidence of a representative continuity – in addition to the confirmative findings regarding a thematic continuity between waking and dreaming.