Being naked in dreams: Analysis of a long dream series
Some theorists claimed that dreams show mainly features of primary consciousness but lack the characteristics of secondary consciousness like self-reflection, abstract thinking, and metacognition. One approach to this question is to study dreams in which the basic pattern of the dream involves higher-order consciousness processing. In a dream series of 12,159 dreams, the topic of “being totally or partially nude” was analyzed since the associated shame/embarrassment is a result of the dreamer’s worries about what others might think of him or her (theory of mind). About 1.08% of the dreams included this topic, showing a large variability regarding the content. Overall, the findings offered strong support against the views that dreams are single-minded or mainly characterized by primary consciousness processes. Studying typical dreams that include − almost per definition − secondary consciousness processes is a promising approach toward clarifying the cognitive capabilities within dreams.