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Repression, Interference and Field Dependence As Factors in Dream Forgetting

Cohen, Harvey; Goodenough, Donald R.; Koulack, David; Lewis, Helen Block; Witkin, Herman A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute of Mental Health, Cognitive Style, Dreams, Field Dependence Independence, Memory, Stress Variables


A number of hypotheses about the effects of presleep stress on dream recall among field dependent and field independent Ss were tested to explore the role of repression and of dream affect in dream recall. The effect of presleep stress was to increase arousal during REM sleep and affect in dream reports. The data also suggest that the most affectful dreams are best recalled. Among field dependent Ss dream content was reported less frequently on stress than on neutral nights, but no stress effect on dream report frequency was found among field independent Ss. The results are discussed in terms of repression theory, and in terms of a possible alternative explanation that stress-produced anxiety interferes with attentional processes required for dream recall at the moment of awakening. (30pp.)

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