Anxiety upon Awakening and Attributes of Dream Characters

Saez-Uribarri, Iñigo (2008) Anxiety upon Awakening and Attributes of Dream Characters. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

PDF - Published Version


Objective: To explore the attributes of dream characters related to anxiety upon awakening, and the possibility of using these attributes to construct a questionnaire administered to dreamers as an alternative to traditional methods of dream content coding via trained judges, such as those of Hall and Van de Castle and Gottschalk-Gleser. Method: A sample of 169 volunteers rated their dream characters with adjectives. Character attributes related to anxiety upon awakening were analysed through an exploratory factor analysis with orthogonal rotation. Results: With 37 character attributes a KMO sampling adequacy index of 0.83 was obtained and 33.87% of the variance was explained. Four factors were extracted: Psychological Threat, Auxiliary, Terrifying Threat and Spectator/Victim. Their corresponding alpha coefficients ranged between 0.85 and 0.73 and three of the factors presented significant (p £ 0.05)correlations with the anxiety of subjects upon awakening. Conclusions: Our results indicate that self-report questionnaires about subjects’ dreams are a reliable and valid alternative for assessing dream content. Information obtained about the characters allows for the assessment of the dream and provides indicators which allow for a simple interpretation, which does not contain biases due to the assessor or the ability of the subject to create a report.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Additional Information:This article has been localized of Spanish
Keywords:Content analysis, dreams, nightmares, questionnaires, sleep, state anxiety
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
ID Code:7069
Deposited By: Saez-Uribarri, Iñigo
Deposited On:26 Oct 2010 18:23
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Hall CS, Van de Castle RL. The content analysis of dreams. New York: Meredith Publishing Company;1966.

Kahn D, Pace Schott E, Hobson JA. Emotion and Cognition: Feeling and Character Identification in Dreaming. Conscious Cogn. 2002;11:34–50. doi:10.1006/ccog.2001.0537.

Ichiyama MA, Gruber RE. Interpersonal behavior and structure of dreaming. Psychol Rep. 1992;70:1219–22.

Nielsen TA, Stenstrom P. What are the memory sources of dreaming? Nature. 2005;437(27):1286–9. doi:10.1038/nature04288.

Maggiolini A, Azzone P, Provantini K, Viganò D, Freni S. The words of adolescents’ dreams: a quantitative analysis. Dreaming. 2003;13(2):107–17.

Mcnamara P, Mclaren D, Smith D, Brown, A, Stickgold R. A “Jekyll and Hyde” within aggressive versus friendly interactions in REM and Non REM dreams. Psychol Sci. 2005;16:130–6. doi:10.1111/j.0956 7976.2005.00793.x.

Schredl M, Hofmann F. Continuity between waking activities and dream activities. Conscious Cogn. 2003;12:298–308.

Domhoff GW. Finding meaning in dreams. New York: Plenum Press;1996.

De Gennaro L, Ferrara M, Cristiani R, Curcio G, Martiradonna V, Bertini M. Alexithymia and dream recall upon spontaneous morning awakening. Psychosom Med.2003;65:301–6. doi: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000058373.50240.71.

Bertolo H, Paiva T, Pessoa L, Mestre T, Marques R, Santos R. Visual dream content, graphical representation and EEG alpha activity in congenitally blind subjects. Cogn Brain Res. 2003;15:277–84.

Zlotowicz M. Las pesadillas del niño. Barcelona: Herder Ed;1982.

Gottschalk LA., Winget CN, Gleser GC. Manual of instructions for using the Gottschalk-Gleser content analysis scales. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press;1969.

Lebovits AH, Holland JC. Use of the Gottschalk Gleser Verbal Content Analysis Scales with medically ill Patients. Psychosom Med. 1983;45(4):305–20.

Stompe T, Ritter K, Ortwein Swoboda G, Schmid Siegel B, Zitterl W, Strobl R et al. Anxiety and Hostility in the manifest dreams of schizophrenic patients. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003;191(12):806–12. doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000100924.73596.b8.

Foulkes D. Gramática de los sueños. Barcelona: Paidós Ibérica Ed;1978.

Foulkes D, Cavallero C. Introduction. In: Foulkes D, Cavallero C Eds. Dreaming as cognition. Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf;1993.p.1–17.

Pesant N, Zadra, A. Working with dreams in therapy: What do we know and what should we do? Clin Psychol Rev. 2004;24:489–512. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2004.05.002.

Koptagel G. Communicative function of dreams in the therapeutic process. Turk Psikiyatri Derg. 2006;17(3):1–7. Available at: .

Figueroa G. Triunfo, culpa y muerte reconsiderados: la interpretación de un sueño en “Fresas salvajes” de Ingmar Bergman. Rev Chil Neuropsiquiatr. 2002;40:210–37.

García-Mas A, Medinas M, Llinàs J, Rossiñol A. Los sueños de fase MOR: apariencia sensorial, extrañeza, y representación cognitiva. Vigilia-Sueño. 2001;13(2):159-66.

Jimenez MA, Ramirez F, Mingote C, Rallo J. Metodología de estudios del contenido manifiesto de los sueños. Rev AEN. 1988;8(25):267–80.

Saez-Uribarri I. Evaluación de la ansiedad en despertares con actividad onírica [Internet]. Cogprints; 22nd December, 2006 [Retrieved on: 22nd December, 2006]. Available at:

Spoormaker VI, Schredl M, Van Den Bout J. Nightmares: from anxiety symptom to sleep disorder. Sleep Med Rev. 2006;10:19–31. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2005.06.001.

Kaiser HF. An index of factorial simplicity. Psicometrika, 1974; 39: 31–6.

Schredl M, Piel E. Gender differences in dreaming: Are they stable over time? Pers Individ Dif. 2005;39:309–16.

Valli K, Revonsuo A, Pälkäs O, Ismail KH, Ali KJ, Punamäki R-L. The threat simulation theory of the evolutionary function of dreaming: Evidence from dreams of traumatized children. Conscious Cogn. 2005;14:188–218.


Repository Staff Only: item control page