Conference 18 Abstracts
Association for the Study of Dreams
UCSC Santa Cruz, California, USA
Problem-Solving using Dream Incubation: Dreaming or Cognitive
Presenter: Dr. Gregory White, Associate Professor of Psychology,
Dr. White is both a clinical and social psychologist with interests
in Jungian theory, hypnosis, sleep and dreaming, emotion, and
interpersonal relationships. He currently directs the M.A. in Counseling
Psychology at the Redding Academic Center of National University and has
a private practice in Jungian psychotherapy and clinical health
Summary of Presentation:
A randomized experimental design was used to assess efficacy of two
types of problem-solving, either dream incubation or cognitive-analysis,
that were either practiced just before sleep or after waking, on solving
a moderately distressing personal problem. Measures included daily mood;
dream report; and problem-solving effort, insight, and success.
1. Know general findings in past research outcomes on dream incubation
2. Be able to distinguish dream incubation from cognitive
3. Know at least one reason why experimental research on dream
incubation may yield different results from clinical reports.
1. Past research confirms that dream incubation may be useful in solving
a. generally yes
b. generally no
c. results are mixed (correct)
2. Which of the following distinguishes dream incubation from
cognitive problem-solving methods:
a. focus on one particular problem at a time
b. reviewing elements of the problem's history or context
c. that active dreaming is a necessary component of efficacy
d. that active dreaming is a sufficient component of efficacy (correct)
3. Experimental research on the role of dream incubation, compared to
a. is better because experimental subjects are usually more motivated
b. can help separate out the effects of cognitive effort from the role
of dreaming per se (correct)
c. is usually of little use to a clinician unless subjects have a mental
d. usually find that hypnosis and dream incubation are very similar
ASD Paper Presentation Proposal
Problem-Solving using Dream Incubation: Dreaming or Cognitive Effort?
Gregory L. White
Southern Oregon University
Frequent dreamers were recruited for a ten-day study on "daily
mood". Frequent dreamers were chosen to maximize the likelihood of
dream reports, and because research suggests that there are few
meaningful personality differences between frequent dreamers and less
frequent dreamers, or between the dreams of frequent versus non-frequent
dreamers. One hundred participants, mostly undergraduate students, were
randomly assigned to one of five experimental conditions in a 2 x 2
factorial design with a control group. Experimental subjects were given
instructions that either presented a dream incubation technique reported
by Delaney (1998), or presented a cognitive-analytical method of
analyzing problems. The incubation or analytical method was applied to
either an interpersonal problem or to an academic problem that the
subject had previously rated as moderately distressing but probably
solvable. Crosscutting type of method used, subjects followed their
instructions either just prior to sleep or soon after morning waking for
a period of ten days. Control group subjects took the same dependent
measures also over a period of ten days, but were given no incubation or
problem-solving instructions. Dependent measures included subject
self-reports of daily mood, problem-solving efforts, sudden insight to
their problems, and problem-solving success.
Based on clinical reports and some research, we predicted that the
dream incubation technique would yield more positive mood, greater
problem-solving effort, more insight, and more success at
problem-solving than the cognitive-analytic technique. However, this
effect would occur for subjects who practiced dream incubation before
falling asleep rather than for those who practiced upon awakening,
presumably due to the mediating effects of creative dreaming. Hence we
expect an interaction of Technique (Incubation vs. Analytical) with Time
of Practice (Before Sleep, After Sleep) on the major dependent measures.
Further, subjects in the Incubation-Evening condition would be expected
to have greater success at problem-solving than control subjects, who
would not be as subject to the confounding effects of expectation of
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Books and Articles
Zimbardo, P. G., Marshall, G., White, G., & Maslach, C. (1973).
Objective assessment of hypnotically induced time distortion. Science,
White, G. L., & Maltzman, I. (1978). Pupillary activity while
listening to verbal passages. Journal of Research in Personality, 12,
White, G. L. (1980). Consensus and justification effects on attitudes
following counterattitudinal behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly, 43,
White, G. L. (1980). Inducing jealousy: A power perspective.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 6, 222?227.
White, G. L. (1980). Physical attractiveness and courtship progress.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 660?668.
White, G. L., & Zimbardo, P. G. (1980). The effects of threat of
surveillance and actual surveillance on expressed opinions toward
marijuana. Journal of Social Psychology, 111, 49?61
White, G. L. (1981). Jealousy and partner's perceived motives for
attraction to a rival. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44, 24?30.
White, G. L. (1981). A model of romantic jealousy. Motivation and
Emotion, 5, 295?310.
White, G. L. (1981). Relative involvement, inadequacy, and jealousy:
A test of causal model. Alternative Lifestyles, 4, 291?309.
White, G. L. (1981). Some correlates of romantic jealousy. Journal of
Personality, 49, 129?147.
White, G. L., Fishbein, S., & Rutstein, J. (1981). Passionate
love and the misattribution of arousal. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 41, 56?62.
White, G. L., & Gerard, H. B. (1981). Post decision evaluation of
choice alternatives as a function of choice and expected delay of choice
consequences. Journal of Research in Personality, 15, 371?382.
Gerard, H. B., & White, G. L. (1983). Post?decisional
reevaluation of choice alternatives. Personality and Social Psychology
Bulletin, 9, 365?370.
Smith, K. K., & White, G. L. (1983). Some alternatives to
traditional social psychology of groups. Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, 9, 65?73.
White, G. L. (1984). Comparison of four jealousy scales. Journal of
Research in Personality, 18, 115?130.
White, G. L., & Kight, T. (1984). Misattribution of arousal and
attraction: Effects of salience of explanations for arousal. Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology, 20, 55?64.
White, G. L., & Shapiro, D. (1987). Don't I know you? Antecedents
and social consequences of perceived familiarity. Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology, 23, 75?92.
White, G. L., & Helbick, T. R. (1988). Understanding and treating
jealousy. In R. A. Brown & J. R. Field (Eds.), Treating sexual
problems in individual and marital therapy. Great Neck, NY: PMA
White, G. L., & Mullen, P. E. (1989). Jealousy: Theory, Research,
and Clinical Strategies. New York: Guilford Press.
Vamos, M., White, G.L., & Caughey, D. (1990). Body image in
rheumatoid arthritis: The relevance of hand appearance to desire for
surgery. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 63, 267?277.
White, G.L. (1991). Self, relationship, friends, and family: A
systems view of romantic jealousy. In P. Salovey (Ed.), The psychology
of jealousy and envy. New York: Guilford Press.
White, G.L. (2000) Jealousy and problems of commitment. In W.H. Jones
& J.M. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment. New York:
White, G. L. (1981). Taking love seriously. Contemporary Psychology,
White, G. L. (1984). Review of Not in our genes. New Zealand Journal
of Psychology, 13, 83?84.
White, G. L. (1984). Review of the combined task force Report on
Mental Health Law. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 13, 76?77.
White, G. L. (1986). Review of Compatible and incompatible
relationships. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 15, 81?82.
Zimbardo, P. G., & White, G. L. (1973). The Stanford prison
experiment slide presentation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University
Department of Psychology.