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How You Measure Is What You Get: Differences in Self- and External Ratings of Emotional Experiences in Home Dreams
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1926-6138
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy)
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-8664
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2771-1588
2017 (English)In: American Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0002-9556, E-ISSN 1939-8298, Vol. 130, no 3, 367-384 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study demonstrates that different methods for measuring emotional experiences in dreams — self-ratings of dreams using emotion rating scales versus external ratings in the form of content analysis of narrative dream reports — can lead to strikingly different results and contradicting conclusions about the emotional content of home dreams. During 3 consecutive weeks, every morning upon awakening, 44 participants (16 men, 28 women, average age 26.9± 5.1 years) reported their dreams and rated their emotional experiences in those dreams using the modified Differential Emotions Scale. Two external judges rated emotional experiences inthe same 552 (M = 12.55 ± 5.72) home dream reports using the same scale. Comparison of the 2 methods showed that with self-ratings dreams were rated as more emotional and more positive than with external ratings. Moreover, whereas with self-ratings the majority of dreams was rated as positively valenced, with external ratings the majority of dream reports was rated as negatively valenced. Although self- and external ratings converge, at least partially, in the measurement of negative emotional experiences, they diverge greatly in the measurement of positive emotional experiences. On one hand, this discrepancy may result from different biases inherent in the 2 measurement methods highlighting the need to develop better methods for measuring emotional experiences. On the other hand, self- and external ratings may capture different phenomena and should thus be considered complementary and used concurrently. Nevertheless, results suggest that negative emotional experiences can be measured in a more valid and reliable manner than positive emotional experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Illinois, US, 2017. Vol. 130, no 3, 367-384 p.
Keyword [en]
emotions, dreaming, dream emotions, content analysis, gender differences
National Category
Natural Sciences Psychology
Research subject
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14074DOI: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.130.3.0367ISI: 000407872700010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85027696254OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14074DiVA: diva2:1137955
Note

Diana Feilhauer is now at the Department of Philosophy, Lund University, Sweden.

This research was supported by the Signe and Ane GyllenbergFoundation (P.S.), the Finnish Cultural Foundation (P.S.), and Academy of Finland (K.V., A.R.) (project 266434).

The authors thank Linnéa Stenström for assistance in the early phases of the study.

Available from: 2017-09-03 Created: 2017-09-03 Last updated: 2017-09-04Bibliographically approved

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