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How to test the threat-simulation theory
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2771-1588
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-8664
2008 (English)In: Consciousness and Cognition, ISSN 1053-8100, E-ISSN 1090-2376, Vol. 17, no 4, 1292-1296 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Malcolm-Smith, Solms, Turnbull and Treduoux (Malcolm-Smith, S., Solms, M., Turnbull, O., & Tredoux, C. (2008). Threat in dreams; An adaptiation? Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 1281-1291.) have made an attempt to test the Threat-Simulation Theory (TST), a theory offering an evolutionary psychological explanation for the function of dreaming (Revonsuo, A. (2000a). The reinterpretation of dreams: An evolutionary hypothesis of the function of dreaming. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 23(6), 877-901). Malcolm-Smith et al. argue that empirical evidence from their own study as well as from some other studies in the literature does not support the main predictions of the TST: that threatening events are frequent and overrepresented in dreams, that exposure to real threats activates the threat-simulation system, and that dream threats contain realistic rehearsals of threat avoidance responses. Other studies, including or own, have come up with results and conclusions that are in conflict with those of Malcolm-Smith et al. In this commentary, we provide an analysis of the sources of these disagreements, and their implications to the TST. Much of the disagreement seems to stem from differing interpretations of the theory and, consequently, of differing methods to test it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2008. Vol. 17, no 4, 1292-1296 p.
Keyword [en]
Evolutionary psychology, The function of dreaming, The threat-simulation theory, Dream content
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2474DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2008.01.007ISI: 000261558600024PubMedID: 18325788Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-55749090406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2474DiVA: diva2:132617
Available from: 2008-12-22 Created: 2008-12-22 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textPubMedScopushttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S105381000800010X

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