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  • 1.
    Bergman, Monica
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment. University of Turku, Finland.
    MacGregor, Oskar
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Olkoniemi, Henri
    University Turku, Finland.
    Owczarski, Wojciech
    University of Gdańsk, Poland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment. University of Turku, Finland.
    The Holocaust as a Lifelong Nightmare: Posttraumatic Symptoms and Dream Content in Polish Auschwitz Survivors 30 Years After World War II2020In: American Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0002-9556, E-ISSN 1939-8298, Vol. 133, no 2, p. 143-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Posttraumatic symptoms, including nightmares, are more prevalent in World War II survivors than in the general population, but how war experiences have affected subsequent dream content in specific survivor populations remains less explored. In the present study, we used self -reports collected in 1973 from Polish Auschwitz survivors (N = 150; 45 women) to investigate the prevalence of posttraumatic symptoms, classified according to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, we classified main themes, central emotions, and threatening events in the dreams (N = 632) of the survivors, comparing dreams recalled from before, during, and after the war. Of the respondents, 12.7% described experiencing all diagnostic criteria for PTSD. War-related themes were less common in dreams dreamt before than during the war but were most common after the war. Themes related to family and freedom were most likely to appear in dreams dreamt during than before or after the war. The most often occurring emotion was fear, and dreams from after the war were likely to contain more negative and less positive emotions than dreams dreamt during the war. The likelihoods of reporting threatening events and threats involving aggression were higher in dreams dreamt during than before the war and in dreams dreamt after than during the war. In conclusion, PTSD symptoms were common in Polish Auschwitz survivors 30 years after World War II, and the themes, emotions, and threatening events in their dreams seem to reflect lifelong posttraumatic dreaming. We interpret the results as lending support for the threat simulation theory of dreaming.

  • 2.
    Sikka, Pilleriin
    et al.
    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.
    Feilhauer, Diana
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    Valli, Katja
    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.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    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.
    How You Measure Is What You Get: Differences in Self- and External Ratings of Emotional Experiences in Home Dreams2017In: American Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0002-9556, E-ISSN 1939-8298, Vol. 130, no 3, p. 367-384Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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