Dreams Cloud Educational Series by Dr. Robert Van de Castle - Session 7 Content Analysis
Dr. Van de Castle again and today we're going to get into some book learning. So we will take some books, and try and tell you what's in the books because I think there is information that would be helpful to you as you're moving along on your journey toward discovering dreams. We've mentioned this one before, just putting in a plug again about Our Dreaming Mind, the book that I wrote that's over 500 pages in length and covers almost everything you want to know about dreams and over 500 references, but in order to possibly get a copy you need to be staying in touch with dreamscloud and sending in dreams as we see these people here have been doing and then each month they'll be one of these randomly selected and a person will receive a free copy of the book.
The book I'll be talking about now is one that I wrote with Calvin Hall back in 1966 and it's called The Content Analysis of Dreams, So this was a technique where if you wanted to try and do research on dreams, how could you do that. In some ways you have to be able to get some kind of system with numbers to be able to see more of this or more of something else in the dream. So we went through and in here we have, as I mentioned here before with the picture, we have a category trying to look at the settings in the dream -- is it indoors or outdoors? We have characters -- is it a human or is it an animal? In this one we really didn't have an opportunity for interactions, but you're going to see now a scoring sheet in front of you and in this scoring sheet, I'm going to just sort of talk you through what it would be if you had taken the dream and scored it up using the Hall Van de Castle system, which is the most widely used one in the world.
You would see that there's a heading there for O, that one stands for various objects that are in the dream, and in terms of some of these in here like AE that means it's an architectural object that was used for entertainment. It could be like a gymnasium or a restaurant. FO for food. There's a CM for communication, like a telephone or television. Then you see there's an S heading. These are for the different settings. So the first one IU means it was an indoor setting and it was unfamiliar. The next one was an outdoor one it was also unfamiliar. The next column stands for characters, and so the first character that we see there 1MKA means it was an individual character, it was a male, it was someone known to the dreamer, and that they were an adult --something like a boyfriend. The bottom character there 1MOA is a single character whose male is occupationally identified, so could be like a doctor or a policeman, and is an adult.
Then the next three going across are different kind of social interactions – aggressive, friendly and sexual. So under aggressive you can see that what happened was the character who was occupationally identified, we'll arbitrarily call him a policeman, so that character the one male occupationally identified character did a class VII aggression. Now a seven would be chasing or running after someone with the intent to harm them, and so the person who received that was the dreamer. So the little arrow on there indicates a character to the left of policeman character did this type VII aggression to the dreamer. The one under that indicates the dreamer did a type II aggression, which is a verbal aggression to that same character, but they wind up here that they're both yelling at each other. So this one is in a sense a reciprocal aggression, they're both yelling at each other at the same time so you can't say one started, one finished. They're doing it simultaneously. Under the friendly category, than the D is the dreamer and the dreamer did this class VI, which was to make some sort of invitation to them or in some ways be even definitely friendly fashion, and a three is a lower level of aggression where you acknowledge. So there's no sexual one in a particular dream that is being scored.
Then there's different kind of activities and we won't go through all of these, but again it's which characters were involved. The P means there's some sort of physical activity, like running or walking. A V is a verbal interaction so that the dreamer was involved with some verbal interaction with the male character that they knew. Then there can be other categories as to whether there was success or failure; and so in this case it was a successful incident in the dream that was scored for the dreamer. Other categories can be misfortunes or good fortunes. So misfortune is if something bad happens to you, you slip on the ice and break your leg, that's definitely undesirable and it's a misfortune. If somebody takes and breaks another character's leg, that would be an aggression. And good fortune would be like winning the lottery ticket.
In the next column, EMOT is the emotions and in this case the five different emotions that we score 4 of them are negative. Just as I had mentioned for the different kinds of dreams that were typical, most of them were unfortunate -- like being chased and falling and so forth. Very few happy dreams like flying, and the only happy emotion that we score is happiness. AN stands for anger. The others are confusion, sadness, fear like apprehension.
M are different kind of word to use to describe things. In this case S refers to size and a minus means that something in the dream was described as small. The I's refer to something in intensity and I plus means something was very strong and intense. I minus means something was very weak in intensity, and so forth. E is an aesthetically evaluative one so something was either very beautiful or very ugly.
That gives you some idea as to how we can take the dream, convert it over to scores, and so now we would be in a basis to try and make comparisons between dreamers. So that if we were looking at this in terms of norms and in this book, The Content Analysis of Dreams that Calvin and I did back in 1966, we go through and we try and tell you about the different characteristics. How would you score the different physical settings and so forth, and examples of each. We would go through here to describe the various kinds of aggressions as to the intensity, and what would be scored there. We would go over here and in the back we would have objects. So when we were talking about our painting up here, we mentioned that there was a fire in there and so if we want to see how common fire appears. We obtain norms for 1000 dreams -- 500 male dreams and 500 females. Each of the 100 males contributed five dreams. Each of the 100 women contributed five dreams. These are college students gathered back in the late 40's. So now if we go through and see under objects how often did fire appear, we can see that out of those thousand dreams Fire appeared seven times, and in the seven times that it was mentioned in each case it was by a male.
So we'll pause at this point and we'll pick up again in a few minutes and tell you more about the different varieties of content scoring.