Single-Mindedness and Self-Reflectiveness: Laboratory Studies
Rechtschaffen (1978) has suggested that dreams are categorically single-minded and isolated. The phenomenon of lucid dreaming, however, suggests that his conclusion is overstated. Furthermore, the empirical status of Rechtschaffen’s claim is uncertain. The data on which his claim is based are personal and impressionistic. We view single-mindedness and lucidity as related along a continuum of self-reflectiveness, as suggested by Rossi (1972) and as operationalized in a scale of self-reflectiveness we derived from his work. In order to examine his assertion we conducted two laboratory experimental studies to examine the distribution of self-reflectiveness and singlemindedness in the dream reports of high and low frequency dream recallers awakened from Stages REM, 2 and 4. Self-reflectiveness of dream reports was quantified using the nine-step scale presented below.