Bulkeley (2013): Religious worship and dream recall


Religious Worship and Dream Recall: New Results from a Survey of American Adults

This study of 2,992 demographically diverse American adults provides a new empirical view of the relationship between dreams and religion. Participants answered a question about the frequency of their religious worship service attendance, in addition to several questions about their recall of various types of dreams. The results confirm previous research showing that the most religiously observant people in America tend to  remember considerably fewer dreams than do the least religiously observant people. This study elaborates on that finding by using word search technology to analyze several hundred dream reports provided by the participants. The results show that in terms of dream content, there is little difference between religiously observant and nonobservant people, other than a higher frequency of Christianity-related words in the dreams of the most religiously observant people. This study gives pastoral caregivers and psychotherapists new insights into the religiously and spiritually meaningful patterns they may encounter in the dreams of their clients.


About Tore Nielsen

Researcher at University of Montreal and Director of Dream & Nightmare Laboratory
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