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Big DreamsThe Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion$
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Kelly Bulkeley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199351534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351534.001.0001

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(p.77) 5 Recall
Big Dreams

Kelly Bulkeley

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of whether or not dreaming is a legitimate subject for scientific research. There are many questions about the reliability and validity of dream reports as evidence in science, and these questions are discussed in relation to well-established findings about dream recall among various populations. After looking at the etymological roots of the words for “dreaming” in different languages around the world, the chapter examines historical and contemporary sources of information about how often people remember their dreams, and what factors increase or decrease their frequency of recall. Also discussed are people who claim to never remember their dreams, a group that turns out to represent a very small percentage of the general population. The best available scientific data support the idea that humans are a dreaming species.

Keywords:   dreams, dreaming, scientific methodology, dream recall, etymology of dream

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