Dream Experiment Article Summary Essay

Submitted By ermcdonald118
Words: 682
Pages: 3


The article and experiment I chose to look at was called “Types of Hypnotic Dreams and their Relation to Hypnotic Depth”. The experimenter was trying to figure out if peoples’ dreams could be influenced by hypnosis and someone telling them what to dream. He wanted to discover if people could actually go into a dreamlike state while they were hypnotized, and not technically in the REM stage of sleep. The study actually consisted of two experiments, the Fall sample and the Winter sample. They experimented on male and female students enrolled in the introductory psychology course at Stanford who needed to fulfill a course requirement. Each student participated in two experimental sessions, spread over 2 consecutive days. They were told about the experiment and what hypnotic depth or state was. The fall and Winter experiments were slightly different. In the Fall, the three treatnents were 1) normal waking state 2) Instructions to imagine that the things the experimenter suggested were true, and 3) a formal hypnotic induction from the SHSS. In the Winter, the three treatments were 1) instructions to imagine that the suggestions were true, 2) the same imagination instructions but with the explicit instructions that this might produce a hypnotic state and 3) a formal hypnotic induction procedure, much as the fall experiment. They gave them a scale to know what “state of mind” the subjects were in at any given time, from zero to four. They did a very good job at describing what was to go on during the experiment, and what they should expect from the experiment. The researchers obviously used an experimental design for this study. The results of the experiment varied. They found that it was often difficult to conduct with students because of time restraints. They are obviously very busy with their own lives and it was often difficult to do the experiment in full. In the article they showed the results using a table with what the students reported seeing/feeling. Most people either did not have a dream or felt like they were just thinking. Very few subjects actually felt as if they were in a dream state and could see and hear things going on around them. They found that the term “hypnotic dream” is very vague and really meaningless because very few people had what could be considered a dream. The findings between Winter and Fall were actually very different, but this was most likely just because of the differences in